It’s a major win for Pro-life advocates. President Donald Trump announced that he would name one of the most prominent anti-abortion activists in the country to a top position at Health and Human Services. Charmaine Yoest has been asked to be assistant secretary of public affairs in the HHS department. She is a senior fellow at American Values and the former president of Americans United for Life. In these posts, Yoest has been instrumental in advancing pro-life legislation at the state level to restrict access to abortion.
Her appointment to this position, which will shape communication efforts for the whole agency, was quickly criticized by Democrats and prominent abortion rights organizations. “Ms. Yoest has a long record of seeking to undermine women’s access to health care and safe, legal abortion by distorting the facts, and her selection shows yet again that this administration is pandering to extreme conservatives and ignoring the millions of men and women nationwide who support women’s constitutionally protected health care rights and don’t want to go backward,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement. Other pro-life opponents have referred to Yoest as “public enemy #1.”
Planned Parenthood executive vice president, Dawn Laguens, said, “It is unacceptable that someone with a history of promoting myths and false information about women’s health is appointed to a government position whose main responsibility is to provide the public with accurate and factual information.”
This appointment comes at a time when pro-life activists have seen unprecedented gains. Republicans currently control both the Senate and the House. 33 states have GOP governors. Neil Gorsuch has just been added to the Supreme Court. And President Trump has already, in his first 100 days, signed into law a resolution overturning an Obama-era rule designed to protect Title X family planning grants to Planned Parenthood.
Even though Yoest’s position at the HHS agency is a political appointment, it does not require Senate confirmation. She succeeds Kevin Griffis, who ironically was just named vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood. “The fact that Yoest will be replacing Kevin Griffis, who now works for Planned Parenthood, is another indication of the dramatic change we’ve seen in Washington since the election of President Trump,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List said. “This is a new era for the pro-life movement and our fight to protect unborn children and their mothers from the horror of abortion.”
We would like to hear your comments about this new appointee from President Trump.