Rep. Marsha Blackburn Named Operation Rescue’s 2016 Pro-Life Person of the Year

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC — Operation Rescue is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award is Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for her work as Chairman of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.

The Malachi Award is given by Operation Rescue every year to recognize individuals who sacrificially work to advance the cause of protecting the pre-born.

“Operation Rescue is grateful to Chairman Marsha Blackburn for her courageous willingness to investigate the shadowy illegal underworld of trafficking in aborted baby remains by Planned Parenthood and others. We know that she underwent constant attacks from the opposition, which wanted desperately to cover up these crimes,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

Under Blackburn’s leadership, the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals to state and federal authorities, seeking further investigations and possible prosecutions of five Planned Parenthood organizations, three organ procurement companies, the University of New Mexico, and three other late-term abortion facilities.

“Her Panel’s work provided vindication for Center for Medical Progress journalists, which first brought evidence of Planned Parenthood’s participation in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains to the public in 2015,” said Newman, who served as a founding CMP board member.

In addition, Blackburn boldly investigated other abuses related to illegal late-term abortions and the murder in infants born alive during abortions.

As a result, her Select Investigative Panel referred Texas late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen to the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas Attorney General for further investigation and possible prosecution for the alleged murder of late-term babies born alive during abortions at his Houston abortion facilities. The Karpen criminal referrals included numerous additional violations that placed the lives of women in danger.

Operation Rescue had filed formal a complaint against Karpen in 2013, prompting a grand jury investigation that went nowhere due to political corruption within the county prosecutor’s office.

“The criminal referrals made by Chairman Blackburn and her team reveal disturbing evidence of abortion-related crimes that must not be ignored. Her work should help change our culture so that such atrocities never occur again,” said Newman. “This makes her a deserving recipient of the 2016 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award.”

Year In Review: Operation Rescue’s Most Powerful Moments of 2016

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By Cheryl Sullenger

In 2016, Operation Rescue, was involved in some of the most pivotal pro-life developments of the year. We celebrated criminal referrals and license revocations made against abortion providers that we have been trying to bring to justice for years.

We documented and exposed tragic abortion injuries and deaths, along with a wide range of other abortion abuses. We provided valuable data about trends in the behavior of the Abortion Cartel. We even helped unmask governmental corruption on the state and national level, and worked to defeat pro-abortion radical Hillary Clinton — all with amazing results! Those were just a few of our accomplishments during this eventful year!

Today, we take a look back at some of Operation Rescue’s most powerful moments of 2016.

Congress Makes Criminal Referrals of Planned Parenthood and Texas Abortionist Doug Karpen

Two Congressional investigations into the illegal trafficking of aborted baby remains by Planned Parenthood, which were initiated in response to the release of undercover videos published by the Center for Medical Progress last year, have yielded encouraging results.

Troy Newman, Operation Rescue’s president, served as a founding board member for the Center for Medical Progress during the undercover investigation. Operation Rescue assisted the Congressional investigations by providing additional documentation and research findings to investigators. The results have been extraordinary.

The House Select Panel on Infant Lives issued 15 criminal referrals to law enforcement for prosecution of five Planned Parenthood organizations along with other abortion businesses their organ procurement partners. Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued their findings that included criminal referrals of four Planned Parenthood organizations and three organ procurement companies to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

In addition, Blackburn issued criminal referrals of Texas late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen to the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas Attorney General for murdering late-term babies during abortions at his Houston abortion facilities and numerous other violations, which placed the lives of women in danger. Operation Rescue had received strong evidence against Karpen during a 2012-2013 investigation and filed formal a complaint with the Texas Attorney General in 2013, who referred it to Harris County District Attorney. This prompted a grand jury investigation that unfortunately went nowhere due to political corruption within the county prosecutor’s office. Now, conditions have dramatically changed and there is hope Karpen — as well as Planned Parenthood — will finally be brought to justice.

Read about the Select Panel on Infant Lives criminal referrals.
Read about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s criminal referrals.

Corruption Exposed in Houston DA’s office

Operation Rescue has been exposing the misdeeds of Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson since her 2013 grand jury failed to indict abortionist Douglas Karpen on murder charges, despite convincing evidence obtained by Operation Rescue that he was intentionally killing late-term babies born alive during failed abortions.

This year, Anderson shocked pro-life supporters when she and her Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell flipped a grand jury that was supposed to be investigating Planned Parenthood for illegally trafficking in aborted baby parts, and instead indicted two pro-life journalists that exposed Planned Parenthood’s illicit activity.

Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger traveled to Houston where she joined other pro-life groups for a press conference to expose the corruption in Anderson’s office. She also wrote extensively on the subject, connecting the dots for the public in a case of injustice dating back three years. Meanwhile, OR’s Texas Attorney Briscoe Cain uncovered additional evidence through a FOIA request that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast was indeed illegally selling aborted baby organs for profit — evidence the D.A.’s office should have uncovered if it had truly been seeking the truth.

In the end, charges against the pro-life journalists were dismissed and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast was referred by a House Select Panel for criminal prosecution. In addition, the Panel referred Karpen to the Texas Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation and prosecution.

Thankfully, in November, Devon Anderson was defeated for re-election. The incoming District Attorney has notified Sunni Mitchell that her services are no longer needed. This has cleared the way for the reopening of the Texas murder case against Douglas Karpen as well as a new federal investigation requested by the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.

• Read “New Houston DA “Drains the Swamp” of Planned Parenthood Cronies.”
• Read “Bombshell: Houston Grand Jury Never Voted on Planned Parenthood Charges.”

License Revocation – Abortionist Harold O. Alexander

For years, Operation Rescue has formally complained about Maryland’s scofflaw abortionist Harold O. Alexander. We uncovered his participation in Florida abortionist James Pendergraft’s illegal late-term abortion business in 2012 that resulted in a three-month suspension of his medical license. This caused Alexander to complain to news reporters that Operation Rescue was to blame for his problems and that he was the victim of a “conspiracy.”

In February of this year, Operation Rescue caught Alexander conducting “midnight” late-term abortions at his unlicensed facility, and again reported him to the Maryland Board of Physicians. Thankfully his medical license was finally revoked in October and his dangerous Forestville abortion facility is now closed.

• Read “Late-Term Abortionist that Blamed Operation Rescue for His Problems Has Medical License Revoked.”

Two Patient Deaths Exposed

In July, we learned of the death of Cree Erwin, 24, who died just three days after she received an abortion at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Operation Rescue obtained the emotional 911 call that revealed her mother’s shock and grief at finding her daughter dead. We worked with a coalition of pro-life leaders to investigate this tragic death and keep it in the public eye. Operation Rescue filed complaints against the Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood, and its abortionist, Laura Castleman. Cree’s autopsy report is still pending. Our own investigation remains ongoing.

In a New York case made public in October, abortionist Robert Rho was arrested and charged with manslaughter for the death of 30-year old Jaimie Lee Morales of Buffalo, who died on July 9, 2016, after a severely botched second trimester abortion. His abortion facility, Liberty Women’s Health Care, has been closed.

Operation Rescue continues to seek justice for these women and their families.

• View Archive of Documented Abortion Patient Death Reports by Operation Rescue

Medical Emergencies Documented

Due to the vigilance of local pro-life activists around the nation, Operation Rescue has documented 32 medical emergencies at abortion facilities in 2016. Our documentation of these medical emergencies has been used to support pro-life legislation and was the basis of at least two amicus curiae briefs filed this year with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Most notable was the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, which has experienced at least five medical emergencies this year alone. We obtained documents through our lawsuit against the St. Louis Fire Department, which compelled them to release public information about 911 calls. We learned that a total of 63 abortion-related emergencies have occurred there since 2009, making it the most dangerous abortion facility in America. Operation Rescue is working with Missouri pro-life activists to expose Planned Parenthood and halt its planned expansion into four more Missouri communities.

Here is a sample of Operation Rescue’s many exclusive abortion-related medical emergency reports published in 2016:

“The Menace Continues: St. Louis Planned Parenthood Hospitalizes 62nd Patient”
“Shock 911: One Patient Assaulted, Another Hospitalized at Notorious California Abortion Facility”
Overdosed Woman Aborted Without Consent at Haskell’s Late-term Abortion Facility

Planned Parenthood Filed Federal Lawsuit Against Newman

In January, Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a suit in a San Francisco Federal Court against Troy Newman, David Daleiden, and the Center for Medical Progress in response to the CMP’s undercover videos, which showed evidence that Planned Parenthood was illegally trafficking in aborted baby organs and tissue. Newman served as a founding board member for the CMP. Planned Parenthood alleges that Newman and Daleiden should be punished for the CMP’s investigative journalism under federal racketeering laws.

Planned Parenthood’s suit joins a similar suit filed by the National Abortion Federation against Newman and others last year. Newman’s attorneys with the American Center for Law and Justice are aggressively defending him against these punitive legal attacks.

