Press Releases


Entries in Abortion (297)


ALG's Daily Grind - Get ready for Obamabonds 

Jan. 9, 2013

Get ready for Obamabonds

Pelosi: "[I]f I were president, I would use the 14th Amendment, which says that the United States will always be paying [the debt] . I would just go do it, right."

Cartoon: Al Gorzeera

A convenient hypocrisy.

The Left's Target of the Week

Hobby Lobby was recently denied an exemption from providing, through their insurance plan, morning-after and week-after birth control pills for their employees by U.S. District Court Judge Joe Heaton.

Krieger: Inflation Since the American Revolution

"Nothing like livin' the debt slave dream!"


AUL - Time Magazine Recognizes Pro-Life Gains


Dear Friends and Supporters, 

time-magazine.jpgThis week, the media recognized AUL’s astonishing success in fighting “Big Abortion” in the states. And this time, the news of our work has made it into the cover story of Time Magazine! As the cover aptly states, “40 Years Ago, Abortion-Rights Activists Won an Epic Victory with Roe v. Wade: THEY’VE BEEN LOSING EVER SINCE.”

In the article, reporter Kate Pickert observes how both legal restrictions and the tide of popular opinion have rendered pro-abortion advocates less and less effective. On the legal front, she notes, “In 2011, 92 abortion-regulating provisions – a record number – passed in 24 states after Republicans gained new and larger majorities in 2010 in many legislatures across the country.” 

This legal contribution has been made, in significant part, by the work of AUL – we were instrumental in helping to enact 28 of all pro-life laws passed in 2011. Pickert noted AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest’s perspective, “As we work on this common-ground package of legislation, we are more where the American people are.” 

Recently the work of AUL and Dr. Charmaine Yoest brought us to the attention of several additional major media outlets including The New York Times, Mother Jones, and the The New Republic. Our work has also been reaffirmed with the data coming from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, citing the “tidal wave” of pro-life legislation as a “troubling-trend” as they see it, and The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) referencing pro-life legislation as contributing to a 5% drop in abortion according to their most recent data. 

Our common ground approach has not only served to advance the cause of AUL’s constitutionally sound, pro-life legislation, but it also corresponds with current public opinion, as the majority of Americans now support the cause of life. Through the law, AUL is affecting the culture, and national media has taken note. 

jeanneane maxon
Yours for Life,
JM Signature
Jeanneane Maxon
Vice President for External Affairs & Corporate Counsel
Americans United for Life


NHDP - ICYMI: Sen. Shaheen's Amendment Passes Senate in "Historic Bipartisan Vote" 

Abortion For Military Rape Victims Amendment Passes Senate

In a historic bipartisan vote on Tuesday, the Senate passed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would extend abortion insurance coverage to victims of rape in the military. If the House of Representatives decides to include the measure in its version of the defense bill, military servicewomen who have become pregnant from rape will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an abortion procedure for the first time since 1981.

Army veteran Ayana Harrell, 34, has been closely watching the progress of the amendment. Harrell says she was drugged and gang-raped in February 2001 by a group of soldiers and Marines at the Redstone Arsenal base in Huntsville, Ala. It took her three months to drum up the courage to report the rape, she says, because she had been trained to believe that soldiers are not allowed to feel or behave like victims. By the time Harrell told her senior drill sergeant what had happened, she had discovered that she was pregnant from the assault.

"The only thing he said to me was, 'This is your thing. I don't want to hear it. You need to deal with it however you're gonna deal with it. Go off post and get an abortion,'" Harrell told The Huffington Post in an interview.

Harrell says she made an appointment at a local Alabama abortion clinic, but ended up backing out of the procedure in part because she couldn't afford the "$200-something" fee. If she had been a civilian employee of the federal government, a recipient of Medicare or Medicaid, or even incarcerated in a federal prison, her insurance plan would have paid for her abortion. But military servicewomen receive health care and insurance through the Department of Defense's Military Health System, which is prohibited by law from covering abortions except when a woman's life is in danger.

"It shouldn't be that a woman joins the military and she loses her rights to make choices about her body," she said, "or that she has to make the choice to foot the bill out of her pocket for something that wasn't her choice in the first place."

