Operation Rescue

Religious Right Claims Victory With Stupak Amendment

To say that the Religious Right is overjoyed by the passage of the Stupak Amendment, which makes it "virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women," would be a massive understatement.

The Right hasn't had much to cheer about lately, but a quick look at the statements released shows that while they are still militantly opposed to healthcare reform, anti-choice activists are downright giddy with this victory, with the Christian Defense Coalition proclaiming that it "pounds a nail in the eventual coffin of 'Roe v. Wade'":

"This historic vote in the United States House of Representatives signals the beginning of the end for 'Roe v. Wade.' President Obama made taxpayer funded abortions a key part of his presidential campaign and it was strongly supported by Speaker Pelosi and House leadership.

"Pro-choice groups spent millions of dollars to have taxpayer funded abortions included in healthcare legislation to no avail.

"It is important to note that taxpayer funded abortions were excluded from the healthcare bill because of the votes of Democrats in the House, not conservative Republicans. This vote shows what recent national polls have demonstrated, and that is -- America is turning away from abortion and embracing human rights and a culture of life.

Randall Terry:

Mr. Terry states: "This is a great first step to victory - a touchdown in the first quarter - but we have a lot of fighting ahead of us. Our rejoicing must be tempered by reality. The Senate Bill must also prohibit any money from going to child-killing; and then we must insure that the conference committee does not include child-killing in the final bill, should it pass both houses. We have many hurdles left.

"Those of us who despise Socialism must now broaden our battle to kill the bill entirely. Our biggest battle is to stop the slaughter of children. The next battle is to keep our children from being saddled with trillions of dollars of debt.

"Many of us would rather die half-starved free men than be well fed slaves on Uncle Sam's plantation."

Susan B. Anthony List:

“Tonight the House of Representatives made a principled and politically sound decision to continue our nation’s longstanding policy of protecting taxpayers’ conscience in the area of abortion funding. We urge the Senate to follow suit. We will remain vigilant, and shift our efforts to the Senate to ensure that these same pro-life protections are added to the Senate bill.

“On behalf of the 280,000 members and activists of the Susan B. Anthony List who contacted Congress on this issue, I applaud all those who voted to honor the American legacy of protecting citizens’ conscience from conscription into activity to which most are morally opposed. Congress has sided with the resounding majority of citizens opposed to government funding of abortion. Supporters of government-funded abortion will now have some explaining to do back home, before voters head to the ballot box in 2010.

“If there’s one thing many members of Congress learned from Tuesday’s elections, it’s the danger of being out of step with your constituents. Votes do have consequences, and the recent tensions over health care reform should drive that message home. We will use every tool in our arsenal to ensure the folks back home know the truth about their legislator’s record."

Family Research Council:

"This is a huge pro-life victory for women, their unborn children, and families. We applaud this House vote which prohibits the abortion industry from further profiting from taxpayers by using government funds to pay for the gruesome act of abortion. I congratulate the bipartisan coalition that for months has worked to ensure that abortion is not covered in the bill.

"Since prior to last year's election Family Research Council has been working towards true health care reform that protects life, freedom and families. We supported efforts to ensure the legislation will not be paid for by the lives of future generations. We thank Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI), Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Chris Smith (R-NJ) for standing with more than 70% of Americans who morally object to funding abortion with their hard earned dollars.

Operation Rescue:

"Today, the voices of 71% of the American people who oppose taxpayer funded abortions were heard loud and clear. We thank each one who took the time to raise their voices in opposition to the Obama-Pelosi-Carhart effort to force taxpayers to fund the shedding of innocent blood through abortion.

"There is still a long way to go to prevent government subsidized health care from paying for abortions. Now the ball is in the Senate's court, and we pray that the common sense displayed in the House on the matter of abortion funding will also prevail in the Senate.

"We will continue to stand on behalf of the voiceless and oppose any efforts to restore abortion funding in any future version of health care legislation. But for tonight, we celebrate this day's pro-life victory defunding abortion, which will save lives and prevent the immoral and fiscally irresponsible bailout of the abortion cartel."

Concerned Women for America:

"Democrats and Republicans came together to ensure federal funds would not pay for elective abortions. They corrected a terrible provision in the bill that would force Americans to subsidize abortion, an act that kills unborn children and harms women. Pro-life congressmen - Democrat and Republican - worked tirelessly to strip an incentive from the bill that would increase abortions by paying for them with government money," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

National Right to Life Committee:

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said: "The Obama White House and top congressional Democratic leaders spent months concealing and misrepresenting provisions that would directly fund abortions through a government plan, and subsidize premiums for private abortion plans. Today's bipartisan House vote is a sharp blow to the White House's pro-abortion smuggling operation. But we know that the White House and pro-abortion congressional Democratic leaders will keep trying to enact government funding of abortion, and will keep trying to conceal their true intentions, so there is a long battle ahead."

Americans United for Life:

Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said, "The passage of this amendment is a victory for the pro-life Americans across this country who have flooded Congress this week with the message that abortion does not belong in health care. The bipartisan effort that led to its passage, under the leadership of Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts, is a step toward a future where both political parties defend Life."

