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Head of Operation Rescue Troy Newman — who has called the murder of abortion doctors “justifiable” and who was was deported from Australia out of fears he would incite violence — endorsed Donald Trump for president today. Neither Trump nor Mike Pence have yet to comment on or renounce the endorsement. 

“We call on Donald Trump and Mike Pence to renounce this despicable endorsement. Troy Newman has said murdering doctors who provide abortion should be ‘justifiable,’ and he has a long history of harassing and terrorizing women. Brave doctors, nurses and clinicians across this country already risk their lives every day to ensure women have access to basic, reproductive health care such as birth control, cancer screenings, and abortion."

—Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

This endorsement comes as Trump and Pence continue to receive the enthusiastic support of former KKK leader David Duke, and weeks after the so-called “alt-right” movement celebrated Trump’s appointment of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon as his “campaign CEO.”

Troy Newman has been cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the People For the American Way for his close ties to violence, and long history of harassment against women and reproductive health care providers. His senior adviser and chief spokeswoman, Cheryl Sullenger, in fact served time in federal prison for trying to bomb a women’s health center.  According to Newman, “No other GOP ticket in history has made such commitments” to the anti-abortion movement.

"First Donald Trump said that a woman should be punished for having an abortion, and now this. Every minute Donald Trump and Mike Pence fail to renounce this endorsement is another minute they condone violence against reproductive health care providers and the women who rely on them.”

—Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

While in Congress, Mike Pence has co-sponsored a bill that would have redefined rape in order to ban abortion. As governor of Indiana, he signed an anti-abortion bill into law that was so extreme that several anti-abortion Republican lawmakers in his own state objected, calling it “dangerous.” Trump and Pence have made it clear that if elected, their administration would pursue an extreme anti-woman agenda, including trying to ban safe, legal abortion. This agenda is why, after Newman met with Trump earlier this year, he declared of Trump: “He’s our man.”

Background on Troy Newman and Operation Rescue

  • Troy Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that “ran the multi-decade harassment campaign of Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, a campaign that only ended when Scott Roeder, who was an active part of Operation Rescue activities in Wichita, murdered Tiller in his church in 2009.” [The Nation, 7/16/15]

  • Operation Rescue’s senior vice president and senior adviser, Cheryl Sullenger, served two years in federal prison for plotting to bomb a family planning clinic.

  • In a 2003 Operation Rescue press release defending Paul Hill, who was convicted of murdering a doctor who performed abortions, Troy Newman stated that Hill had committed a “justifiable defensive action” and that his murder of a doctor should have been “legally justified and permissible under the law.” [Media Matters, 7/15/15]

  • When Scott Roeder was arrested for murdering Dr. George Tiller in 2009, “police found the phone number of Operation Rescue senior policy adviser Cheryl Sullenger on the dashboard of his car. Sullenger, who had spent two years in federal prison from 1988 to 1990 after pleading guilty to plotting the bombing of a San Diego abortion provider, admitted that she had been in contact with Roeder in the past and had provided some information to him about Tiller’s whereabouts, information unrelated to the eventual shooting.” [Daily Beast, 7/21/15]

  • In Newman’s now out-of-print book Their Blood Cries Out — which he wrote with Cheryl Sullenger — he wrote that women who have abortions are “guilty” and and calls them “murderesses.” [Right Wing Watch, 9/14/15]

  • Newman also wrote that the United States government has a “responsibility” that “rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people.” [Right Wing Watch, 9/14/15]

  • Newman’s book has been cited and praised by anti-abortion activists, including Frank Pavone of “Priests for Life,” who wrote the foreword for the 2003 edition. Scott Roeder, who assassinated Dr. George Tiller in his church, had a signed copy of the book. [Right Wing Watch, 9/14/15]

  • Newman was deported from Australia because the government considers him too great a “threat” who could incite violence against abortion providers. [Washington Post, 10/2/15]

  • In an August 2015 interview, Newman described his “life’s work” as focused on seeing Planned Parenthood “prosecuted,” “defunded,” and “dismantled.” [jerrynewcombe.com, 8/6/15]

  • After an Arkansas abortion provider died from leukemia in 2010, Newman issued a statement seeming to celebrate the doctor’s death, writing, “In the end, God always gets the last word.” [Right Wing Watch, 9/27/10]

  • In 2012 Newman blamed the assassination of Dr. George Tiller on Wichita district attorney Nola Foulston — for failing to obtain a conviction on the bogus charges against Dr. Tiller. Newman said, “If Nola Foulston had done her job with George Tiller, he would still be alive today.” [MSNBC, 8/9/12]

  • After Trump met with Troy Newman and several other anti-abortion extremists earlier this year, where Trump promised to pursue an extreme anti-women’s health agenda, he assured them, “There’s nothing more important than this group of people to me.”

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