Media Alert: Charmaine Interviewed in The New York Times
Charmaine was quoted by SHERYL GAY STOLBERG in The New York Times, On Abortion, Obama Is Drawn Into Debate He Had Hoped to Avoid, Published: May 14, 2009,
WASHINGTON — In nearly four months in office, President Obama has pursued a careful two-pronged strategy on abortion, enacting policies that secure a woman’s right to the procedure while vowing to move beyond the culture wars that have divided the nation on the issue for more than three decades.
Now, Mr. Obama is suddenly in the thick of the battle he had hoped to transcend, and his delicate balancing act is being put to the test…
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she told allies that their movement was emerging from “eight years in the wilderness.”
But even as Mr. Obama has delighted abortion rights advocates, he has dialed back some earlier ambitions. In 2007, he promised Planned Parenthood that “the first thing I’d do as president” would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which effectively codifies Roe v. Wade…
But religious conservatives and more ardent abortion opponents who have not been included say Mr. Obama is trying to have it both ways. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, an advocacy group, said that if the president really wanted to forge consensus, he would advocate rules allowing parents to be notified if their teenage daughters sought an abortion and banning the procedure known as partial-birth abortion. As an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama voted “present” on such initiatives, enabling their defeat….
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