Troy Newman, the anti-choice activist behind Operation Rescue and the Center for Medical Progress, formally endorsed Donald Trump for president today, writing that “[n]o other GOP ticket in history has made such commitments to the Pro-life Movement.”
Newman’s endorsement is yet another sign that Trump has promised enough to the anti-choice movement to get even the movement’s most extreme activists on his side.
As we wrote in a report on Newman last year:
Troy Newman does not speak in the polished talking points of more prominent anti-abortion leaders. Instead, he pickets in front of schools with posters of aborted fetuses, calls women who have had abortions “murderers,” thinks emergency contraception is also “murder,” and has blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the current drought in California on God’s disapproval of legal abortion.
Newman has, in recent years, attempted to distance himself from anti-abortion violence, and has never advocated for it directly, but has a troubling history of sympathy for those who take a more violent stand.
Newman’s second in command at Operation Rescue is Cheryl Sullenger, who has spent time in prison for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic. In 2003, after anti-abortion activist Paul Hill shot and killed an abortion provider and his bodyguard in Florida, Newman called Hill a “political prisoner” and said that Hill should have been allowed to argue in court that his crime was justifiable homicide. In a book he published in the early 2000s, Newman wrote that the U.S. was facing God’s judgment in part because the government had “abrogated its responsibility” to execute “convicted” abortion providers.
In a press release announcing his endorsement of Trump, Newman notes that he attended the meeting that Trump held for conservative religious activists in June and writes that Trump’s promise to appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices and his pick of Mike Pence as his running mate were enough to convince him that he will be on the anti-choice movement’s side:
“After examining Trump’s position on life issues and his assurances that he will appoint conservative, pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, I am convinced that Trump offers our best hope of pushing back the Culture of Death in America,” said Newman. “We know all too well what we will get with Hillary Clinton, and that is more abortion, more tax funding of abortion, and favors for her campaign contributors at Planned Parenthood. A Clinton presidency will result in more dead babies, and this we cannot allow.”
Newman understands the moral conflicts some hesitant pro-life adherents have expressed, but warns against sitting out this election or writing in a name with no chance of winning.
“America stands at a crossroads. A Clinton presidency will fundamentally change our nation to the point that is will be unrecognizable to those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s,” said Newman. “Her rabid support for abortion without restriction will create a climate that will make it nearly impossible for us to end the shedding of innocent blood through abortion once and for all.
“On the other hand, Trump has promised to stand strongly for life and appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. His Vice-Presidential running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, is a pro-life warrior who has promised to work toward ending abortion. No other GOP ticket in history has made such commitments to the Pro-life Movement.