Feuding Anti-Abortion Activists Agree: Obama Bad

When Randall Terry, founder of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, recently sued Troy Newman over the use of the name, he certainly opened up a can of worms.

A number of former OR activists issued a statement on Newman’s behalf, calling for Terry’s repentance for “unbiblical lifestyle decisions”; “[W]e can no longer remain silent while Mr. Terry continues to fleece unsuspecting pro-life people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for his personal and selfish gain,” they added. Terry responded with his own list of supporters vouching for his character.

And Flip Benham, who runs Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, put aside his distaste for Terry (“Giving more money to Randall Terry is like giving booze to an alcoholic,” he has said) to attack both Newman and the former OR activists who criticized Terry. “These are the same ones who would not stand with Operation Rescue leadership in the fall of 1993 and call the premeditated shooting (murder) of abortionists, sin,’” wrote Benham, recalling the darkest period of the militant anti-abortion movement.

But while Flip Benham’s Operation Rescue and Troy Newman’s Operation Rescue remain locked in their bitter name dispute, there is at least one thing they can agree on: Barack Obama.

Newman’s OR called for anti-abortion activists to descend upon an Obama appearance at the National Council of La Raza convention in San Diego this past weekend:

“Abortionists are famous for targeting minority communities and those who are most vulnerable. When Obama throws his support behind the abortion industry, he is also tacitly supporting the exploitation of Latinos and African Americans,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger. “Operation Rescue urges all pro-life supporters in the San Diego area to let their voices be heard in protest of Obama’s extremist abortion policies, and his tacit approval of the abortion industry’s despicable pattern of racial exploitation.”

Meanwhile, Benham’s group is conducting an anti-abortion campaign in Atlanta, which doesn’t seem to have much to do with Obama. But in announcing a church OR plans to picket, the group adds:

According to their bulletin, this is a UCC church which will host the Human Rights Campaign Gospel Concert. The HRC is the largest group advocating gay & lesbian rights and the UCC is the denomination of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barak Obama. For the first time in the history of our nation, we have a man running for president who is neither a Christian nor a patriot.

Lest John McCain get too excited about this new source of support, they don’t have a whole lot of nice things to say about him, either. Benham wrote back in October, “[T]here is no way we true evangelical Christians will support Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, or Romney.”

And Randall Terry, who led a small band of protesters against GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani over the winter, recycled the same language (“an enemy inside your camp”) for McCain in an interview with Playboy:

Q: What impact would a John McCain presidency have on the pro-life agenda?

A: If McCain would appoint judges who would overturn Roe, it could be a huge boon. I don’t think we have any assurance that would happen. Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter and Sandra Day O’Connor were all appointed by Republican presidents who did not do their homework. If presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. had done what they said they would do, we would already have overturned Roe because we wouldn’t have had Kennedy, Souter and O’Connor. There’s a very strong movement afoot in the conservative wing of the Republican Party to deny McCain the White House. Their attitude is, an enemy outside your camp makes you vigilant and unites you, but an enemy inside your camp makes you dead because he can cut your neck in the night or poison your food by day.