The Extreme And Violent Background Of The Group Consulting On The Anti-Planned Parenthood Videos
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
The anti-choice group Operation Rescue has been consulting with the Center for Medical Progress to attack Planned Parenthood with deceptively edited footage. Operation Rescue attempts to stop the "Abortion Holocaust" by "systematically harassing" abortion clinic workers. The group's leadership includes a convicted felon who attempted to bomb an abortion clinic, and it once issued a press release saying the killer of an abortion doctor should have been able to argue it was a "justifiable defensive action."
Operation Rescue Consulting With Center For Medical Progress To Attack Planned Parenthood
Center For Medical Progress Produced Anti-Planned Parenthood Video "In Consultation With Operation Rescue." Operation Rescue says the Center for Medical Progress' (CMP) campaign attacking Planned Parenthood was created "in consultation with" their group. CMP has released deceptively edited videos against Planned Parenthood that have been called out by observers. [OperationRescue.org, accessed 7/21/15; Media Matters, 7/15/15]
Operation Rescue's Senior Policy Advisor Was Jailed For Attempting To Bomb An Abortion Clinic
Cheryl Sullenger Was Sentenced To Prison For Conspiring To Bomb An Abortion Clinic. Cheryl Sullenger's Operation Rescue biography states that she is the group's senior policy advisor and "has been involved in the pro-life movement since 1984." That involvement includes attempting to bomb a San Diego abortion clinic in 1987. The Los Angeles Times reported in 1988 of Sullenger's sentencing:
Saying he wanted to set an example for those who would consider breaking the law even for a righteous cause, a federal judge Thursday imposed stiff prison terms on the first of the Rev. Dorman Owens' followers to be sentenced for conspiring to bomb a San Diego abortion clinic.
U.S. District Judge Earl B. Gillam sentenced Cheryl Sullenger, 32, to three years. He sentenced her husband, Randall Sullenger, 35, to an 18-month term--six months of it in a halfway house so he can continue working at a warehouse before leaving for one year in prison.
The Sullengers are the first of eight members of the fundamentalist Bible Missionary Fellowship in Santee to be sentenced for their part in the attempted bombing of the Family Planning Associates Medical Group on July 27. The gasoline bomb failed to go off when wind blew out the fuse. [OperationRescue.org, accessed 7/21/15; Los Angeles Times, 5/6/88]
Sullenger's Biography States "She Now Regrets" Actions. Her biography states:
In a 1987 act she now regrets, Sullenger was charged and pled guilty to conspiracy to damage an abortion clinic. Even though the clinic was not damaged, Sullenger took responsibility for her actions, and served 2 years in Federal Prison. Since then, Sullenger has openly denounced violence as a means to stop abortion and has worked for over two decades as an advocate of peaceful activism as a means to save babies and stop abortion. [OperationRescue.org, accessed 7/21/15]
Sullenger Communicated With George Tiller's Murderer Before His Death, Helped Him "Track Doctor's Court Dates." The Kansas City Star reported that Scott Roeder, who was convicted of killing abortion Dr. George Tiller, "apparently kept track of the state prosecution against Tiller through a senior member of Operation Rescue, the anti-abortion organization":
Roeder apparently kept track of the state prosecution against Tiller through a senior member of Operation Rescue, the anti-abortion organization.
At the time of Roeder's arrest Sunday afternoon along Interstate 35 in Johnson County, a television station captured the vehicle on video. There on the dashboard was a note that read "Cheryl" and "Op Rescue" with a phone number.
Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue out of Wichita, said Tuesday that she has spoken to Roeder in the past, but she said he would initiate the contact. She said she hasn't had any recent contact with him.
Sullenger served about two years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic in California in 1988. She has since renounced violent action.
She said Roeder's interest was in court hearings involving Tiller.
"He would call and say, 'When does court start? When's the next hearing?' " Sullenger said. "I was polite enough to give him the information. I had no reason not to. Who knew? Who knew, you know what I mean?"