American Center for Law and Justice:

The passage of this pro-life Amendment represents the only bright spot in an otherwise troubling government-run health care package put forth by House Speaker Pelosi. The American people understand that health care should not include federal funding for abortion and we’re grateful to Democrat Congressmen Bart Stupak (D-Mich) and Joseph Pitts (R-Penn) for their unrelenting efforts in protecting the unborn.

The 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats who stood together in a bipartisan defense of life deserve our sincere gratitude. For many of these Members, this vote was cast in the face of serious pressure to oppose the amendment. While there is work yet to do on this issue, this vote represents an extremely significant victory for life.

Randall Terry's Priorities

Randall Terry is up to his old tricks, carrying out absurd protests in an effort to generate media attention for himself - and it's working:

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry is calling on people to burn effigies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this Halloween, as part of a "Burn in Hell" video contest to protest the health care legislation in Congress.

Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, said Tuesday that the contest serves as a political and spiritual statement that "gives people a chance to peacefully vent their rage."

"If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid force us to pay for child killing and they die unrepentant, they will burn in hell for this," Terry said in a telephone interview.

OneNewsNow also interviewed Terry and asked him if he was concerned that his contest "could be seen as a promotion of violence against elected leaders or pro abortionists" ... and Terry doesn't appear concerned about it one bit:

"I don't want to be a wussy on the sidelines saying, 'Oh, we're just here to educate people and we want to all get along and we want to all respect each other's [opinions],'" he replies. The activist describes that approach using a derogatory phrase, and further concludes saying, "I don't respect the opinions of child killers. It's a damnable, disgusting act of murder."

...

With the recent murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller and the pending passage of hate crimes legislation, OneNewsNow asked Terry if there was a less controversial way to get the point across -- a way that would not be construed as promoting physical violence. "I'm way more concerned about the pro-lifer who was assassinated outside of a school in Michigan -- Jim Pouillon," was his reply to the suggestion.

Tiller was murdered in church by an anti-choice fanatic who has since become a hero to radical anti-abortion activists, while Pouillon was killed back in September by a man who went on a killing spree and was initially determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and now plans an insanity defense in his upcoming murder trial.

But Terry is "way more concerned" about random acts of violence that happen to anti-choice activists than he is about the targeted assassination of reproductive health providers or Democratic members of Congress.

Right Wing Leftovers

Terry to Protest National Equality March, Prevent America From Becoming a "Modern Day Sodom"

I guess it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Randall Terry and crew are going to protest President Obama's address at the Human Rights Coalition Banquet and the National Equality March. 

After all, they really don't have a choice considering that gays are intent on tearing "the very fabric of Christian society apart" and creating a "hedonistic hell, a modern day Sodom":

"The Homosexual Marriage Movement and the Child-killing movement are the 'Cultural Axis of Evil,' and must be defeated. President Obama is again showing his contempt for his Christianity." Randall Terry, Director, Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex.

...

"We can - and must - meet these men and women with compassion; they are made in the image of God, and Christ died to forgive us all of our sins. We all have sin; we all need his love and forgiveness.

"But that is exactly the issue: homosexual behavior is a mortal sin. It is self-destructive. It is against nature. It needs forgiveness, not codification and normalization.

"We do not deny that many of these men and women simply want to live their lives in peace. But the leadership of this movement is hell-bent on creating 'homosexual marriage;' a thing that can never be, for our Maker alone has the right to define this institution, and He has declared it to be between a man and a woman.

"By seeking to normalize and codify a thing that God calls mortal sin, they seek to tear the very fabric of Christian society apart, and with the tattered remains, weave a hedonistic hell, a modern day Sodom. This effects us all; our schools, our businesses, our children, our grandchildren, and all who will be harmed by the breaking of God's Eternal Order, and the shattering of the Sacred Institution He created.

"If they wish to practice a self-destructive behavior behind closed doors, so be it. We will pray for them, and offer them the same forgiveness will all need. But when they try to force the rest of us to create a right to 'homosexual marriage' where none exists, and to say that an objectively evil behavior is good and even desirable, we must fearlessly oppose them with all our might.

"The child-killing movement and the 'homosexual marriage' movement have formed an unbreakable bond - a 'cultural axis of evil' - because they both spring from the same root: the rejection of God's Law and Natural Law concerning human sexuality and procreation.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., Founder and President of S.T.A.N.D, has sent a letter to President Obama demanding the firing of Kevin Jennings: "As American citizens we demand that he be dismissed because his behavior and his bigotry make him unfit to serve."
  • The Christian Defense Coalition and Operation Rescue have launched the "I AM 71" Project, which claims to represent the "71% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion in the proposed health care reform package."
  • The Lodi City Council unanimously supported changing its invocation policy to allow religious leaders to give uncensored prayers before its meetings despite a threat of a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
  • Karl Rove has donate $1000 to Marco Rubio's Senate campaign.
  • Finally, it looks like they took credit a little too soon.

Going Out of Business? OR's Newman Says "No," While His Letter Says "Yes"

The other day, we posted on a Washington Post article highlighting a recent fund-raising letter from Operation Rescue warning that it was on the verge of shutting its doors if it didn't get donations and financial help soon.

Now, OR's Troy Newman is complaining that the letter "is being misreported by the media":

Media obtained a copy of the letter and then started placing stories indicating Operation Rescue "is very close to shutting down unless emergency help arrives soon" (Associated Press). That report quotes Operation Rescue's Troy Newman as saying: "We're so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention."

