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July 1, 2009

Happy 4th of July from Americans United for Life: Keeping the Founding Fathers’ Legacy Alive

July 1, 2009 | By | No Comments

Charmaine sends this out to the AUL good-guy list,

dude_pitching_14_yorktown_high_school_2009.jpgIt’s nearly Independence Day, and, here in the Yoest household, that means a road trip!

Friday afternoon, Jack and I are filling up our black Suburban and taking our ‘Penta-posse’ — our five kids — to Charlottesville, VA, for our 14-year-old son John’s all-star baseball tournament. How wonderful to spend July 4th in a city steeped in American history near the University of Virginia (my alma mater!), which was founded by Thomas Jefferson just a few miles from his Monticello home.

John Yoest, age 14

[Pitched a no hitter on his JV team -- as an 8th grader]

Photo Credit: Hannah Yoest

But although the calendar — and the heat index — says it’s July 4, in my heart it feels like late November.

Independence Day has always been a kind of early Thanksgiving for me. I think about the sacrifices made by the Founding Fathers and their families, and of the blood shed by patriots so that America could be free, and I am so very thankful to be able to raise my children in the greatest country in the world.

The Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In naming three inalienable rights as endowed by humanity’s Creator, the Declaration’s authors were recognizing something unique and beautiful about being human. Taken together, those rights enable all the goods necessary for human flourishing.

More than that, the order in which the Founders listed the rights carries special meaning; it reveals the way one right flows from another. The right to liberty — the freedom to thrive — flows from the right to life, and from that liberty flows the ability to seek the happiness that will give one’s life meaning and purpose.

I’m so honored to be working with the AUL team to further the understanding that the right to life enshrined in our Declaration extends to all humanity and includes the unborn.

yoest_family_DC_2009_dreamers_sweet_16_party.jpg

The right to life is the foundation of all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. This is what we must teach our children on this family holiday, so that they and their children and their children’s children may continue to live in a free country long after you and I have left this world.

Jack, Helena, Hannah, Charmaine, John, James, and Sarah at Hannah’s recent

Sweet Sixteen celebration.

My friend and AUL colleague Bob told me today about a wonderful Fourth of July tradition in his family. Every year, he and his wife host a barbecue that is highlighted by having one of the children present, usually his own daughter, read out loud the entire Declaration of Independence.

Jack and I like that idea so much that we are adopting this as a Yoest family tradition. I think we’ll have Helena, our 12-year-old who has a dramatic flair, read the Declaration of Independence before we watch the fireworks after John’s baseball game. If you’d like join us in that tradition, click here for a printable copy of the Declaration.

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Fourth,

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Charmaine, and the Yoest family

P.S. On Monday, the AUL team will be back at the job of defending the right to life, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the latest news on President Obama’s high-court nominee, visit Sotomayor411.com. It’s a one-stop resource we’ve created to share in-depth background and analysis from our legal team on Judge Sotomayor, including detailed information on why she is worse on life issues than retiring Justice David Souter.


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Pro-Abortion Hispanic Group: Sotomayor Set Policy, Not Involved in Legal Briefs, by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor, July 1, 2009,

“Although the Senate will have a significant amount of materials to wade through, Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, has seen enough to say Sotomayor is pro-abortion and worse than Justice David Souter, whom she would replace.

Yoest points out that, during Sotomayor’s time on the PRLDEF’s board, its efforts “included no less than six briefs in five abortion-related cases before the Supreme Court — pushing aggressively for an interpretation of abortion rights that would eliminate most or all state and federal abortion regulations while requiring state and federal funding of abortion.”

In two of the legal briefs, “the PRLDEF’s briefs took positions more extreme than those of Justice Souter, who joined with the court’s majority to uphold restrictions the fund wanted struck down,” Yoest added.

Ultimately, “Justice Sotomayor has never disavowed any of the PRLDEF’s briefs, which are packed with the kind of extreme rhetoric more typical of left-wing blogs than of serious legal documents.” ”

U.S. appeals court upholds Virginia’s ban on partial-birth abortion, By Catholic News Service

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s ban on partial-birth abortion is constitutional, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 6-5 decision June 24.

“The head of Americans United for Life, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case and assisted the state with the litigation, said the “ban protects not only the unborn, but also the health and welfare of women.”

“We are thrilled that the 4th Circuit followed clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent and upheld Virginia’s ban on partial-birth abortion – which is more accurately called partial-birth infanticide,” said Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO.

“It is a law that the vast majority of Americans are justified in supporting,” she said. Opponents of the ban are expected to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appellate court’s decision.

The 2003 Virginia law makes it a felony to perform a partial-birth abortion, but it never went into effect because its constitutionality was challenged by a Richmond doctor who said the procedure can be necessary to protect the life of the mother. He also said the ban could prevent doctors from performing legal procedures for fear they would be prosecuted. ”

From PA Pundits – International

“the relentless pursuit of common sense” – A Variety of Opinions From Various Writers -

“Only the pro-life group Americans United for Life has made a significant campaign against Sotomayor’s ascension to the high court, calling her record on abortion rights “worse than [current Justice David] Souter’s.” Still, the fight should pick up once Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings begin July 13.”

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