Once again, as in the case I am about to mention, we get outstanding writing about those who oppose reproductive rights for women, from accomplished writers and reporters who too often fail to identify the source of the primary power standing behind and powerfully abetting anti family planning and abortion activists whose special forms of madness drive them to attack all women’s right to choose voluntarily the safest best methods to control their fertility.
On November 4, 2012, the NY Times Magazine ran a story, “Charmaine Yoest’s Cheerful War on Abortion” by Emily Bazelon of Slate which depicts that reporter’s long interviewing process with the head of American United for Life. It begins, “One day in the spring, I went with Charmaine Yoest, head of Americans United for Life, a pro-life advocacy group, to meet two of her five kids at a Barnes & Noble near her office in Washington. We sat down in the Starbucks corner of the bookstore, and James and Sarah, who are 8 and 11, told me about the March for Life on the National Mall. They go every year, scouting out heating vents to stand on when it’s cold and competing over who can hand out the most Life Counts posters. “We start up chants,” Sarah volunteered, looking up from her Frappuccino with whipped cream. “Like ‘Fight Planned Parenthood.’ ””
Yoest’s history, as disclosed by this earnest reporter, does tell how fanatical this person is on the choice issue, but somehow by adding her fight against breast cancer, her multiple motherhood, her endless willingness to pursue and often effectively winning key points against choice, the perhaps inadvertent image projected by this author became to me one of a brave, lone trooper riding against the forces favoring reproductive rights for women and their families.
Her organization has done much damage to women while using the appalling rubrics, “We’re fighting Planned Parenthood to protect women,” and “When those babies aren’t born, that is a loss for their mothers, and that’s part of why they need a chance to live.”
Bazalon clearly tells us about the damage Yoest has been involved in accomplishing:
“It’s the kind of deft reframing of the abortion debate that has put Yoest (pronounced “yoast”) at the center of anti-abortion politics and enabled her to help push through the greatest number of abortion restrictions since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. In 2011, after Republicans made gains in statehouses across the country, 24 state legislatures passed 92 abortion restrictions — more than double the total for any previous year. The pace slowed in the first half of 2012, with 40 new provisions passed in 17 states. Around one-third of the bills, with names like the Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act and the Women’s Health Defense Act, were written by A.U.L. They made it impossible for clinics to operate in some states, made the procedure harder to access in the first trimester and barred it outright later in pregnancy.
“Though she has helped usher in hard-hitting changes in women’s health care, Yoest is especially good at sounding reasonable rather than extreme. She never deviates from her talking points, never raises her voice and never forgets to smile. While the organization that she runs is relatively small — its budget is about half that of the National Right to Life Committee — her personal appeal gives her outsize visibility. She’s the one making the case against abortion on the PBS “NewsHour.” “
Ok, Folks, but she is definitely NOT alone.
And who then is the éminence grise (French for “grey eminence”), the rich and powerful decision-maker or advisor who only partially operates “behind the scenes” in this case.
As Wikipedia tells us, “this phrase originally referred to François Leclerc du Tremblay, the right-hand man of Cardinal Richelieu. Leclerc was a Capuchin friar who was renowned for his beige robe attire (as beige was termed “grey” in that era.) The title “His Eminence” is used to address or reference a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Although Leclerc never achieved the rank of Cardinal, those around him addressed him as such in deference to the considerable influence this “grey” friar held over “His Eminence the Cardinal”.”
So from this derivation, one can have no doubt! It is the power of the world’s wealthiest religious organization, the Vatican and in this case the US Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops who are able through these various agencies to assist, abet and activate all those on the pro-life side whether they are Catholic or not.
No one questions the right of any one to oppose the use of contraceptive or abortion PERSONALLY, but the imposing of these extremely dangerous views on the personal health of women makes this not only unethical but an utter violation of the precious divide between church and state so long enshrined in our republic by our founding fathers, many of whom such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin, saw first hand the deleterious effect of the heavy hand of the RCC in Europe where they traveled to seek financial help for our fledgling republic.
As the article tells us, Yoest stands firm in her battles with the powerful Planned Parenthood, fighting the good fight which no election will change, no adverse happenings such as the candidacies of the Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Senate candidate, or the totally plausible argument that more family planning services deters abortion.
This makes the thrust of this story about her courage, even though admitting her insanity, which makes her seem, which she surely is not, fighting singlehanded against those who are promoting abortion rights and wider contraceptive availability.
Go read the article and decide for yourself.
However, as usual, the author no where in this article specifically mentions that her efforts and all those other people and agencies mentioned the overriding capacity of the RCC bishops to make far more than equal efforts against Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other NGOs seeking to help women realize the reproductive choices they desire.
This omission of mention of the real power behind the capacity of these anti women forces is so common a failure by the main stream media. Why? Well, as we all realize the MSM is controlled by corporate America because it owns them. They are part of the economic system focused on selling goods and services to the public. They get money from advertising and credit for being able to deliver things people want at competitive prices. They essentially are not geared to fight ideological battles against religious beliefs and certainly don’t want to alienate customers.
Fortunately, in the past decade the arrival of the Internet has given voice to an alternative means of righting the rare rising of voices against silence about the real role of religious activities against the general welfare.
The battle for women’s reproductive rights will sadly continue for a long time, but at least we can continue to finger the major player, in this case the RCC bishops, whose hierarchical power over vast assets and the minds of the less enlightened will be hard to overcome. So Charmaine Yoest, obviously is not alone. Sadly, she apparently seeks some kind of narcissistic martyrdom at the expense of the lives of others.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Nancy Keenan debates Charmaine Yoest on Texas sonogram law
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