Troy Newman, the head of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and co-chair of a “pro-life” coalition for Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, has drawn some heat for a book he wrote in the early 2000s that argued that the U.S. has affronted God by failing to execute abortion providers.
Newman says that he was not actually arguing for the execution of abortion providers but was rather building up an Old Testament case that he then superseded with a New Testament message of mercy and redemption, an argument that he made again in an interview with Alan Colmes yesterday.
Newman, however, struggled to explain to Colmes his case that he doesn’t want a legal punishment for women who have abortions — whom he refers to in his book as “contract killers” — but does want abortion providers to be tried for murder.
“Yes, abortion is murder,” he told Colmes. “You punish the murderers. You punish the murderers, Alan, who are the abortionists.”
“If you’re hiring the murderer, wouldn’t you also be punished?” Colmes asked.
“No, traditionally in America, we’ve never punished a woman because she’s a secondary victim, the first victim is the innocent baby,” Newman responded. He later argued that it’s “more than likely” that a woman who has an abortion has been “coerced.”
When Colmes pressed further, Newman said that “you have to draw the line someplace” and that he draws the line at “punishing the abortionists” and “the likes of Planned Parenthood.”
“What should the punishment be for an abortion provider?” Colmes asked.
“Well, if it’s murder, then they should serve time,” Newman responded, “Whether it’s first, second, third degree, that’s for the courts to decide.”
He added that he was “against the death penalty” and that “life in prison” would be the proper punishment for an abortion provider.