But Newman tells OneNewsNow that report is an exaggeration. "Rumors of Operation Rescue's demise are grossly overrated -- and it's something that the liberal left-wing media loves to salivate over," he states.

One report theorized the pro-life group suffered financially because of its long campaign against late-term abortionist George Tiller, who was murdered in May. AP refers to the murder as "a public relations nightmare" for the group. But Newman says that is not true.

"The real impact upon us and all non-profits is that the economic crisis, the recession that we're in that began late last year, has impacted everybody, across the board, 30-40% down in their giving -- and Operation Rescue is no different," he adds.

Newman says there have been good and bad times during his 20 years of ministry, but they rely first on the Lord and secondly on donors. The end result, he shares, is that no bills have gone unpaid.

Really?  Because if you read the letter Newman sent out it seems as if the media reports were entirely accurate.  After all, how else are you supposed to interpret Newman's assertions that the organization was "now so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention," admissions that "we struggle to pay every bill [and] had to borrow money just to send you this letter," and warnings that "we're completely out of money" and that "we're getting very close to the point of shutting everything down if emergency help doesn't arrive soon"?:

Dear Friend of Operation Rescue,

I need you to please stop whatever you're doing right now and read this letter. It's that urgent.

At this moment, I'm writing this from a closed abortion mill.

It's the one in Wichita, Kansas, where more than 50,000 innocent babies were brutally murdered from 1983 to 2006, until we at Operation Rescue bought the building and kicked the baby-killers out!

The abortion staff who worked here never re-opened. They are permanently out of business. And babies are thereby saved.

We "exorcised" this building and turned it into our national headquarters. So now, babies are being saved in this building! And I firmly believe that the souls of the 50,000 babies killed here are cheering me on.

I sure hope so. Because right now, I need cheering on.

You see, this summer has been brutal for Operation Rescue. Not only did George Tiller's death throw everybody in the pro-life movement for a loop (and especially us), but the economic crisis our nation is suffering from has brought our financial support to nearly a halt.

We're now so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention.

Seriously. We struggle to pay every bill. I had to borrow money just to send you this letter, in hopes that you will come to our rescue so that we can continue to rescue babies.

And, what's really frustrating is that this crisis couldn't have come at a worse time.

Why?

Because, in the next 30 days, we're planning to launch the most ambitious and most significant project in our entire history.

It's something that's going to devastate the abortion cartel. It could even help end abortion in America once and for all.

Basically, it centers around our unique ability to close abortion mills.

And although I can't go into detail about it -- because we need to take the abortion cartel by surprise -- I can tell you that it will be a totally NEW phase in the pro-life fight.

We've been working on it all summer. And we were planning to launch it in the next 30 days.

However, now that we're completely out of money, I'm afraid we won't even be able to launch it... ever!

And that would be the worst defeat imaginable.

The only thing that can save this project is EMERGENCY FUNDING -- and EMERGENCY PRAYERS -- so that we can move forward as planned.

Because when abortion mills get closed, babies are saved.

It's just that simple.

For instance, here at the closed abortion mill that's now my office, we recently had a young woman knock on our door.

She came for an abortion, because she thought this was still an abortion mill. The same one where she had an abortion as a teenager years ago.

What she got instead was about an hour of much-needed counseling from our staff, plus an armload of educational materials.

And, praise God, she's decided to keep her baby!

With our new project, we can continue to close abortion mills around the country -- faster and easier than ever before.

Why, just last year, we were instrumental in closing at least 10 mills!

And as you'll see on the enclosed yellow sheet of paper, we've closed more than 40 abortion mills over the years!!

Right now, there are only about 729 mills left in the United States -- down significantly from the 2,126 mills that were killing babies back in 1991...!!

Our new project can get rid of those 729 mills -- one at a time -- peacefully and legally.

No violence. No threats. Just super-effective activism that we've learned and perfected over the last 20 years.

I'll tell you all about this new project in my next letter to you. Revealing the details now would be counter-productive.

However, I can't even move forward on it unless we get out of this financial crisis immediately.

That's why I urge you to take a look at the enclosed yellow sheet with the list of closed abortion mills. You'll be pleasantly shocked.

And then I beseech you to rush a life-saving gift -- of any amount -- so that we can get back on our feet and move forward with this exciting new project.

Without your help -- and your prayers and God's grace -- this project will go nowhere.

And that means all those abortion mills will stay OPEN and continue killing the innocent little babies like the ones that were killed in this building I'm sitting in.

50,000 of them--in one abortion mill alone.

We know how to close abortion mills. And this new project is how we'll get the job done.

But we can't even get it started without your utmost help at this time.

Frankly, we're getting very close to the point of shutting everything down if emergency help doesn't arrive soon.

That would be a devastating blow -- especially at this time when we're actually WINNING the pro-life fight.

More people (a majority of Americans, in fact) identify themselves as opposed to abortion, especially younger Americans. The number of abortion mills has been cut by two-thirds since 1991. The total number of abortions is down by 400,000 per year! The abortion cartel can't find new abortionists, and the average age of the existing abortionists is 72. All this adds up to VICTORY for the babies and for our country -- but ONLY if we can keep moving forward.

And that, unfortunately, takes money.

So please prayerfully consider what size gift you can afford to send to us right away.

