False Accusations Vilifying Pro-Life Leaders as “Violent” Adamantly Denounced by Operation Rescue

By Cheryl Sullenger

Wichita, KS – In the wake of the Capitol incident on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. – an event that no representative from Operation Rescue even attended – there have been several Internet reports falsely accusing Operation Rescue and its staff, as well as other pro-life supporters, of embracing violence. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Operation Rescue only engages in peaceful activism to advocate social and political change on abortion, and has never advocated violence in any way.

None of the so-called “news” organizations that erroneously reported Operation Rescue has supported violence ever attempted to contact Operation Rescue for our response to such accusations before making their spurious claims.

“The recent attacks on Operation Rescue, me, and my staff represent over-the-top misinformation that appears to be a purposeful campaign to mischaracterize our peaceful work that documents and exposes abortion abuses, and demands enforcement of when legal violations are found,” said Newman, President of Operation Rescue.  “We work within the system using legal means to accomplish our goal to protect every human being in the womb by ending the heinous practice of abortion in our nation.  When the system fails us, we sometimes use peaceful protest to garner attention to our cause.  Everything we do is protected by the First Amendment.  We are usually among the first to denounce the rare instances where crimes are committed by misguided individuals against abortion facilities.”

Operation Rescue seeks to set the record straight regarding a number of false claims that have recently been published.

Some of the fake news stories now circulating attempt to connect Operation Rescue with activists that have no connection to this organization. 

That includes Randall Terry, who refers to himself as the “founder” of Operation Rescue.  However, Terry, who now embraces controversial positions not held by Operation Rescue, has never had anything to do with the current Operation Rescue organization, which has been led by Troy Newman for the past 22 years. 

Also, Mother Jones wrongly reported that an activist named Jason Storms, who apparently attended the protest at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, was “Assistant Director of Operation Rescue.” However, in truth, Storms has never been affiliated with this organization.

Most egregious, however, has been multiple false reports claiming Operation Rescue was involved in a plot with now-convicted murderer Scott Roeder to kill Kansas abortionist George Tiller in 2009. 

It is a fact that Operation Rescue was among the first pro-life organizations denounce Tiller’s murder and to condemn Roeder’s actions.

“My staff and I had absolutely nothing to do with Roeder’s crimes.  The allegations are ridiculous on their face, yet have led to great harm against us,” said Newman.

After Tiller’s death, there were many false reports, especially on MSNBC, that Operation Rescue had abetted in that egregious crime. 

Christopher Thompson was recently released from Federal Prison after serving a one-year sentence for threatening to murder Operation Rescue staff and their families.

“Those lies generated literally hundreds of death threats against me and my staff,” Newman explained.  “The threats have continued down through the years. Most recently, one man who threatened to rape our daughters and murder our families was arrested sentenced to federal prison for making terroristic threats against us.  Whenever the fake news has falsely and irresponsibly accused us of violence, it has literally placed our lives in danger.”  [Read more about that case.]

“The pro-life ethic is to value all human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Operation Rescue has diligently and successfully worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see to it that abortionists around the nation who break the law are brought to justice. Without due process, there can be no justice,” stated Newman.  “This has always been our position, and if there are reports out there to the contrary, I urge everyone to disregard them as fake news.”

But Operation Rescue is not the only pro-life organization being falsely portrayed in the media. 

When Live Action’s Lila Rose posted a tweet on January 7, 2021, that stated simply, “Abortion is violence,” an abortionist, Leah Torres, who was recently caught lying on her Alabama medical license application, accused Rose of using “violent rhetoric.”

“This is what domestic terrorism looks like,” Torres wrote.

And that is just one example.  Pro-life supporters are being actively vilified by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and others.

The Catholic News Agency reported the following regarding Pelosi’s views of pro-life voters:

“I think that Donald Trump is president because of the issue of a woman’s right to choose,” Pelosi said on the Jan. 18 episode of “You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton,” blaming pro-life voters for boosting Trump into office. 

“When you take the greed of those who want their tax cuts, that’s probably a small number [of voters], but nonetheless a number,” said Pelosi. Conversely, “then you take the abortion issue–and many of these people are very good people; that’s just their point of view. But they were willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

Pelosi said that that support for Trump by pro-life religious voters is an issue that “gives me great grief as a Catholic.”

[Emphasis added.]

Even Democrat Tulsi Gabbard has raised the alarm that Federal legislation proposed in the wake of the Capitol incident could target pro-life Christians as “domestic terrorists.”  She worries that the so-called “Domestic Terrorism Bill,” H.R. 350, introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), “could be used to undermine civil liberties,” according a report published by Christianity Daily

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist? What are we talking about?” Gabbard raised “Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians? What is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?”

“Under the Biden Administration, I predict we will see more censorship of conservative, pro-life views, and other, more dangerous means of chilling our speech. We are seeing the seeds being planted right now that could lead to a persecution of Christians, beginning with those who oppose abortion on religious grounds, like Operation Rescue and so many other good pro-life organizations,” said Newman.  “I am going on the record now calling out the false narrative that Operation Rescue or other established pro-life groups embrace violence.  By advancing these lies, it is actually inviting violence down on us and putting our lives in jeopardy.”

Newman encourages other pro-life organizations to publicly stand against the active effort to vilify the peaceful pro-life movement.

Newman concluded, “If we don’t speak the truth and stand up for ourselves against the leftist bullies that lie about us and wish us harm, then no one will.  If we are vilified and silenced, that will leave the innocent children for whom we advocate without a strong voice in their defense, and that may very well be the point of the left’s disinformation campaign against us.”

Read a more detailed report on OR’s history of non-violence: “Operation Rescue’s Non-Violent History is a Matter of Public Record.”

Read more about the increasing censorship of pro-life, conservative voices: “Social Media Purge Targets Operation Rescue.”