• Read “Another Lawsuit Seeking to Hide Evidence of Abortionists’ Crimes.”

Warnings of Illegal Underground Abortion Trend

After the 2015 arrests of three abortionists who were caught conducting illegal home or traveling abortion businesses, Operation Rescue looked further into this shadowy world of underground abortions. We suspected two other abortionists of engaging in this dangerous activity and received information about two more operating in the Midwest and in Pennsylvania. We reported these dangerous abortion schemes to the authorities and raised an alarm about this dangerous new trend.

• Read the report on our investigative findings, “Underground Abortions: Beware of Alarming New Trend!”

Unsafe Conditions at Abortion Facilities Documented

Another ongoing project of Operation Rescue is to acquire and publish documentation of abortion facility conditions and practices through state inspection reports. Those documents are archived along with over 10,000 other documents related to abortion abuses at our AbortionDocs.org website.

This year, Operation Rescue published extensive exposés based on inspection reports we obtained from Texas and Maryland, where nearly all licensed abortion facilities failed inspections – yet were allowed to continue operations under dangerous conditions.

These reports join exposés previously published reports concerning failed abortion facility inspections in Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, and more.

• Read “Supreme Court Didn’t Know: 16 of 17 Texas Abortion Facilities Miserably FAILED Health Inspections.
• Read “Public Safety Scandal: Maryland OHCQ Licensed Abortion Facilities That Failed to Meet Requirements.”

Exclusive Special Investigative Reports on Abortion Data and Abuses

Operation Rescue also published other exclusive reports based on our investigative work that revealed shocking details of abortion abuses not reported elsewhere. Reports included:

• An exposé on documented cases of sexual abuse within the Abortion Cartel.
• Research findings that show the actual number of late-term (20 weeks or later) abortion facilities in the U.S. is 162 – a far higher number than abortion supporters pretend.
• Data collected through our direct research that debunked the abortion rhetoric of long abortion wait times.
• An exposé revealing how the harvesting of organs from a dying Ohio abortion patient destroyed evidence and thwarted justice.
• Information from court records and our own research that drew attention to the dangers of outdated Methotrexate injection abortions still in use today.
• Information from court records that related to a seriously botched late-term abortion done by LeRoy Carhart in which the patient was virtually slashed internally from stem to stern. This discussed the high risks of such procedures and shoddy practices of the abortionists that do them.

Annual Abortion Clinic Survey

Each year, Operation Rescue conducts a thorough survey of abortion facilities in America which have revealed that the Abortion Cartel is in decline. Our 2016 survey revealed that this year there was an attempt to expand abortion for the first time in decades, but in the end, the number of abortion facilities hardly changed. Our survey also revealed an unnecessarily steep increase in abortion costs nationwide, which shamefully exploits the predominately poor urban women most targeted for abortion.

• Read “2016 Survey Says: Largest Attempt in Decades to Expand Abortion Has Failed.”

Trump/Pence Election Victory

Because of the importance of this year’s Presidential election, Troy Newman made it a priority to work toward defeating pro-abortion radical Hillary Clinton. Early in the primary season, Newman endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for President and served as a co-chairman of his Pro-Life Committee.

Once Cruz pulled out of the race, Newman attended a June meeting with Donald Trump and 1,000 other pro-life leaders. Newman later endorsed the Trump/Pence ticket, then traveled to Cleveland with Created Equal’s #OperationRNC to ensure the GOP platform remained pro-life.

In the final days of the campaign, Operation Rescue published several exposés that included documentation supporting Clinton corruption related to a family that owns an organ procurement company in what we termed the “Pay to Slay” scandal, and connected the Clinton Foundation directly to Planned Parenthood and efforts to promote abortion worldwide.

Trump’s victory was a huge one for the pro-life cause and has changed the political climate in our country to tone that is more receptive to pro-life advances and we are optimistic that 2017 will bring great progress toward our ultimate goal of ending abortion.

• Read “Pro-Life Priorities: What We Expect from a Trump Administration.”

“We have accomplished much over the past year that has helped set the stage for future pro-life success. Now, we look forward to 2017, which promises to present the best opportunities we have ever had to make bold changes in our nation that can lead to protecting every pre-born child and their moms from the barbarity of abortion,” said Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman. “Buckle up! It should be a wild ride!”

2016 Survey Says: Largest Attempt in Decades to Expand Abortion Has Failed

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An Operation Rescue Special Report
By Cheryl Sullenger

number-of-surgical-2009-2016Washington, DC – In 2016, America experienced the largest attempt to expand abortion since the 1980s.

It failed.

