Wichita, KS – Operation Rescue has enjoyed one of our busiest years yet. Our work, both behind the scenes and in national headlines, made a substantial impact during 2013, and we look forward to even greater things in 2014 as we work toward the goal of ending abortion in America.
Exposing the horrors of late-term abortion and contributing to efforts to halt the barbaric practice consumed much of Operation Rescue’s time and energies with astounding results, as shown below in our 2013 Top Ten Countdown of Operation Rescue’s Greatest Victories in the battle against the scourge of abortion.
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10. Obamacare Abortion Mandate Opposition
With the battle cry, “We will not comply!” Operation Rescue led a coalition of national leaders in forming the first formal pro-life statement in opposition to forced abortion coverage in Obamacare medical insurance policies. The resulting Pledge for the Preservation of Life and Liberty has provided principled guidance for men and women of conscience on why resistance to the government’s efforts to force us to violate our consciences through forcing us to pay for abortions.
9. Filthy, Dangerous Abortion Clinic Conditions Exposed!
From grisly photos at Robert Alexander’s squalid (and now closed) Muskegon abortion clinic to deficiency reports that revealed horrific safety violations in several states, Operation Rescue obtained and published documents that revealed a laundry list of health and safety violations at abortion clinics in 2013.
8. Botched Abortions Injure, Kill Women!
Operation Rescue worked with pro-life activists all over the nation to document and expose medical emergencies that take place all too often at abortion clinics. We reported on abortion-related medical emergencies Bakersfield, Orange, and Sacramento, California; Denver, Colorado; Wilmington, Delaware; Germantown, Maryland; Bellevue, Nebraska; St. Louis, Missouri; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tragically, we are aware of two women, Jennifer Morbelli and Maria Santiago, who died from abortion complications this year. Since abortionists cover up abortion complications and deaths, we can’t know the true toll.
The St. Louis Planned Parenthood takes the prize as the most dangerous abortion clinic in 2013 after Operation Rescue documented five medical emergencies there this year and a total of 25 since 2009.
7. Illegal Abortion Clinics Exposed and Closed!
Operation Rescue joined with CEC for Live and Life Legal Defense Foundation in court to permanently close the New Woman All Women abortion clinic in Birmingham, which continued to operate illegally after it was ordered to close by the state in 2012. We documented the illegal operations and reported them to the Alabama Department of Health, which successfully sued to permanently close the abortion clinic with the help of Amici Curiae brief from LLDF filed on behalf of Operation Rescue and CEC for Life.
In addition, Operation Rescue investigators documented that two Maryland abortion clinics, Integrated OB/GYN operated by Harold O. Alexander and the Annapolis Road Medical Center run by Mehradad Aalai, were operating illegally without proper clinic licenses. Operation Rescue published special reports detailing the evidence of illegal activity and filed complaints in both cases.
6. Abortion Abusers Face Discipline
The year 2013 was a banner year for disciplining abortionists who endanger women and break the law. Several abortionists came to the attention of regulators due to complaints and publicity from Operation Rescue, resulting in license suspensions, fines, and closed abortion clinics.
5. Carhart Kills Again, Maims Others
When Jennifer Morbelli died on February 7 from a 33-week late-term abortion done by the notorious LeRoy Carhart, Operation Rescue broke the story. Working with dedicated pro-life activists with the Maryland Coalition for Life, we immediately filed complaints against Carhart and demanded criminal charges. Never before had an abortion death garnered so much national publicity, with heavy coverage in papers like the Washington Post and regular updates broadcast by Fox News. Operation Rescue also exposed three other incidents of abortions botched by Carhart in the following months. While authorities tragically chose to turn a blind eye to Carhart’s slovenly abortion practices, the story served to spotlight the hazards of “fly-by-night” abortionists and the need for laws mandating that abortionists maintain local hospital privileges.
4. Albuquerque Effort to Ban Late-term Abortions Raises National Awareness
Operation Rescue was proud to join with Bud and Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life and other groups, such as the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Created Equal, Students for Life in America, and the Susan B. Anthony List in support of a historic grassroots effort to ban late-term abortions on the municipal level in Albuquerque, which is the site of the largest late-term abortion clinic in the U.S. Because of massive funds pumped into the campaign to defeat the ordinance by Obama’s Organizing for Action, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance failed to pass, but the effort garnered national attention and raised awareness of the barbaric nature of late-term abortions, advancing the cause of life. For their herculean efforts on behalf of the pre-born, the Shavers were awarded Operation Rescue’s 2013 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award.
3. The Texas Gosnell, Douglas Karpen, Exposed!
Just days after the conviction of Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell for murdering babies born alive after late-term abortions, Operation Rescue released a special report revealing similar practices in Texas. The report was the result of over a year of work with four former employees of Douglas Karpen, a late-term abortionist who operates two Houston abortion clinics. The women came forward to blow the whistle on illegal activity and abuses they witnessed while working for Karpen. There was a public outcry calling for murder charges against Karpen, resulting in a grand jury investigation. Even though the grand jury refused to indict Karpen, heart-wrenching photos of his victims provided to Operation Rescue by the informants were displayed during a House Subcommittee Hearing, aiding in the House passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and its introduction into the U.S. Senate.
2. Late-term Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Convicted of MURDER!
Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger spent weeks in a Philadelphia courtroom providing detailed accounts of gruesome testimony during the murder trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell. This reporting sparked a “tweet-fest” that trended on Twitter for 3 days, asking the mainstream media why they were not covering the abortion-related murder case. This resulted in greater media coverage of the trial that openly displayed photos of babies aborted then killed by Gosnell at his squalid West Philadelphia abortion clinic. This case, along with Sullenger’s reporting, helped propel the issue of late-term abortion into the national spotlight.
• Video: Evidence from Gosnell “House of Horrors” Trial (with links to trial coverage archive)
1. Record Number of Abortion Clinics CLOSE!
Operation Rescue’s top victory of 2013 is one shared by every pro-life activist who ever worked and prayed to end abortion. This year 87 surgical abortion clinics closed for good, bringing the number of surgical abortions down to 582, from a record high of 2,176 in 1991. When abortion clinics close, the number of abortions drop, meaning thousands of lives are saved. Reasons for the closures include a recent flood of pro-life laws and better enforcement. Operation Rescue’s documentation and publication of abortion abuses, coupled with complaints filed in several states helped contribute to the lowest number of abortion clinics since abortion was decriminalized in 1973.
• Death Throes of the Death Industry: A Record 87 Surgical Abortion Clinics Close in 2013