Trump picks former anti-abortion leader for health and human services post


Charmaine Yoest was head of Americans United for Life, which played role in recent wave of anti-abortion laws by feeding framework bills to state lawmakers

Donald Trump has appointed the former chairwoman of a leading anti-abortion group to the top communications role at the Department of Health and Human Services( DHSS ).

Charmaine Yoest, who for several years was head of Americans United for Life( AUL ), will be HHS assistant secretary for public affairs. AUL played an instrumental role in the most recent wave of anti-abortion laws by feeding framework legislation to state lawmakers.

Under Yoest, the group pushed framework bills that proscribed abortion after 20 weeks, required abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at local hospitals, and mandated advise and waiting times for women striving abortions. AUL is also opposed to the use of the morning-after pill and IUDs.

Between 2010 and 2016, governments have enacted 288 restrictions on abortion. The AUL immediately credits its own work for several dozen of those laws. Its framework legislation may have inspired countless more. Abortion rights advocates have been successful in block many such measures in court.

As AUL president, Yoest played a key role in framing abortion regulations as necessary to protect womens health, although the medical proof for such claims was often dubious. AULs ultimate goal is to be completed abortion.

Since leaving AUL, in 2016, Yoest has been a senior fellow at American Values, an anti-abortion, anti-same-sex wedding nonprofit. In her new role, she will specify communications strategy for the entire health department.

The agency is headed by another staunch opponent of reproductive rights, former Georgia congressman Tom Price, who as chair of the House budget committee oversaw passage of a measure that defunded Planned Parenthood.

Price has also voiced resentment toward the requirement, put in place by the Obama administration, that health insurance plans embrace contraception with no co-pay, once challenging a reporter to bring me one wife who struggled to afford contraception on her own.

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