There's no time to lose.

I thank you for being there for us in the past.

And I thank you in advance for helping us now.

God bless you.

For the Babies,

Troy Newman

President, Operation RescueP.S. I can't emphasize this enough...

This is the worst financial crisis we have ever faced. And it's hit us at the worst time possible.

Without emergency help from our loyal supporters like you, I hate to think what kind of situation we'll be forced into.

But let me tell you: Our enemies in the abortion cartel would rejoice. And the angels would weep.

Please don't let that happen. Please send your emergency gift TODAY.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Will this become the new Religious Right cause célèbre?  We'll have to wait and see.
  • The full text of the frantic Operation Rescue fund-raising letter warning that they are about to go out of business.
  • Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee wants to know when "will media expose duplicitous tone of the president?"
  • Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute warns that bullying and harassment prevention programs are "one of the central ways to get pro-homosexual information and resources into public schools."
  • Pastor Phil Magnan of Biblical Family Advocates: "I have come to realize that the reason why the homosexual and the abortion movements remain strong; is that the church of Jesus Christ has lost most of its true saltiness, its desire to suffer loss for Christ and its reverence for the Word. We have lost that weeping, passionate cry of the soul to abide in Christ daily and reach out to those headed for hell. We have instead embraced a weak, lazy view of our faith and our Lord."

Terry Targets Obama's Daughter's School

It is presumably no accident that Randall Terry will be protesting outside of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, where President Obama's daughters are enrolled, in order to "show pictures of aborted and healthy babies -- the same pictures [anti-choice activist] Jim Pouillon was showing when he was gunned down" in Michigan last week:

One protest will occur at Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC, where many high powered politicos send their children.

"We will not be intimidated into silence. We will continue to show images of aborted babies at high schools, no matter what the cost.

"We hope that other pro-life groups will set aside differences and turf wars, and will do as I have done - follow the urging of Baltimore area pro-life leader, Kurt Linnemann, who wrote me urging me to help promote this. (See copy of letter below.)

"President Obama condemned Jim Pouillon's murder - which is good - but he said nothing about protecting pro-lifers. At least by going to Sidwell Friends School, we know we will have police protection. " Randall Terry, Director, Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex.

Protests will be held on Thursday from Noon to 1:00 in DC and Baltimore, and the following Schools.

Sidwell Friends School
3825 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

Baltimore Polytecnic Institute
1400 W. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21209

Protests are also scheduled in the following cities:
Hanford West High School
1150 W. Lacey Boulevard
Hanford, CA 93230

William Penn High School
713 East Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720

St. Louis (Granite City) MO
Dallas TX
Buffalo NY

Operation Rescue: Going Out of Business?

It looks like the battle between Randall Terry and Troy Newman over who owns the rights to the name "Operation Rescue" just might be a battle over a worthless commodity as Newman is warning that the organization is about to go out of business

Operation Rescue has told its supporters it is facing a "major financial crisis" and is very close to shutting down unless emergency help arrives soon.

Troy Newman, the anti-abortion group's president, blamed the economic downturn for its money woes in a desperate plea e-mailed Monday night to donors. But the Wichita-based organization has also been under attack from both fringe anti-abortion militants and abortion rights supporters since the May 31 shooting death of Dr. George Tiller.

"We're now so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention," Newman wrote.

Newman told The Associated Press in an interview after the mailing that the group has only four paid employees left, compared to nine a year ago. The group typically has an annual budget of $600,000, but donations this year have been down 30 to 40 percent. Newman, who earns $60,000 annually, said he hasn't been paid in two months.

...

Operation Rescue's fundraising letter hinted at a secret project it hoped to launch in the next 30 days that would be a "new phase in the pro-life fight." But while the group's fundraising efforts are often tied to some new anti-abortion activity, its latest letter had an unprecedented tone of desperation.

"Seriously. We struggle to pay every bill," Newman wrote supporters. "I had to borrow money just to send you this letter, in hopes that you will come to our rescue so that we can continue to rescue babies."

Terry Vows To "Make Life Miserable for Congress"

It looks like Randall Terry is planning his own welcome back party for members of Congress returning from the August recess:

The raucous pro-life folks ejected from a recent town-hall meeting on health care reform hosted by Democrats Howard Dean and Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia, are only just getting started.

"We will not go peacefully into the good night. Now we plan to make life miserable for Congress," Randall Terry tells Beltway.

The activist and founder of Operation Rescue will stage a two-week vigil outside the Cannon Office Building beginning Sept. 9 to protest health care reform that he says "pays for child killing." Mr. Randall and his followers are also willing to be arrested.

"We'll be at every entrance. We'll be preaching and wearing Obama masks and carrying whips to get our message across. These health care reforms could have dire consequences," Mr. Randall adds.

Who Owns Operation Rescue?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post noting that some of Randall Terry's allies had suddenly started bad mouthing Troy Newman ahead of an anticipated Los Angeles Times article about the war between the two over ownership of the name "Operation Rescue."

That article was published today and, frankly, neither man comes out looking particularly good:

Years ago, Randall Terry and Troy Newman were brothers in arms in the struggle against legal abortion.

"Troy was my son in the movement," said Terry, 50, a onetime used-car salesman from upstate New York who founded Operation Rescue in 1986. Terry rose to fame leading clinic blockades until lawsuits, jail terms and finally a stunning 1998 legal settlement forced him to abandon his militant tactics, and he faded from the forefront of the struggle.

