Below are Operation Rescue’s Top Ten stories for 2011. Each of these stories represents achievements that are the result of OR’s efforts and leadership throughout the year. We thank God for allowing us the privilege of laboring in the pro-life movement side by side with so many fine activists across the nation. This work would not be possible without their partnership and the support and prayers of so many faithful people. We look forward to 2012 with excitement and anticipation of greater things to come.
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1. Texas Abortion Abuses Exposed
Operation Rescue joined forced with The Survivors to conduct a three-month undercover investigation of randomly-selected abortion clinics in Texas. That investigation uncovered widespread abortion abuses including HIPAA violations, illegal disposal of aborted baby remains, violations of the Texas informed consent and parental notification laws, and other infractions.
Operation Rescue filed complaints with three state agencies. As a result, two abortion clinics and Stericycle, a waste disposal company that contracts with abortion clinics nationwide, was fined a total of $83,000. The Texas Medical Board is now in the process of holding hearings against the Texas 10 – ten abortionists who face discipline for violating the law and standard of care in Texas. Because OR distributed reports detailing the results of the investigation to every Texas legislator, new pro-life bills were passed that provide another layer of accountability for Texas’ out-of control abortion industry.
2. Exposing Carhart’s Maryland Late-term Abortion Business
Information gathered by Operation Rescue led to the discovery of LeRoy Carhart’s plans to relocate his late-term abortion business to Germantown Reproductive Health Services in Germantown, Maryland. Operation Rescue worked with local activists to expose Carhart’s plans and the Maryland Coalition for Life was birthed from those efforts.
Since then the pro-life movement in Maryland has grown and flourished. Over three thousand volunteers take regular shifts praying and offering help to abortion bound moms. A pro-life referral office was established directly across the parking lot from GRHC, which aids pregnant women. The Summer of Mercy 2.0, sponsored by Operation Rescue in August, brought national attention to Carhart’s grisly late-term abortions.
In addition, a complaint against Carhart was filed with the Maryland Board of Physicians alleging that he misled them on his medical license application in order to gain licensure in that state. After a full investigation, Carhart was issued a formal letter of admonishment that goes into his permanent record.
3. New Mexico Abortion Cartel Exposed
After the closure of the late-term abortion clinic in Wichita, KS, Operation Rescue learned that two of the abortionists from the Kansas clinic were relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two of our interns, Bud and Tara Shaver, felt the call of God to move to Albuquerque and work to stop abortions there. The Shavers now work with Project Defending Life, a group that works in cooperation with Operation Rescue to expose abortion abuses in New Mexico.
Together, the groups uncovered and exposed a series of 911 calls that were evidence of life-threatening abortion complications at two Albuquerque abortion clinics. Complaints were filed with the Medical Board and the investigation into these unsafe clinics is progressing. In addition, the role of the University of New Mexico in the abortion industry has been fully documented, and efforts are underway to convince the UNM Regents to cease all participation in abortion and abortion training.
4. Abortionists Face Prosecution
Part of Operation Rescue’s work involves ensuring that abortionists who violate the law are prosecuted and 2011 was a banner year. Several abortionists faced prosecutions as a direct result of Operation Rescue’s work.
One example is the case of Nicola Riley. Maryland authorities suspended Riley’s medical license after they discovered her part in a botched abortion that led to the discovery of an illegal secret late-term abortion mill operated by the nefarious abortionist Steven Chase Brigham. Operation Rescue dug deeper into Riley’s background, discovering that not only did Riley have a criminal background, but that she had lied to four states about her criminal conviction and incarceration. Operation Rescue reported the truth about her record in Maryland, Wyoming, Virginia, and her home state of Utah. As a result, Riley’s application in Virginia was denied, she surrendered her license in Wyoming, she faces additional charges in Maryland, and is restricted in Utah. She is no longer allowed to commit abortions in any state.
In Kansas, the Board of Healing Arts held a six day disciplinary hearing against abortionist Ann Kristen Neuhaus based on a complaint filed by Operation Rescue. The hearings revealed that woefully inadequate mental health exams were used to justify late-term abortions.
Meanwhile, California abortionist Andrew Rutland surrendered his license after an abortion death was ruled a homicide. Operation Rescue worked with the Medical Board to bring Rutland to justice.
Other abortionists across the nation have also faced prosecution, including the widely publicized case of Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell and his 8 associates. Gosnell faces murder charges for killing 7 newborn babies and one patient during failed abortions. OR was among the first to obtain a copy of the Grand Jury Report and the first to publish the shocking photos of Gosnell’s victims online.
