Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life
(CNA/EWTN News).- Amid changing abortion rhetoric and significant legislative advances, a group of legal experts in the nation’s capital said that they are confident in the future of the pro-life movement.
“In this epic struggle,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, “my money’s on the baby.”
Hosting a Jan. 24 symposium in Washington, D.C., Yoest and other speakers discussed changes in rhetoric surrounding the abortion debate, as well as growing legislative efforts in the 40 years since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision established a “right” to abortion nationwide.
Much of the discussion focused on changes to tactics used by abortion advocates over the years.
Yoest explained that while pro-life advocates have been consistent in delivering a message of “defending life,” the abortion movement has changed the way it framed its arguments numerous times.
In the 1970s, she said, abortion advocates relied upon the “right to privacy” and emphasized that banning the procedure would lead to an increase in “back-alley abortions” and dangerous illegal procedures.
Today, however, abortion is seen as “reproductive freedom” and the “irreducible minimum of feminine empowerment,” she continued. The procedure is now supported as necessary for “equality and opportunity for all women,” and some have even tried to rebrand it as a means by which women can feel connected to one another.
In a further push to make abortion appear “morally neutral” and universal, the idea of “choice” is now being abandoned as well, Yoest said, pointing out that if abortion is necessary for women’s empowerment, it is logical to have every American pay for it, leaving behind any “choice” in the participation.
“What they could not win through choice they intend to impose through coercion,” she commented.