In a press release yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz announced that he had received the endorsement of Troy Newman , the radical anti-choice activist who runs Operation Rescue, saying he was “grateful” for the endorsement of Newman, who “has served as a voice for the unborn for over 25 years.”
“We need leaders like Troy Newman in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice,” Cruz added.
It is remarkable that Cruz is touting the endorsement of one of the most radical anti-choice activists in the country. In a movement that has increasingly embraced softer rhetoric about “women’s health” in order to pass incremental measures restricting abortion rights, Newman is a holdover from the no-holds-barred activism of the so-called “rescue” movement of the 1980s and 1990s.
Much as Cruz recently tried to court an extremist pastor who believes the government should execute gay people, he is now hailing an activist who authored a book criticizing the U.S. government for failing to treat abortion providers as murderers who should be put to death.
Newman argued in his 2003 book, “Their Blood Cries Out,” that the biblical duty of government “rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people.” (He later explained that while “there’s several prescriptions in the Old Testament that God calls out that the person who commits these crimes should be executed,” he was going for a message of “mercy” in that “we need to repent first for our personal involvement and corporate involvement of abortion and work to restore those that have been involved in it and work to end this terrible tragedy that’s in our nation.”)
Newman also wrote in his book that women who have abortions should be considered “a murderer” just like “any other mother, killing any other family member.” Along with Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger, who was once convicted of conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic, Newman later claimed that a man convicted of murdering an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the homicide was justified.
Newman has claimed that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and AIDS were both warnings from God about legal abortion in America and attributed a drought in California to the state’s liberal abortion laws, insisting that “weather patterns” and economic instability are connected to legal abortion.
In the press release, the Cruz campaign touts Newman’s role as a driving force behind the Center for Medical Progress, which released a series of videos this year that were used to falsely claim that Planned Parenthood had broken federal laws around fetal tissue research. That project has catapulted Newman to a new stature in the anti-choice movement that now, apparently, includes joint press releases with top-tier presidential candidates.