Operation Rescue has stated, "The mere presence of the phone number in no way constitutes an affiliation with Roeder or an endorsement of his actions," and it condemned Roeder and "the use of violence to stand against abortion." [Kansas City Star, 6/3/09; OperationRescue.org, 7/15/10]
Operation Rescue Attempts To Shut Down Clinics By "Systematically Harassing Their Employees" And "Collaborators"
MSNBC's Maddow: "Allies of Dr. Tiller In Kansas Say That Until Recently, Operation Rescue Also Posted Online The Doctor's Real Home Address And The Address Of His Church." MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported in 2009:
MADDOW: Operation Rescue maintained and still maintains something that they call "Tiller Watch" on their Web site. Allies of Dr. Tiller in Kansas say that until recently, Operation Rescue also posted online the doctor's real home address and the address of his church -- which, of course, is where Dr. Tiller was ultimately murdered this weekend allegedly by Scott Roeder. [MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show, 6/3/09]
Operation Rescue Tries To "Shut Down Abortion Clinics By Systematically Harassing Their Employees Into Quitting." From a 2004 Rolling Stone profile:
Operation Rescue's smear campaign against Phares is part of a new strategy to shut down abortion clinics by systematically harassing their employees into quitting. Banned by law from blockading clinics as it did in its early days, Operation Rescue has taken its offensive to the front lawns and mailboxes of clinic workers. In Wichita, members of the group rummage through employees' garbage in search of incriminating information. They tail them around town as they run errands. They picket clinic staffers at restaurants while they're inside having dinner and castigate them while they're standing in line at Starbucks. Operation Rescue is also visiting companies that do business with the clinic and threatening them with a boycott if they don't sever their ties with the facility. This is America's new abortion war, and the objective, in military terms, is to cut off the supply lines to abortion clinics and demoralize their troops.
Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, calls it the Year of Rebuke -- and if it works in Wichita, he plans to unleash the campaign of intimidation on abortion clinics all across the country. "I want these employees to realize that their lives have changed," he says. "As long as they're embedded in the abortion industry receiving blood money, they can't live a normal life. They just can't."
When I arrive, Newman and his small staff of zealous pro-lifers are buzzing with the news that the clinic's office manager has quit -- a result, they believe, of their name-and-shame campaign. The manager had been accosted by a neighbor in a grocery store who recognized her from an Operation Rescue flier that featured her photo. "You're that baby killer!" the neighbor screamed at her. Then Newman, through investigative methods he'd rather not reveal, discovered where the woman's husband works. "We think that's what clinched it," he says. "He probably realized we were going to picket his workplace. I imagine he's the major breadwinner in the family, and he didn't want to risk his job." [Rolling Stone, 8/19/04, via Internet Archive]
Operation Rescue Harasses Businesses That Are "Collaborators" With Clinics. From a 2004 Rolling Stone profile:
Newman and his staff have spent months compiling a list of more than 200 "abortion collaborators" -- companies that do business with Women's Health Care Services and its employees. They plan to approach every firm on the list -- from the guy who mows the clinic's lawn to the cafe that sells Tiller his morning latte -- and lobby them to stop doing business with the facility. At the top of the collaborator list is Wesley Medical Center. Wesley is vital to Tiller's clinic: It's where his patients are taken if there is a medical emergency. Newman has written to Wesley's board of physicians to request that they retract hospital privileges for Tiller's patients. If they refuse, Newman plans to expose them as Tiller's accomplices: "We're thinking of taking out an ad in the local newspaper, naming Wesley's physicians and accusing them of supporting a baby killer."