Sen. Shaheen told The Huffington Post that the issue of fairness for military women -- not the abortion rights issue -- is the reason for her amendment, and the argument she is making to her Republican colleagues in the House. Regardless of whether certain members have an ideological opposition to abortion, she says, military women should be given the same level of health care coverage as civilians after they have been sexually assaulted.

"It's simply unfair that we've singled out the women who are putting their lives on the line in the military," she said. "We have young women who are starting out making $18,000 a year, and they just are not able to deal with this situation on the private side when it happens to them."

Because the House version of the NDAA does not have a similar amendment attached, a bipartisan conference committee will be charged with deciding whether to include the measure in the final version of the bill. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) both support Shaheen's amendment, and Shaheen said that House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has indicated that he would support it as well. House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Ky.) has not indicated whether he would support the measure's inclusion, but three out of four ranking conferees would make for strong odds.

Claude Chafin, communications director for the House Armed Services Committee, said the committee's policy is not to comment on issues that may be the subject of conference negotiations.

Greg Jacobs, policy director of the veterans activist group Service Women's Action Network, says the amendment has better chances now that it did in previous years, because of the results of the November elections. Some Republicans in the House may still dislike the policy for ideological reasons, he said, but voters clearly rejected candidates like Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Richard Mourdock of Indiana who opposed abortion rights for rape victims.

"Politically, it comes at a good time for us," Jacobs said. "Clearly, those folks [like Akin and Mourdock] lost. The constituents and electorate have mixed feelings about abortion in cases of rape and incest, so it would be a difficult decision to maintain for you to deny that this is a necessary change in policy."

For Harrell, the trauma of having been raped and forced to continue her pregnancy continues to negatively affect her life more than a decade later. In the month after she reported the rape, she says she could not stop crying through her basic training activities. The other soldiers harassed her and called her a "slut," she says, and the military honorably discharged her for having a "personality disorder."

After she gave birth to her daughter, she says, she struggled for three years to connect with her. Today, she struggles with severe depression and cannot even go to the grocery store without constantly looking over her shoulder. "I'm fighting a war everyday in my mind," she said. "Every day it's hard for me to get up, just like that solider that went to Iraq."

If Shaheen's amendment passes, Harrell says, it will feel like a personal victory. "When I was in the military, if you wanted that choice, you had to pay for it yourself or just deal with it," she said. "And you're being a slut, you're being the loose female. That's what they tell you.

"I was 'the slut' for so many years, so it's amazing just to see this now. It's bittersweet."

UPDATE: 11:50 a.m. -- Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, confirmed to The Huffington Post in an emailed statement that he will argue for the inclusion of the Shaheen amendment in the House version of the defense bill.

"The women who serve to protect our nation should have the same access to health care services as ordinary citizens," he said. "If a women in our Armed Services or a female family member is the victim of rape or incest, they should receive the full support of our military, and that includes providing for all of their health care needs. This is about equality, and protecting the health and well-being of our service women and our female family members."
Read the Huffington Post article HERE.

AUL - Can You be Forced to Post a Scarlet "A" for Abortion?

Americans United for Life’s Leaders Head to Richmond, Virginia Today for Free Speech Case Arguments in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

“Forcing pregnancy care centers to post a Scarlet Letter dislcaimer is a violation of their free speech and conscience rights. And AUL is standing with PCCs in our amicus brief,”
says AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest

Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest and members of the AUL team will be in Richmond today for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals arguments in Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore and Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County. At issue are ordinances enacted in Baltimore and Montgomery County requiring pregnancy care centers (PCCs) to post signs and make certain disclaimers regarding the services they do not offer.  For example, the Baltimore ordinance requires PCCs to post signs that they “d [o] not provide or make referral for abortion or birth control services.” 

“Pregnancy care centers operate across the country, staffed primarily by volunteers, helping women and girls who are pregnant and those who are new mothers make life-affirming decisions,” said Dr. Yoest. “To force them to post a Scarlet Letter disclaimer and point women away from life-affirming options is a violation of their First Amendment rights.” 

AUL filed an amicus brief in the Baltimore case on behalf of Care Net, Heartbeat International, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and several Baltimore area PCCs, demonstrating that PCCs abide by stringent standards and seek to provide the best care and counseling for women. For more information, click here.

