Like many who stand for pro-life values in the public arena, Ohio’s Auditor of State Dave Yost and his family take the life issue personally. It would be impossible not to, in fact, given their family story, shaped as it has been through adoption.
Yost, who has served in his current role with the state since 2011, says his passion for the sanctity of life and for tangible alternatives to abortion stems not just from a philosophical point of view, but from the fact that Darlene, his wife of 36 years, was adopted as an infant.
“I’m a child of adoption,” Darlene Yost said in a video interview with Heartbeat International, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. “The choice that my biological mother made didn’t take away my other choices. I like being alive, and I’d like to have every conceived child have that same opportunity I’ve had.”
The Yosts, along with their daughter, made a visit to Heartbeat International’s campus to lead worship and visit with attendees at the 2016 Heartbeat International Pregnancy Help Institute, which included 46 leaders from around the U.S.
“Being philosophically committed to life doesn’t mean anything if we don’t have compassion and action on the ground for the women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy,” Yost, who revealed his plans to run as Ohio’s Attorney General in 2018 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, said.
While he was not directly involved in the decision, during Yost’s tenure as Auditor, Ohio has added an ongoing grant to fund parenting classes and material assistance to families through pregnancy centers throughout the state.
Legislation directing funding to pregnancy centers for material support and help has also been adopted in Indiana—approved by GOP Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence—Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
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Former GOP presidential candidates John Kasich and Jeb Bush each played a role in funding pregnancy centers through state budgets in Ohio and Florida, respectively, while Georgia became the latest state to fund pregnancy centers in April of 2016.
“If you believe in it, you need to put feet to your words,” Darlene Yost said. “That’s what pregnancy centers do. They are the hand of God, a tangible expression of God’s love to people that may not feel loved or feel supported.”