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Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, speaks at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments for Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. American Life League
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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Trump appoints pro-life leader to top Health and Human Services spot

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump appointed well-known pro-life activist Dr. Charmaine Yoest to be Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The man Yoest is replacing is now a Vice President at Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider.

Yoest is the former CEO of Americans United for Life, the "legal architect of the pro-life movement," and a mother of five.

Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, said Yoest's appointment demonstrates the Trump administration's commitment to the pro-life cause.

HHS oversees Medicare, Medicaid, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has enormous influence on American healthcare policy.

Under the Obama administration, HHS mandated that religious employers like the Little Sisters of the Poor participate in the provision of employees' contraception. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ordered employers and the government to try to work out a solution.

It's still being litigated. The Trump Department of Justice is for the time being defending the mandate, even though Trump promised he'd undo it. Pro-life leaders are still optimistic that the administration will step in and protect religious freedom. 

Yoest is very vocally opposed to the contraceptive mandate. 

The man Yoest is replacing is Kevin Griffis, now Vice President of Communications at Planned Parenthood.

A 2012 New York Times article titled "Charmaine Yoest's Cheerful War on Abortion" notes that Yoest wants abortion illegal without "exceptions in the case of rape or incest."

"She believes that embryos have legal rights and opposes birth control, like the IUD, that she thinks 'has life-ending properties,'" the article explains. She "takes pleasure in the idea of being the underdog fighting the liberal orthodoxy."

The New York Times detailed Yoest's pleasant, gentle and warm demeanor, for which is she is known in D.C.

Yoest tweeted that she's "honored" to be serving Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price in her new role.

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