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Trump names anti-abortion leader to high post at HHS

29 April 2017

Now, she will serve as the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Yoest's role within HHS is no doubt a threat to reproductive health. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis. Yoest previously led AUL, an influential pro-life non-profit that "works through the law and legislative process to one end: Achieving comprehensive legal protection for human life from conception to natural death".

Under Yoest, the group pushed model bills that outlawed abortion after 20 weeks, required abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at local hospitals, and mandated counseling and waiting periods for women seeking abortions.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America released a statement on the appointment. "While President Trump claims to empower women, he is appointing government officials who believe just the opposite".

News of Yoest's appointment rankled congressional Democrats who balked at her past anti-abortion activism.

Yoest, who's a breast cancer survivor, told The New York Times Magazine in 2012 that abortions can increase a woman's chance of getting the disease.

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"She leaves no room for exceptions in the case of rape or incest or to preserve the health of the mother", Bazelon wrote.

Prior to her presidency in the group, Yoest worked in the Office of Presidential Personnel during the Reagan administration and advised former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee during his 2008 campaign.

Abortion rights groups expressed concern in equal measure.

"Trump has broken almost all of his promises to the American people in his first 100 days, but he has certainly stuck to his pledge to erode the constitutional right to abortion, punishing women in the process", said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Charmaine Yoest is one of the pro-life movement's most articulate and powerful communicators.

Despite her attempts to frame anti-abortion advocacy as a "pro-woman" effort-she once described abortion rights supporters as "the true misogynists in our society"-she nonetheless joined Trump's campaign as a member of his "pro-life advisory council", not seeming to mind his record of misogyny".

Trump names anti-abortion leader to high post at HHS