Saskatoon StarPhoenix



NEW YORK The White House says President Donald Trump is appointing the former president of a leading anti-abortion organizati­on to a senior position at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Charmaine Yoest, who actively supported Trump in his campaign, will serve as assistant secretary of public affairs at HHS. From 2008 until February 2016, she was president of Americans United for Life, which campaigned at the federal and state level for tough restrictio­ns on abortion.

Among the many state bills backed by the group under Yoest’s leadership were measures that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require women seeking abortions to undergo a sonogram and impose tough regulation­s on abortion clinics that could lead to their closure. The appointmen­t was assailed by abortion-rights groups.

“Charmaine Yoest has spent her whole profession­al life opposing access to birth control and a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice-president of Planned Parenthood. “While President Trump claims to empower women, he is appointing government officials who believe just the opposite.”

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