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.

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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."