The collaborator list is constantly growing. Just a few days earlier, Newman added a place called Elite Cleaners after his aide-de-camp, Cheryl Sullenger -- who spent two and a half years in federal prison for conspiracy to fire-bomb a clinic -- spotted Tiller's wife, Jeanne, turning into a strip mall near her house. Sullenger drove in behind her. As Jeanne got out of her SUV in front of Elite, Sullenger snapped a couple of photographs of her. [Rolling Stone, 8/19/04, via Internet Archive]
Operation Rescue's Extreme And Dangerous Anti-Choice Rhetoric
Operation Rescue Issued Statement Arguing It Was "Judicial Tyranny" That The Killer Of An Abortion Doctor Couldn't Claim He Engaged In A "Justifiable Defensive Action." A 2003 press release issued by current Operation Rescue president Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger about Paul Jennings Hill, who was executed by lethal injection for murdering abortion doctor John Britton in Pensacola, FL., argued that Hill should have been able to defend himself by classifying the murder as justifiable:
Today's scheduled execution of Paul Hill is not justice, but is another example of the judicial tyranny that is gripping our nation. A Florida judge denied Rev. Hill his right to present a defense that claimed that the killing of the abortionist was necessary to save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day. Our system of justice is based upon 'innocent until proven guilty,' but in Rev. Hill's case, there was no justice because the court prevented him from presenting the legal defense that his conduct was justifiable defensive action.
There are many examples where taking the life in defense of innocent human beings is legally justified and permissible under the law. Paul Hill should have been given the opportunity to defend himself with the defense of his choosing in a court of law. [Operation Rescue West press release, 9/3/03, via Media Matters]
Operation Rescue Claims Pro-Choice Supporters Are Engaged In An "Abortion Holocaust." The group stated in an August 2008 press release:
For those in the area of Southern California, Operation Rescue invites you to join the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust for a pro-life prophetic outreach at SaddleBack Church, were Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain will be appearing.
We want to bring a strong pro-life witness to the church community, the media and the nation at the Saddleback Civil Forum, where the eyes of the nation will focus. It doesn't matter if you are a Survivor of the Abortion Holocaust (born after 1973), or born before the American Holocaust began, please invite your friends and come and take a stand for life! [OperationRescue.org, 8/11/08]
Operation Rescue Compares Pro-Choice Support To Support For The Holocaust Or The Dred Scott Decision. Newman wrote in a letter posted on the group's website:
We believe that every human embryo deserves the right to life, and we believe that personhood cannot be stripped from somebody based on his or her period of development, just like it was wrong for Nazi Germany to strip away personhood from the Holocaust victims and for the Supreme Court -- in the Dred Scott Decision -- to strip away personhood from black Americans. [OperationRescue.org, 7/15/10]
Operation Rescue Compares Pro-Choice Advocates To Nazi Collaborators And Judas Iscariot. Cheryl Sullenger wrote an essay posted on the group's website that listed various "notable historical examples of collaborators" -- including Judas Iscariot and people who worked with the Nazis -- and concluded:
Today in America, parallels can clearly be drawn between these examples of collaborators and the collaborators in the Abortion Holocaust. Abortion sympathizers, be they private individuals, politicians, or businessmen, have chosen to profit, either financially or through the acquisition of power, from the abortion industry rather than resist the wickedness of child-killing.
It is time to return the stigma of the collaborator to those who profit in any way from the murder of innocent pre-born children. The abortion collaborator is a traitor to mankind whose wicked deeds deserve to be exposed and held in contempt. Exposure of this type is an act of obedience to the Scriptural mandate stated in Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." Therefore it is the duty of Christians to expose abortion collaborators. Those who participate in and/or profit from the murder of innocent children must not be allowed to hide their guilt.
In fact, exposure of the abortion collaborator is necessary if there is to be any hope of bringing the collaborator to repentance and ultimately ending the bloodshed. Even those regarded as the vilest of traitors, the Nazi collaborator, were given opportunities in many European nations to make amends for their complicity in treason and murder. For the abortion collaborator, there must also be given an opportunity to repent and denounce any association with the abortion trade. [OperationRescue.org, 7/12/04]
Operation Rescue States It "Operates A Fleet Of 10 Truth Trucks That Traverse The United States Showing Graphic Images Of Aborted Babies." [OperationRescue.org, accessed 7/21/15]
RH Reality Check Infographic Demonstrates Close Connections Between Anti-Choice Extremists
Infographic Shows Tangled Web Of Anti-Choice Radicals Like Operation Rescue And Center For Medical Progress. From RH Reality Check:
[RH Reality Check, accessed 7/21/15]