UPDATE: A third cease and desist letter has been sent on behalf of Newman to the aptly-named CrooksandLiars.com website. Read the letter.
Washington D.C. – Cease and Desist letters are going out to Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and ABC News on behalf of Operation Rescue President Troy Newman seeking an apology and retraction of false, defaming statements made by Richards during an interview that aired on the July 26 edition of “This Week with George Stephanopoulus.”
Richards attacked Newman and wrongly accused him of being “behind” acts of violence, including “the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches.”
“I cannot stand by while Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and ABC News air false allegations against me that are now being repeated as fact in numerous news sources. I have never condoned violence against abortion providers or businesses and Richards’ patently false statements against me must be retracted,” said Newman.
Operation Rescue began as a peaceful protest movement that engaged in non-violent civil disobedience at abortion facilities. Since then, under Newman’s leadership, Operation Rescue has evolved into a well-respected watchdog group that focuses on documenting and reporting substandard and unlawful practices within the abortion industry and seeking enforcement of existing abortion laws.
The demand letter, sent by Operation Rescue’s Chief Counsel, Brian Chavez-Ochoa, stated that Richards’ statements on the ABC News show hosted by George Stephanopoulus were “reckless and malicious. Its reckless and malicious conduct gives rise to substantial liability for defamation.”
The interview was prompted by the release of undercover videos made by the Center for Medical Progress that show evidence of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the illegal selling of aborted baby remains. Newman appears to have been targeted by Richards because he serves as a Board Member for the Center for Medical Progress.
The videos also show evidence that Planned Parenthood’s abortionists illegally alter abortion procedures to ensure that marketable organs are protected during the abortion process.
At least one video describes the use of the banned Partial Birth Abortion method in which living babies are extracted from the birth canal and killed before they can be fully birthed. This gives rise to concerns that some of the babies have been born alive then killed for their organs, which can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars for Planned Parenthood affiliates.
“Planned Parenthood is lashing out and trying to deflect from their own appalling and allegedly illegal behavior by attacking me. With ongoing criminal investigations in at least 11 states, Planned Parenthood is desperate to change the subject. I cannot allow Richards to make statements that damage my good name just so she can shift public attention away from what is really going on inside her abortion clinics,” said Newman.