5. More Abortion Clinics Closing than Ever
In the past eighteen months, nearly 50 abortion clinics have closed their doors for good. Among them was the infamous Eve Surgical Center in Los Angeles, California, where the now-banned Partial Birth Abortion method was invented. That clinic was the subject of Operation Rescue protests and years of prayers.
In 1991 there were over 2,200 abortion clinics. Today, because of the work of OR and other groups around the nation, there remain just over 670, and that number is decreasing by the week, dramatically illustrating that the abortion cartel is imploding.
6. Kansas Planned Parenthood Prosecution Proceeds
In 2007, Planned Parenthood was charged with 107 criminal counts related to illegal late-term abortions and manufacturing evidence to cover their crimes. For years, Operation Rescue has worked to keep this case in the public eye and initiate grassroots campaigns to ensure their prosecution. This year, the case continued to move forward even though it was revealed that former Attorney General Steve Six destroyed crucial evidence against Planned Parenthood. Six was an appointee of Kathleen Sebelius, a former Kansas governor who now serves as Obama’s Secretary of Health who is known as a radical supporter of unrestricted abortion. But the attempt to destroy the prosecution failed. The case now moves forward on 58 remaining counts and a criminal investigation has been launched to determine if the record shredding by Six broke the law. Operation Rescue continues its own investigation to get to the bottom of the Sebelius-era corruption.
7. Record Year for Pro-Life Legislation
An historic number of pro-life bills flooded legislatures in 2011, many of them passing into law. Some of the legislation was based on investigative reports and other work by Operation Rescue.
After Operation Rescue released an investigative report on Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s telemed or “webcam” abortion scheme, several states worked to outlaw the risky distribution of abortion pills without the presence of a licensed physician. In all seven states passed laws that effectively ban telemed abortions in 2011.
Six states also passed late-term abortion bans after 20 weeks based on fetal pain. The original Nebraska law was passed in reaction to Operation Rescue’s exposure of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart’s plans to turn his Nebraska abortion clinic into a late-term abortion Mecca.
Operation Rescue has also lent support to groundbreaking clinic regulations in Kansas and to the Heartbeat Bill in Ohio and Kansas. Laws reflect the attitudes of the culture, and by the successes seen in the 2011 legislative season, America is more pro-life than ever.
8. Kept Wichita Abortion-Free
Since the closure of Wichita’s last abortion clinic in 2009, there have been efforts to reopen an abortion clinic in that city. In early 2011, Operation Rescue learned of two local physicians planned to open separate clinics. One physician quit after Operation Rescue exposed his plans to the community. Operation Rescue launched protests and worked with landlords that have denied the second abortionist, Mila Means, office space for her abortion enterprise. Another effort was launched by former abortion lobbyist Julie Burkhart, who has only been able to raise half the money she needs to open a clinic. Because of the efforts of Operation Rescue and other local pro-life activists, Wichita remains abortion-free.
9. Abortion Whistleblowers
In January, 2011, Operation Rescue awarded the first $25,000 reward in our Abortion Whistleblowers Program to former abortion worker Kim Nichols for coming forward with information that led to the arrest and conviction of Massachusetts abortionist Rapin Osathanondh in the death of Laura Hope Smith in 2007. Wracked with guilt over Laura’s needless death and refusing to go along with Osathanondh’s illegal efforts to conceal his negligence, Nichols worked with Laura’s mother, Eileen Smith, to bring Osathanondh to justice. In turn, Smith was advised by Operation Rescue. As a result, Osathanondh permanently lost his medical license, served jail time on a manslaughter conviction, and was forced to pay Laura’s family $2 million. Read more about the Abortion Whistleblower’s Reward Program.
10. Thwarted Confirmation of Abortion Crony to Federal Appeals Court
President Barack Obama nominated former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six to a life-time appointment on the Federal Appellate Court. Operation Rescue went to work exposing Six’s actions to block the legitimate prosecution of Planned Parenthood on 107 criminal charges and initiating grassroots opposition to Six’s nomination. As a result, both Kansas Senators refused to endorse him and eventually the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee dropped their efforts to confirm him. Keeping this radical pro-abortion activist off the Federal Bench ensures that he will not be able to continue his over protections of the abortion cartel. Now, ironically, Six is the subject of a criminal investigation for destroying critical evidence against Planned Parenthood to protect them from prosecution.