Defending Life 2009 from Americans United for Life


Following is the introduction to upcoming Defending Life 2009 from AUL by Charmaine

charmaine_yoest_pew_2006_1.jpg Dear Friends of Life:

Welcome to Defending Life 2009, our third edition of this annual compendium of resources related to advancing law that undergirds our Culture of Life.

Charmaine at The Pew Forum on Religion and Politics


As we go to print on this year’s edition, we do so in the midst of tumultuous times.


Faced with an incoming presidential administration that has a stated commitment to advancing an anti-life agenda as a fundamental precept, coupled with leadership on Capitol Hill similarly hostile to defending life, both of which have strong ties to a newly energized abortion industry . . . understandably, many people have been asking: What now? Which way?

Join Fight FOCA The current Defending Life 2008 is available in readable sections at AUL Defending Life.

continue reading at the jump


Thank you (foot)notes:

Charlie Butts writing at OneNewsNow posts, Focusing on FOCA, fighting for life,

Americans United for Life (AUL) is already gearing up for a major thrust to defeat the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) — a piece of legislation that Barack Obama, in a speech to Planned Parenthood, promised would be one of his top priorities upon taking office. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, explains what would happen if FOCA is enacted.

“The Freedom of Choice Act would eliminate every single abortion restriction that’s been passed at the state level in the past 30 years,” says Yoest. “It would completely federalize the abortion issue…it’s just an extremist piece of legislation.”

Yoest says her organization is depending on a grassroots effort to head off passage. “We have a website [] and it’s a one-stop shop where people can read the text of the bill, they can get constitutional analysis from our attorneys, and most importantly they can go and sign our petition against FOCA.”

See Freedom of Choice Act FOCA posting at by Andrew Biddinger

The Brown Pelican Society of Harahan, Louisiana has

Charmaine’s intro continues,

Confronted with those political realities, I am so pleased to be able to offer this year’s edition of Defending Life which offers specific, achievable opportunities to advance a pro-life agenda in an individual state and in Congress, as well as essential insight and analysis on issues across the life spectrum.

The basic foundation of this edition was laid far before we knew all of the challenges policy-makers committed to life would be facing today. And yet, we find that the emphasis within these pages is what we believe pro-life advocates need now more than ever. We have been calling this year’s Defending Life the “back to basics” edition. In this current political environment, we encourage all defenders of life — whether you are a legislator, policy-maker or life activist — to focus on shoring up the basics in your state. We need not keep looking for new ideas; we have the tools that are proven to reduce abortions, change public opinion about abortion. . . and, ultimately, overturn Roe v. Wade.

As the new President of Americans United for Life, I am proud of Denise Burke and our team of legal experts that has produced this invaluable resource. Far more than an update of last year’s edition, this new Defending Life includes five new model bills, new articles on the threats posed by the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), international abortion efforts, and Planned Parenthood.

Facing squarely the challenges in front of us, I still feel great optimism and hope. Since the election we have seen a huge outpouring of grassroots support for our work opposing FOCA – there is no shortage of commitment to the cause of defending the defenseless among people across this country. Since the release of the last edition of Defending Life, we’ve seen a significant increase in inquiries about pro-life legislation: in every state in our nation, there are men and women who are persistently working to move us closer to our mission of seeing every person welcomed in life and protected in law.

It’s an honor and a joy to work with so many people devoted to such a consequential vision.

Remember that an election is a snapshot of a moment in time, influenced by contingent factors too numerous to list. . . and our objective has a much longer horizon. We are resolutely dedicated to running this race with persistence in our great endeavor.

I am inspired by Abraham Lincoln, who faced many setbacks along the way in his work – the same work that we share — to bring the reality of American lives in line with its ideals and stated principles. Here is what Lincoln said in his message to Congress in 1862 – just one month before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation:

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disentrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

What now? Which way? We do face an immediate future piled high with difficulty. But following the fortitude and courage of Lincoln, we too will rise to the occasion.

Yours for life,



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