If you thought that a presidential administration led by a confessed sexual harasser and a guy who calls his wife "Mother" was bound to have some weird issues about women, oh boy were you ever correct. But it's not just wrinkly old men who are bent on rolling back abortion and contraceptive rights. With his latest appointee, the Trump camp has shown that women can hate women, too.

On Friday, the White House announced a new round of appointees, among them Charmaine Yoest, who nabbed a job as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Public Affairs. The position involves imparting health information and policy to the country at large, which is a problem given that Yoest seems to have a grasp on medical science that's slippery at best.


To start with, there's her troubling belief that abortion raises the odds of breast cancer (Yoest is a breast cancer survivor herself). Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group where Yoest served as CEO from 2008 to 2016, trumpets this widely debunked view on their site, and in 2012, a New York Times writer interviewing Yoest was baffled that she insisted on such a falsehood:

I was surprised, then, when the next thing she said was that abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute,the American Cancer Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected that claim, citing, among other research, a 2004 analysis of 53 studies involving 83,000 women that found no link between abortion and a higher rate of cancer. Yet Yoest was insistent. “As a breast cancer survivor, the spin on abortion and breast cancer really troubles me,” she said. “Why can’t you report what the research actually shows?” When I said the studies I’d read showed no abortion-breast cancer link, she shook her head calmly and said, “If you could spend time with the amazing people in AAPOLG”— the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists — “they could walk you through the data.”

What data? I asked. Yoest would only refer back to the pro-life obstetricians she trusts and later declared that the scientific establishment “is under the control of the abortion lobby.”


Yikes. But that's not all. The woman that AUL describes as "'public enemy #1' to many in the pro-abortion community" also doesn't know how an IUD works. From that same NYT interview:

She wants to make [abortion] illegal. She leaves no room for exceptions in the case of rape or incest or to preserve the health of the mother. She believes that embryos have legal rights and opposes birth control, like the IUD, that she thinks “has life-ending properties.”

Oh, charming. It'd be bad enough if you'd spent your life lobbying against pro-choice groups (many of which also push an anti-LGBT agenda, as Motherboard points out), but you also think women are giving themselves abortions with their IUDs? This is like high school health-class ignorance. Try Google sometime.


That's right: The IUD is designed to prevent fertilization and pregnancy. So whose life is being ended, exactly? And, if we're really going go down this road, what about all the lives lost when a man uses a condom?

Anyway, Yoest is just the latest example of Trump's ongoing staff problems. Because for all he claimed he'd surround himself with "the best people," it doesn't seem as if anyone with half a brain wants to work for him.