Despite the best efforts of the Abortion Cartel in a year of conditions that favored it, closures of abortion facilities compensated for the new opens, leaving the number of surgical abortion facilities the same as 2015.

Operation Rescue has completed its annual survey of abortion facilities in America and found that after all the dust had settled on a very active year, there was no net gain in surgical abortion facilities over 2015 numbers, which remains at 517 facilities.

The number of surgical abortion facilities has decreased by 27% since 2009, the year Operation Rescue first began to document the number and location of abortion facilities in the U.S. Since 1991, when there were a high of 2,176 open surgical abortion facilities, those clinics have decreased in number by 76%.

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It was expected that the number of medication abortion facilities would dramatically increase after the Food and Drug Administration relaxed Mifepristone (RU 486) protocols in March, making it easier for abortion providers to dispense the abortion-inducing drugs.

That anticipated increase never actually materialized.

After a complex reorganization in services provided by Planned Parenthood facilities, Operation Rescue confirmed that there are now 214 medication abortion facilities, representing a net gain of only one facility over the past year.

This gain of only one medication facility a negligible addition, and is far lower that the net increase of 25 medication clinics recorded in 2015.

Part of that reorganization included converting many of its non-abortion “referral” clinics to medication abortion facilities. In 2016, 14 referral clinics began dispensing abortion drugs. Twenty Planned Parenthood facilities that offered only non-abortion services were permanently closed. When the music stopped on Planned Parenthood’s version of musical chairs, 7% of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion clinics had closed.

While Planned Parenthood is shuttering facilities that actually do provide some legitimate services in favor of those that can sell abortions, a new report by the Radiance Foundation shows that actual health services done at Planned Parenthood, such as breast cancer screenings, PAP tests, prenatal care, and even sexually transmitted disease treatments have dramatically decreased from 2010 through 2014. While non-abortion health services have decreased, abortions at Planned Parenthood have risen 12% between 2006-2014. Conservatively, abortions account for 80% of their “health services” income.

“Planned Parenthood’s rhetoric that abortion only accounts for a small percentage of its services has been debunked,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “As Planned Parenthood converts more and more clinics to abortion facilities, abortions there have gone up while other services have gone down. This information supports our call to defund Planned Parenthood of the half-billion dollars it gets from our tax coffers each year.”

surgical-medical-2009-2016

Closed!

There were 19 surgical abortion facilities that completely closed or halted abortion services in 2016, while 12 medication abortion locations shut down. This makes a total of 31 abortion facilities that closed in 18 states since last year.

Today, the total number of surgical and medication abortion facilities stands at 731.

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Accuracy

Operation Rescue meticulously surveys each abortion facility in the U.S. annually using a number of investigative methods. Each open facility was directly contacted, and voluntarily shared information for this survey, although they were not aware the information was going to Operation Rescue.

“Operation Rescue’s annual surveys provide the most complete and accurate picture of abortion facilities available — straight from the horse’s mouth,” said Newman.

Abortion Costs

The survey included information about abortion types and costs. Findings include:

• The average cost of the most common first-trimester surgical abortions is $625.35, up 5% over last year.
• The average cost of medication abortions done at surgical facilities is $574.44, which represents a very small decrease of 1% below similar 2015 costs.
• The average cost of medication abortions done at facilities that only offer that type of abortion is $572.55, up 3% over last year.

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However, there were two factors that should have resulted in a major decrease in the customer cost of abortion drugs.

First, the FDA relaxed dispensing protocols, making it easier for facilities to prescribe abortion drugs. Costs were expected to fall, especially at medication abortion only facilities that do not generally have the same overhead costs as surgical facilities.

That never happened. Instead, costs rose.

Secondly, a new California state law that allows non-physicians to dispense abortion drugs went into effect in April. This should have significantly reduced the cost of medication abortions in that state since overhead costs of paying the more expensive licensed physicians would have been reduced.

However, the average cost of a medication abortion in California is now $669.50, a whopping 13% increase over last year’s state average of $561.63. The current price for a medication abortion in California is a full 14% above the national average.

Policies implemented by liberal politicians to reduce the cost of abortion pills and make it easier for abortion facilities to dispense them completely backfired – at least for women these policies were supposed to “help.” They have only served to increase those costs to women, making the abortion pill even less affordable.

Meanwhile, abortion facilities have exploited this financial opportunity to increase their bottom lines at the expense of poor urban women of color that abortion facilities tend to target.

