Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation America on Charmaine Yoest’s appointment to HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs:
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. Charmaine Yoest has spent her whole professional life opposing access to birth control and a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion. While President Trump claims to empower women, he is appointing government officials who believe just the opposite.
Background on Charmaine Yoest:
Yoest believes in no exceptions to abortion, she believes that embryos have “legal rights” and she opposes birth control: "For all her emphasis on women’s health, her end goal isn’t to make abortion safer. She wants to make the procedure illegal. She leaves no room for exceptions in the case of rape or incest or to preserve the health of the mother. She believes that embryos have legal rights and opposes birth control, like the IUD, that she thinks “has life-ending properties.” [The New York Times, 11/4/12]
She has said that abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer: Yoest believes abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, which theNational Cancer Institute,the American Cancer Society and theAmerican Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected that claim, citing, among other research, a 2004 analysis of 53 studies involving 83,000 women that found no link between abortion and a higher rate of cancer. [The New York Times, 11/4/12]
She said many men feel “abused” when a woman decides to get an abortion: In an interview with the Atlantic, Yoest said “that many men feel ‘abused’ by abortions because they ‘have been written out of the abortion decision’ and ‘don't have any rights to a baby before they're born.’ ” [The Atlantic, 7/16/15]
Americans United for Life was the source for Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s misleading and “ethically wrong” chart attacking Planned Parenthood. In September 2015, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Congressman Chaffetz displayed a misleading chart when questioning Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood. According to Politifact, the chart came “from an Americans United for Life web post from June 2015…. The chart, we found, gives a misleading impression. The numbers listed on the chart are based on actual statistics, but they are small and were hard to read during the televised hearings. The chart’s most prominent feature — the much larger crossed arrows — suggests a conclusion that’s flat wrong…. A spokesperson for Americans United for Life told PolitiFact that the graphic is accurate and honest. Experts, however, begged to differ. ‘That graphic is a damn lie,’ said Alberto Cairo, who researches visual communication at the University of Miami. ‘Regardless of whatever people think of this issue, this distortion is ethically wrong.’” [Politifact, 10/1/2015]