WASHINGTON, D.C., January 24, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The abortion movement has crossed the Rubicon from a movement putatively built around “choice” to one harnessing the power of the state to compel people of conscience to support its ends, one of the foremost leaders of the pro-life movement said on Thursday.

“The abortion lobby today is a little like the old Soviet bloc, that looked invincible right up to the very day it collapsed under the weight of its own stagnation,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, at a conference at the National Press Club Thursday afternoon. “The old guard of the Kremlin were on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of science and the truth in very much the same way that Big Abortion is today.”

What the two share, she said, is a “common a dependence on the power and money of the state to prop up their failed ideologies.”

After decades of draping themselves in the mantle of individual freedom, “abortion activists are actively and brazenly pivoting from choice to coercion,” Dr. Yoest said.

“They want abortion defined as fundamental health care for women, and they want every American to pay for it,” she said.

In this, they share a powerful advocate. The 2012 Democratic Party platform called for public financing of abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

Many see the HHS mandate, requiring employers to furnish their workers with drugs that can act as abortifacients at no co-pay, as a down payment on full, taxpayer-funded abortion.

The mandate went into effect last August. The Obama administration says it is working out how it will require religious non-profits to carry out the regulation.

“They plan to force every American, regardless of their personal beliefs, to participate in abortion as part of the everyday fabric of our culture, through tax subsidies and occupational mandates. What they could not win through choice they intend to impose by coercion,” Yoest said.

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“Privacy has long since vanished in the context of abortion policy,” she said, because privacy implies the right to choose not to support abortion. “The abortion statists believe that the procedure should permeate the public sphere and the public square.”

Despite the language of private rights, the idea of state power runs throughout the history of the pro-abortion movement, as well. In 1973, Roe v. Wade imposed abortion on America by judicial fiat, striking down abortion laws across the nation.

Yoest added that the act of abortion itself is a form of oppression.

“Tyrants begin sacrificing lives that they deem unworthy,” she said.

Roe at 40 is about raw, brute, callous power over the helpless,” she added. “Just because Planned Parenthood puts it in a very trendy hot pink doesn't make it any less tyranny.”

That human factor, totaling more than 55 million unborn children, will define the character, temper, and soul of the United States, said Yoest.

Roe at 40 is a question of what we all are and what a civilized community will tolerate.”