AUL 2.0: Future Pro-Life Leaders on Nickelodeon Taking on Gloria Steinem and Feminism for Women’s History Month

Raising up the next generation of pro-life leaders, AUL’s Dr. Yoest took her 15-year-old daughter Helena to New York City last week to debate Gloria Steinem for a special program taped for Nickelodeon.  Slated to air in March during Women's History Month, the show will look at the history of feminist activism and debate the future of the Equal Rights Amendment. Joining Helena was Claire Nance, daughter of Penny Nance, the President of Concerned Women for America, and Meridian Paulton, daughter of John Paulton of Focus on the Family.  The special edition of “Nick News” was hosted by feminist activist and documentary producer Linda Ellerbee, with seven other teenagers and a special appearance from 78-year-old feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

“It was a great opportunity for Helena to meet Gloria Steinem and Linda Ellerbee and engage in a debate on the future of feminism,” said Dr. Yoest. “The taping was very intense and spirited. All three girls did a remarkable job representing our pro-life, pro-woman, pro-motherhood world-view.  I was deeply proud of Helena, Claire and Meridian.  They had to work hard to make their points, but their positive, upbeat, optimistic viewpoint on the strength and unique worth of women was inspirational and even moving.  Their courage and commitment in speaking out in a hostile environment provides real hope for the future of our movement.” 

During the two and half hour of taping, the girls were asked who their heroes are. Both Helena and Claire mentioned the work of pro-life heroine and President of Live Action, Lila Rose, who has exposed the anti-woman tactics of the abortion industry with her undercover videos.  

“I couldn’t be more proud of three brave girls who stood their ground for the rights and dignity of all women, born and unborn,” said Dr. Yoest.

AUL’s Maxon Says 40 years of Abortion Harms Women and Girls “physically, mentally, and even socially by telling them to deny their true potential”

At a prestigious media briefing on the impact of 40 years of extreme abortion policies on American culture, Americans United for Life Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Counsel Jeanneane Maxon noted that the people most hurt by the radical abortion policies of the United States have been women and girls “who have been told that they are inadequate to handle both work and family and must act like men to make it in a man’s world. The abortion industry has allowed women to be harmed physically, mentally, and socially by telling them to deny their true potential and insisting they choose either work or family, because they’ll never succeed at both.”

Maxon made her remarks at the National Press Club as part of an event organized by The Justice Foundation of San Antonio, Texas, along with influential pro-life leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece Dr. Alveda King, the National Spokesperson for Silent No More Awareness Campaign; and Allan Parker, attorney and President of The Justice Foundation. To read Maxon’s full remarks, click here.

Planned Parenthood Loses Again: Sixth Circuit Refuses Once More to Strike Down Ohio’s

Regulation of RU-486

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals late last week denied Planned Parenthood’s request that the court revisit its prior decision in Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio v. DeWine, upholding Ohio’s regulation of RU-486. In October, the Sixth Circuit rejected Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the 2004 Ohio law requiring that abortion providers dispense RU-486 only in the manner approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).   

Rather than “using as directed,” the abortion industry has been handing out life-ending drugs using unapproved protocols that violate the restrictions established by the FDA, and some women have died. And yet, the abortion industry went to court to fight for the right to continue with these potentially deadly practices.

In 2011, the FDA reported that 14 women had died after using the Mifeprex regimen, and eight of these women had died from a bacterial infection. In all eight deaths, the Mifeprex regimen had been administered in a manner unapproved by the FDA.  Significantly, no woman has died from bacterial infection following use of the Mifeprex regimen as approved by the FDA. 

To learn more on this case, click here.


AUL marks a path to victory through election results

AUL says State Government Gains and Gubernatorial Leadership Mean More
Pro-life Gains Likely


Above: Election night photograph of Mrs. Florence Strobel (mother of Deb Fischer), Senator-Elect Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), and former Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr.

In spite of the status quo results in the Presidential and Congressional election, the experts at Americans United for Life say that there is a path for pro-life victories through the results. AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted victories would be possible “because at the grassroots level, new pro-life leaders are taking their seats in gubernatorial offices and state houses across the country.”

