In a lovely feature story about Americans United for Life’s CEO Charmaine Yoest, the Christian Science Monitor on August 13 also included some gems of encouragement for pro-lifers…

So far this year, AUL and other like-minded groups have caught their adversaries flat-footed; some 22 states have enacted a record 86 new measures in 2011….

Just two years after the election of a pro-abortion rights Democratic president, it appears the antiabortion movement has been reborn.

“We were expecting a bad year – we weren’t expecting this bad of a year,” says Elizabeth Nash, a Guttmacher [Institute] public policy associate.

Taken in full, the reforms are sweeping and go much further than bills debated in recent years….

This flurry of activity comes in large part as a result of GOP victories in 2010 that provided Republicans with control of 21 statehouses and governorships, compared with 11 for Democrats….

But beside the undeniable political advantage, there’s something else afoot, something Yoest embodies. She represents the changing face of the antiabortion movement. No longer are ideologically driven men necessarily the dominant spokesmen….

She is not shrill, rigid, or somehow provincial in values or experience. She is not a fire-and-brimstone finger wagger, though faith is a centerpiece of her life.

In fact, Yoest has many of the attributes of a feminist… career… a doctorate of philosophy in government… [and five] children….

Yoest says she learned that her adversaries’ arguments shift ground and divert attention from what she believes is the essential fact: Abortion takes a human life….

And that’s what pro-abortion rights advocates worry about. It’s easier to address an extremist adversary, not so one who talks with some sensibility about her underlying belief system….

Jordan Goldberg, state advocacy counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York… says she is “deeply troubled and of course angered by the agenda” AUL and others are pursuing….

Yoest says this of her group’s incrementalist strategy: “You don’t have to overturn Roe to actually make progress at the state level.” One option is to let Roe “crumble under its own weight and become irrelevant,” she says….

The antiabortion movement is having success in dictating the national conversation about abortion, says Kathryn Kolbert, [a pro-abortion]… civil rights attorney….

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