Newman, meanwhile, was an up-and-coming activist in San Diego and a spokesman for Operation Rescue there. He admired Terry's energy, charisma and rhetoric. "Randall was the first guy to say, 'If abortion is murder, then act like it,' " said Newman, now 43, who became president of Operation Rescue West in 1999. "A lot of us concur that God used him at a certain time for certain projects. For a time."

But today, the two abortion foes are locked in an increasingly nasty battle over ownership of the Operation Rescue name, which Newman trademarked in 2006.

Terry has called his former protege a weasel. Newman has branded Terry a charlatan.

Operation Rescue is a name worth fighting for: Whoever controls it benefits from its unquestionable ability to raise money from those who oppose abortion.

"Why does Troy need my name? What does he get from stealing another man's heritage? Money and media," said Terry in a telephone interview from Falls Church, Va. He moved to the Washington suburb from Florida last year in an effort to reestablish himself as a national leader in the antiabortion fight, which has heated up with Democrats in control of the White House and Congress.

Newman, for his part, has accused Terry of being a dilettante and financial failure who hopes to recapture Operation Rescue because it is "the goose that's laid the golden egg."

"Randall is articulate and convincing," Newman said from Wichita, Kan. "But so are used-car salesmen and cult leaders. He is not a true believer but a charlatan, and a manipulator. . . . He shows up at a national event, makes a flamboyant speech, gets everyone within earshot rattled and then passes the collection plate and moves on."

 

Anti-Choice Activists Heading to Martha's Vineyard

Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition announces that they are heading up to Martha's Vineyard to conduct protests during President Obama's vacation:

The activists will be holding large banners saying "Abortion is Not Health Care" and "President Obama human rights begin in the womb... Protect America's children."

The events on Martha's Vineyard are part of a national campaign called "Abortion is Not Health Care" sponsored by the Christian Defense Coalition, Operation Rescue, Expectant Mother Care and the Coalition for Life.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

"We are traveling to Martha's Vineyard to publicly remind the President that abortion is not health care and not one penny of public monies should be spent on paying for abortions.

"We think it is important during this national debate on health care, that President Obama embrace social justice and human rights for all. We do not want the President to turn health care, which is supposed to heal and bring comfort to those in need, into something that destroys and diminishes innocent human life.

"Our activities will remind President Obama there is no vacation from human rights, social justice and the truth.

 

Terry Vows to Disrupt Moran-Dean Town Hall

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. is scheduled to host a town hall meeting on health care tonight in Reston, VA where he will be joined by Howard Dean to discuss efforts in Congress to reform the health care system.

Randall Terry, who is currently out on his "Kill Granny" tour plans to be there in order to disrupt it with his antics:

A character wearing an Obama mask opened the skit by handing Terry three baby dolls in rapid succession. Terry stabbed each one, then threw them over his shoulder.

Terry, the physician, then examined a woman with a wig of long gray hair. After looking at her eyes and listening to her heart, Terry stabbed her.

"That's your health-care bill. Kill Granny," Terry said. "Go Obama. One dead person at a time."

...

Terry, director of Operation Rescue Insurrect Nex, is performing his skit in 10 cities on a trip whose final stop will be in Reston, Va., tomorrow.

"In Reston, we intend to disrupt a meeting being run by Congressman James Moran and [former Vermont Gov.] Howard Dean," he said.

...

Government "socialist" programs, Terry said, will lead to people refusing to pay taxes and to "random acts of violence against people in power."

Back From Vacation Leftovers

I just got back after a week off which means a) I have no idea what is going on and b) I have (literally) thousands of blog posts, news articles, and right-wing websites to go through in order to catch up. As such, I figured I'd just throw up a quick post highlighting some of the bits of information I'm coming across in this process in order to get back in the swing of things:

  • Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, has been hospitalized for meningitis.
  • Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be getting off to a fast start, with Reed headlining events in Iowa, Virginia, and Florida.
  • Tom DeLay will be a contestant on the new season of "Dancing With The Stars."
  • The White House has reportedly pulled the plug on its flag@whitehouse.gov email address that was being used to try and debunk "fishy" information about healthcare reform thanks to right-wing caterwauling.
  • The Des Moines Register reports that the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority has suspended a bus driver after she refused to drive a bus with an Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers ad on its side because it went against her Christian faith.
  • Operation Rescue says it has "received written confirmation from the Nebraska Attorney General's office that a request for a comprehensive investigation into late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart's abortion business."
  • LifeNews reported on the passing of conservative columnist Robert Novak with an article carrying this odd headline: "Pro-Life Syndicated Columnist Bob Novak Dies, Enjoyed Writing Against Abortion."
  • Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge has a book coming out in which he claims that he was "pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over."
  • Finally, Rep. Michele Bachmann tells WorldNetDaily that she "will not seek a higher office if God is not calling me to do it" ... but says that if God tells her to run for President, then she will.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It looks like, after just one event, Rep. Eric Cantor's National Council for a New America has already flamed out.
  • Operation Rescue has launched a petition aimed at stopping LeRoy Carhart from opening a new facility in Kansas.
  • The Alliance Defense Fund has announced that September 27 will be its second "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" in which churches and pastors are urged to challenge tax rules barring them from endorsing political candidates [PDF].
  • A principal overseeing a high school in which church-state violations were reportedly rampant now faces possible jail time for violating a court order to cease such practices.
  • Finally, Ralph Reed declares that "values voters" will resuscitate the GOP:

    The bottom line is that voters primarily motivated by their values will not go away. They are a persistent bunch. They have now gained a place at the table, have been seasoned by the experience of building (and now losing) a governing majority, and they are going to speak to a broad range of issues, from the economy to climate change to health care. They will likely be at the center of any GOP revival of fortunes. No amount of name-calling or intimidation will make them go away.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It doesn't look like Gov. Mark Sanford's efforts to save his marriage are working out as he had planned.
  • Sen. Mel Martinez announced that he is resigning his seat and will step down as soon as a replacement is named.
  • Alan Keyes wants to know why people like Don Wildmon, Gary Bauer, and others on the Right aren't defending the Birthers.
  • OneNewsNow: Operation Rescue is formally launching a campaign called "Keep it Closed" that targets Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart. Carhart has stated that he will open a late-term abortion facility in Kansas or Nebraska in the aftermath of the shooting death of Wichita abortionist George Tiller. Operation Rescue, in conjunction with Rescue the Heartland and Nebraskans United for Life, hopes to prevent Carhart from opening the clinic.
  • Finally, for those who can't wait for September's "How To Take Back America Conference," there will be a pre-conference webcast with many of the hosts on August 18th.

The Next Phase In the Battle Over Operation Rescue

We have written several times in the past about the confusing in-fighting among anti-choice activist over the rights to the name "Operation Rescue."

After Randall Terry shut down the original Operation Rescue in the late 1980's in an effort to evade various restraining orders, debt, and monetary judgments against the organization, it was reborn as a smaller group headed by Flip Benham and called Operation Save America.

Eventually another member of the original OR created a group called Operation Rescue West that was headquartered in California, though it eventually moved itself to Wichita, Kansas to focus on protesting Dr. George Tiller and now goes by the name Operation Rescue and is headed by Troy Newman.

Benham has protested Newman's use of the name "Operation Rescue" and Terry has sued Newman over it, which in turn has set off feuding among activists as they chose sides in the fight while all three men (Terry, Benham, and Newman) battle over who truly owns the right to the name "Operation Rescue."

That was as much as we've been able to figure out about this fight, but it looks like there are some developments in the works, as in the last two days we have seen Terry allies suddenly lash out at Newman.

First, it was announced that Newman had been booted from Women Against the Killing and Exploitation of Unprotected Persons' [W.A.K.E.U.P] advisory board "because of his continued unethical and divisive behavior" pertaining to his on-going fight against Terry.

The following day, a former ally on Newman's named George Offerman announced that he was starting a new website to fight Newman's lies against Terry:

"In my 27 years in the movement, I have seen extensive infighting and accusations from one pro-lifer to another. It sickens me. There needs to be more unity in the pro-life movement, and the constant bickering and backbiting is actually causing problems with the intended goal of ending legalized child-killing. In that light, I intend to also focus on other attacks against pro-lifers by fellow pro-lifers.

"In the past, I was a large supporter of Troy Newman, and I encouraged many friends and family to give to Mr. Newman. This resulted in well over $10,000 in contributions to Mr. Newman's work.

"Nearly 2 years ago, Mr. Newman made allegations against Mr. Terry that I believed, and have since learned to be false. When I approached Mr. Newman to discuss these falsehoods, he became more and more belligerent over time.

"I then decided to launch this site to fight these false allegations made by people like Troy Newman against Randall Terry.

This seemed so sudden and out-of-the-blue that we didn't really know what to make of it, but now it looks like it was part of an effort by Terry to do preemptive spinning and damage control ahead of an anticipated article about the trademark fight from the Los Angeles Times:

Background: Mr. Randall Terry has been attacked repeatedly on line and in the press for some of his recent statements and actions, including activities and Notre Dame and his comments about the shooting of George Tiller. The Los Angeles Times is doing a story on Mr. Terry and his fiercest critics and adversaries in the pro-life movement.

Mr. Randall Terry states:

"I have been doing interviews with journalists for over 25 years. When an LA Times reporter contacts me and says, 'I want to do a story about the trademark dispute,' and then proceeds to repeat slanderous allegations -- with the possibility of printing false allegations -- I smell a big dead rat. The Washington Post recently did a feature story on me -- and while certainly not favorable, and at points a little demeaning -- the Post had the integrity to not stoop to printing false allegations against me made by my pro-life adversaries. Let's see what The Los Angeles times is made of."

Mr. George Offerman states:

"I've been in the mental health field since 1987, I've been a licensed clinical social worker since 1995, and worked with a myriad of pathologies including both Axis I and Axis II diagnoses. I was contacted by the journalist from the Los Angeles Times, ostensibly to talk about my knowledge of the parties involved in a trademark dispute. I attempted to discuss the possible pathologies involved with those falsely attacking Randall. I left the phone call with the concern that this would be a hatchet job on Randall. I will reserve judgment until the piece runs, but I want my friends in the pro-life movement to know with absolute certainty: if the article is untrue or inaccurate... you'll be hearing from me!"