Four pro-life governors won election last week. Among those is Indiana where pro-life hero Congressman Mike Pence is the new incoming Governor. In Congress, Mike Pence was a prominent pro-life leader working year after year in an effort to completely defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level. Pro-life incumbent governors won by big margins as well.

State Legislatures made the switch to life-affirming leadership. Due to changes in some state legislative chambers, new pro-life gains are now probable in states like Arkansas, which had an historic change of power. Also other states like Indiana and North Carolina picked up more pro-life seats so they are now at or near supermajority level.

The balance of power we see in most states means AUL and our allies can continue to make significant legislative gains for life, as we have in the last few years, said Dr. Yoest.

In a recent profile in The New York Times magazine, reporter Emily Bazelon noted what such state dynamics have meant to the work of AUL and Dr. Yoest. Legislative gains helped “push through the greatest number of abortion restrictions since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. In 2011, after Republicans made gains in statehouses across the country, 24 state legislatures passed 92 abortion restrictions — more than double the total for any previous year. The pace slowed in the first half of 2012, with 40 new provisions passed in 17 states. Around one-third of the bills, with names like the Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act and the Women’s Health Defense Act, were written by AUL.” To read the entire article, click here.

Yoest observed, Over the last two years, we saw over 160 new pro-life laws enacted in the states. We expect bills such as clinic regulations, regulation of abortion-inducing drugs, defunding abortion providers, and conscience protections to top the list of what states are doing next.

AUL’s specialty of creating life-affirming model legislation that can be employed across the country is having an impact, even as Washington, D.C. remains deadlocked. This is a grassroots effort, flexible, transportable, and powerful. With your support, AUL will go from state house to state house, helping newly elected legislators to make their mark on the laws of their states.


On the Ballot: A Round of Up
of Life-Related Initiatives

Citizens in several states voted on life-related ballot initiatives on November 6th.  Below is a summary of the results, and why they are important. 

A Win for Protecting the Ill and Elderly:
Massachusetts Q 2 Death with Dignity Initiative

Citizens of Massachusetts rejected the legalization of physician assisted-suicide, a decisive action that will protect vulnerable individuals facing the end of life.  The so-called “death with dignity” initiative failed to provide even basic safeguards and would have opened the door to a litany of abuses and dangers. Massachusetts’ citizens should be commended for standing by the principle that physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or the dignity of individuals facing serious illness or death. 

A Win for Protecting Vulnerable, Young Girls and their Children:
Montana Legislative Ref. No. 120: Montana Parental Notification Measure


A determined effort to protect Montana’s young girls prevailed Tuesday, when citizens voted to enact a law requiring parental notification prior to an abortion for minors 15 years of age and younger.  Prior attempts to protect pregnant, underage girls and their unborn children in Montana were thwarted by courts.  By voting for L.R. 120, Montanans acted to protect girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and from dangers inherent in abortion, while standing up for parental rights.  Research shows that when parents or guardians are involved in making an abortion decision, the abortion rate drops. 

A Win for Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans:
Alabama Amendment 6, Wyoming Constitutional Amendment A, Montana Legislative Referendum No. 122, and Missouri Senate Bill No. 464


Voters in three states — Alabama, Wyoming, and Montana — voted for state law amendments providing that their citizens should not be compelled to participate in any healthcare system (a similar measure failed in Florida).  By doing so, they voted to protect the freedom of conscience of individuals, employers, and healthcare providers who object to providing or paying for certain services that are included in a particular healthcare system, such as abortion or “contraception” with life-ending mechanisms of action. 

Voters in Missouri supported a measure prohibiting the establishment of a health insurance Exchange — required by Obamacare — by any means other than a legislative bill, an initiative petition, or a referendum.  Through this vote, citizens may successfully prevent Governor Jay Nixon, who is pro-abortion, from instituting new anti-life policies through the state’s Exchange.


Six States Challenge the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate in Court 


AUL attorneys filed a brief this week in Nebraska v. Health and Human Services, a case initiated by the state of Nebraska and six other states challenging the Obama Administration’s “HHS Mandate,” which requires that employers provide insurance coverage for all forms of FDA-approved “contraception,” including life-ending drugs and devices classified as “emergency contraception.” To read more on AUL’s effort, click here.