“California abortion facilities are price-gouging poor women for personal profit. This predatory exploitation of vulnerable pregnant women is completely reprehensible,” said Newman. “It proves that abortion businesses care little for the women they purport to assist, and are instead are taking unethical advantage of them.”

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Pill vs. Shot

The majority of abortion facilities that dispense abortions drugs offer a two-drug combination of Mifepristone (RU 486) and Misoprostol (Cytotec), both in pill form.

However 31 facilities have chosen to cut corners on the health of women by continuing to offer the outdated Methotrextate, a dangerous injectable drug originally developed for use as chemotherapy to fight cancer.

While Methotrexate is cheap, it has a high failure rate. A dosage can cost just a few cents for the abortion facility to purchase, compared to about $95 in costs for a dose of Mifepristone (RU 486). Yet, those that offer the outdated Methotrexate abortion charge the same price.

It’s easy to see why disreputable abortion facilities would be tempted to roll the dice on a high failure rate in order to earn maximum profits.

methotrexate-abortion-failure

Today, abortions done with Methotrexate injections are primarily sold at abortion facilities in Ohio, Florida, and on the east coast at abortion centers owned by Steven Chase Brigham, who is among the most dishonest of operators. [Read more about Brigham and one woman who is suing him for a failed Methotrexate abortion.]

Political Conditions Fostered Abortion Expansion Attempt

Early in the year, there was a palpable sense that the Abortion Cartel had not just survived the strongest effort ever made by pro-life forces to expose their wrongdoing, but had flipped the narrative and the momentum to their own favor.

Undercover videos released in 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress showed ghoulish Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of aborted baby organs and tissue. The public shock over the revelations that abortionists were engaged in a thriving – and very illegal – underground trade in aborted baby remains created the largest scandal to hit Planned Parenthood in its 100-year history. This launched a series of investigations from Congress to Statehouses across the country.

A massively expensive public disinformation campaign launched by Planned Parenthood, willingly parroted by nearly every major media outlet, had given America the false impression that the undercover videos were fake. With the politically-motivated Houston indictments of the journalists responsible for them, Planned Parenthood was in a position to force an expansion of abortion services it had planned for years.

Other developments, in addition to the previously mentioned relaxing of abortion drug protocols, which contributed to the failed abortion expansion efforts include:

• Supreme Court decision in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down critical abortion safety laws as posing an “undue burden” in June.
• Lower court rulings were blocking the implementation of new abortion laws in state after state.
• The appearance that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election emboldened abortion promoters. Clinton is a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood who promised to protect them, both from criminal prosecution and Congressional efforts to defund the them.

While the Hellerstedt decision had some negative impact, it resulted in only one Texas abortion facility (out of over 20 that had closed due to the challenged law) to so far reopen.

But what looked like the coming of a new golden era for the Abortion Cartel, which had been in steady decline for decades, soon slipped away with the surprise election of Donald J. Trump.

Reversal of Fortunes

This year’s static abortion facility numbers are believed to be an anomaly in the long-running trend of abortion clinic closures. There is every reason to believe the Abortion Cartel will continue to decline under the new Trump Administration, which has already named several staunch pro-life supporters as cabinet members and advisors.

Trump has also promised to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices that will flip the court to one that is more favorable to life issues.

Congress, which should implement Trump’s agenda, remains under Republican control, making the passage of pro-life laws at the Federal level now possible. New laws, such as the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the protection of babies after 20 weeks gestation that can feel pain, are expected to be passed quickly next year.

Those two laws alone have the potential to dramatically impact all Planned Parenthood abortion facilities as well as the 162 surgical abortion clinics that currently conduct lucrative abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later.

In addition, Republicans, which tend to be more pro-life than Democrats, now control both houses of state legislatures in 32 states. This will create new opportunities to reign in the predatory abortion businesses at the state level. In comparison, pro-abortion Democrats only control statehouses in five states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Another recent development that could impact the number of abortion facilities in the future was the referral of several abortion businesses for criminal prosecution by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee. With a new administration will come changes at the top of the Department of Justice that could finally make criminal prosecutions for the illegal trafficking of aborted baby remains a reality. This could also impact Planned Parenthood’s ability to target new areas for abortion.

These developments, along with news that abortion numbers have decreased to their lowest since Roe. v. Wade — and continue to drop across America — have made Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman optimistic about the future.

“The political pendulum has swung our way, and we plan to work very hard to take advantage of this opportunity to immediately call for enforcement of laws that will shut down abortion facilities and save lives. I believe this dramatic reversal of fortunes will pave the way for the eventual end to abortion in our country,” he said. “There is now no excuse for failure.”