The article in question has not yet been published, but when it is, we'll certainly have to read it just to see what all the fuss is about.

Rght Wing Leftovers

  • John Hagee explains that Christians who do not bless and defend Israel "will come under the judgment of God."
  • Robert P. George says that if the Supreme Court wades into the battle over marriage "it would be disastrous ... [because] hey would repeat the error in Roe v. Wade: namely, trying to remove a morally charged policy issue from the forums of democratic deliberation and resolve it according to their personal lights."
  • Scott Wheeler of The National Republican Trust Political Action Committee blasts the GOP for not having done more to stop Sonia Sotomayor's nomination.
  • Operation Rescue's Troy Newman has been booted from Women Against the Killing and Exploitation of Unprotected Persons' [W.A.K.E.U.P] advisory board "because of his continued unethical and divisive behavior" pertaining to his on-going fight against Randall Terry.
  • Mike Huckabee's Huck PAC raised $300,000 for the first half of the year and paid out $131,000 in payroll and benefits and $72,100 in fundraising related expenses, while contributing only $17,500 to candidates
  • Finally, Barack Obama is not, in fact, the Antichrist.

Tiller's Killer Asserts He Was An Operation Rescue Donor and Supporter

Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a lengthy piece on the late George Tiller, who was gunned down by an anti-abortion zealot while attending church in May.  The piece focused on Tiller's resolution to continue provided badly-needed services to women in the face of relentless protests, lawsuits, threats of violence, and assassination attempts from anti-abortion activists, most notably Operation Rescue:

“His is the only abortion clinic we’ve never been able to close,” Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said in an interview.

,,,

There seemed an endless supply of fresh accusations.

“Wichita shoppers unknowingly sprinkled with the burnt ash of fetal remains,” declared one news release, referring to the clinic’s crematorium.

“If I can’t document it, I don’t say it,” Mr. Newman of Operation Rescue said, moments before suggesting without any proof that Dr. Tiller had bought off the local district attorney, Nola T. Foulston, by giving her a baby for adoption. He referred a reporter to a Web site that vaguely asserted that Dr. Tiller “may have delivered the ultimate bribe to Nola Foulston.” A spokeswoman for Ms. Foulston declined to discuss the accusation.

Anti-abortion activists routinely portrayed Dr. Tiller’s campaign contributions as “blood money” that co-opted politicians. “He owned the attorney general’s office,” Mr. Newman said. “He owned the governor’s office. He owned the district attorney’s office.”

The article notes that Operation Rescue and Newman eventually changed tactics and began relying on an "obscure Kansas statute allowing residents to petition for grand jury investigations" and then gathered thousands of signatures to convene two grand juries against him. Both times the juries refused to indict him.

Eventually, Tiller was charged with 19 misdemeanor violations of state's late-term abortion law and was acquitted after the jury deliberated for a mere thirty minutes:

It was an enormous victory, but Dr. Tiller’s supporters feared a backlash. Anti-abortion activists who had attended court sessions were disgusted. Mr. Newman remembered one new face among the regulars in court — Scott Roeder, who told other protesters that the trial was a “sham” and had argued in years past that homicide was justifiable to stop abortions.

Roeder is the man charged with murdering Tiller, which brings us to this article in the Kansas City Star in which Roeder disputes Newman's repeated assertions that he was never a member or supporter of Operation Rescue, insisting that he was, in fact, both:

The Kansas City Star interviewed Roeder three times in recent weeks, including once at the Sedgwick County Jail.

In a phone interview Friday, Roeder said he was upset at the president of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, who had condemned the killing and said his organization had nothing to do with Roeder.

“He said that I never was a member and I never contributed any money,” Roeder said. “Well, my gosh, I’ve got probably a thousand dollars worth of receipts, at least, from the money I’ve donated to him.”

Roeder said he wrote Newman a letter from jail.

“I told him, ‘You better get your story straight because my lawyer said it’d be good for me to show that I was supporting a pro-life organization.’”

For his part, Newman continues to insist that they have no record of Roeder making donations to his organization in their database.

Astronauts + Right-Wing Abortion Group = Anti-Abortion Ad, Obviously.

Throughout the catalog of right-wing organizations, one can easily find examples of attempts to connect two things which, under rational thought, would have no reason being mentioned in the same article, ad, or argument. Usually, the connection (or lack thereof) will leave you scratching your head.

Just take, for instance, Robert Morrison's recent article on the Family Research Council's blog that takes you through a confusing journey from the French national holiday, Bastille Day, to why we shouldn't confirm Sonia Sotomayor. Then there was Operation Rescue's recent press release that tries to connect Sotomayor and her virtually non-existent abortion record to the criminal prosecution of an abortion clinic worker in Florida. Kyle has previously written about the Right's tendency to try and link seemingly distant subjects.

The most recent attempt to connect the unconnected comes in the form of a new television ad from the anti-abortion group, Fidelis. The ad, which launched today, attempts to intertwine the anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and the importance of a "pro-life" agenda:

Dr. Joseph Kerwin, the first American doctor in outer space, joined other former NASA greats yesterday at a press conference sponsored by the Catholic pro-life group Fidelis, the creator of the new advertisement and its popular web site CatholicVote.org.

The event commemorated both the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic landing on the moon and the new ad buy from Fidelis.

...

Brian Burch, the president of the group, told LifeNews.com that putting a man on the moon was once thought impossible.

“Neil Armstrong will go down in history as one of the greatest explorers. His long journey to the moon started, as each of us started, with a small kick in our mother’s womb,” said Burch. “Today, we salute the astronauts of Apollo 11 and all other brave pioneers who give meaning to the potential of every human life.”

With today marking the anniversary of the liftoff of Apollo 11 and July 20 marking the anniversary of the first moonwalk, the new Fidelis pro-life commercial comes at an appropriate time.

In a note to supporters of the organization, Kerwin talked more about the new "Imagine" television commercial. He said it would "be running regularly on local Houston television stations for the next several weeks."

"Their new ad is already creating buzz in Houston, and I can't wait for the rest of the country to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 with this new ad," he said.

"Next Monday, media outlets around the world will commemorate the historic achievement of Apollo 11. The courage and dedication of the astronauts aboard Apollo 11, and hundreds of others involved in our nation's space program make me proud of our great country," Kerwin added. "But most importantly, the achievements of the space program remind me of the potential of every human life."

"May we never cease to marvel at the gift, and potential of every human life," he concluded.

While I understand the Right's need to come up with new and innovative ways to market their message, I simply don't think comparing Bastille Day and Sonia Sotomayor or abortion and outer space will cut it.

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Operation Rescue Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/23/2012, 2:35pm
The Christian Defense Coalition, Faith and Action and Pro-Life Nation, which is a division of Operation Rescue and led by Troy Newman, is planning to “encircle” the Supreme Court in order to pray that the justices rule the health care reform law unconstitutional. The prayer rally, dubbed “Justice at the Court,” is set to be held on March 25, the day before oral arguments in the health care case begin. Supreme Court officials expect the Obamacare case to be the biggest one at the Court since Bush v. Gore in 2000. If the President's health care legislation is declared... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/27/2011, 4:10pm
Troy Newman of the militantly anti-choice group Operation Rescue appeared yesterday on the Janet Mefferd Show to discuss an upcoming HBO series based on the life and death of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion provider who was murdered by a “pro-life” activist at his church. Newman claimed that women’s health centers that offer family planning are filthy, “demonic” places where “the abortionist takes every drop of money that he can get” to feed his many addictions, including drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling. He argued that the late Dr. Tiller was... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/26/2011, 11:24am
Pavone’s Tangled Web May Have Led To His Downfall After Bishop Patrick Zurek of the Archdiocese of Amarillo, Texas, recalled Frank Pavone of Priests for Life over financial concerns, many of Pavone’s allies lashed out at Zurek. The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform said it would picket Roman Catholic churches in Amarillo for “hindering efforts to protect the safety of unborn children” and Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said Pavone’s suspension was “outrageous,” slamming Zurek for “casting a shadow where none should be.” Pavone and his... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/14/2011, 5:24pm
Focus on the Family and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms do not appear to approve of our efforts to get New York town clerks to do their job. Speaking of Focus, for all of the organization's talk of seeking common ground on the issue of abortion, The Colorado Springs Gazette is unable to find evidence that there has been any outreach. Operation Rescue stands by Priests For Life. Herman Cain has been confirmed for the Values Voter Summit. Finally, is anyone surprised to find that WND is now publishing Bryan Fischer's bigoted columns? MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/13/2011, 11:48am
Janet Porter has, in many ways, been at the center of the merger between the "mainstream" Religious Right and the Dominionist prophets and apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation.  In fact, it was through Porter's participation in the "Convergence 2010" event, where she prayed that Christians would take control of the media, that we first became aware of the likes of Cindy Jacobs.  Since then, Porter has gotten progressively more involved with the movement - so much so that she lost her radio program due to her embrace of Seven Mountains Dominionism. But now... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/27/2011, 1:03pm
Yet another radical endorser has been added to the website of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally: Rob Schenck of Faith And Action. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Schenck was arrested along with Randall Terry “after thrusting a container with a 19-week-old fetus at presidential candidate Bill Clinton,” and four years later told President Clinton “God will hold you to account, Mr. President” for his pro-choice views. Schenk helped Terry found Operation Rescue, one of the most extreme and controversial anti-choice groups in America. Schenk... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/07/2011, 6:06pm
Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: The Real Story Behind Rick Perry’s Secret Meetings with Pastors. Andy Birkey @ Minnesota Independent: Is Bradlee Dean Michele Bachmann’s Rev. Wright? Ed Brayton @ Dispatches From The Culture War: Liberty Counsel, the ACLU and Attorney Fees. Steve Benen: Why Inhofe Is Mad At The FAA. Jodi Jacobson @ RH Reality Check: Brownback Nominates Operation Rescue Attorney to Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Good As You: Bachmann in '04: Senators who oppose marriage amendment like soldiers who missed Pearl Harbor... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/30/2011, 10:04am
A coalition of groups opposed to abortion rights wants the government to place graphic warning labels on emergency contraceptives and abortion clinics in the same way cigarette packs are now required to display explicit images. Disregarding the fact that abortion is an exceptionally safe medical procedure, a spokesman for the campaign said, “If you’re going to force cigarette manufacturers to put graphic images on every single pack of cigarettes, you should do the same thing with abortion.” In fact, a number of states already force doctors to read false statements that... MORE >