Just last week, Donald Trump met with his “evangelical advisory board” to discuss which anti-abortion policies he'd put into law if elected president. Among those he met with? Extremist Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, who has ties to some of the most violent anti-abortion activists in this country and thinks executing doctors who perform abortions should be legal.
So what did Newman — one of the most toxic, dangerous anti-abortion extremists in America — have to say about Donald Trump after they met?
After their closed door meeting, Newman said he is supporting Trump “with fervor” and told Operation Rescue’s supporters that this November, “the choice at the ballot box [is] an easy one.”
And the feelings are mutual. Donald Trump assured Newman and others that “there’s nothing more important than this group of people to me.”
Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically silent since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Monday, reaffirming women’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortions. That doesn’t mean Trump hasn’t had plenty to say behind closed doors to Newman and other anti-abortion extremists who have endorsed Trump.
According to Cheryl Sullenger, Newman’s deputy at Operation Rescue who served two years in federal prison for trying to bomb an abortion clinic, Trump made a lot of promises to Newman and the rest of the anti-abortion movement.
During the meeting, according to Operation Rescue, Trump promised he would:
Appoint anti-abortion Supreme Court justices, who “have been pre-vetted by the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation.”
Appoint anti-abortion judges to other federal courts.
Repeal Obamacare, which provides access to no copay birth control to millions of women.
“Actively support and sign into law” a bill to ban abortion at 20 weeks.
Block cancer screenings, STI tests, and contraception at Planned Parenthood.
“Keep an open door policy with” anti-abortion leaders, which Sullenger notes is “something Republican Presidential candidates have not done in recent elections.”
We don’t need Trump’s typical toxicity on Twitter to tell us what he thinks about the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday upholding women’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortions because we already know where Trump stands on issues that are critical to women and their families. Trump stands with Troy Newman and Operation Rescue — and against the 67 percent of Americans who don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned — and that’s why Trump is their man.
So when Trump says, “Ask yourself who is really the friend of women,” it’s perfectly clear the answer is not Trump.
Background: The anti-abortion extremists Trump is praising and making promises to tells us Trump is no friend to women.
“[Troy Newman is] the president of Operation Rescue, a pro-life 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.”
“More recently, in 2012, Newman blamed the murder of Tiller...on Wichita district attorney Nola Foulston... ’If Nola Foulston had done her job with George Tiller, he would still be alive today,’ Newman told the AP.”
“Operation Rescue continues to this day to employ Cheryl Sullenger, who, in 1988, was found guilty of attempting to bomb a family-planning clinic. She did two years for her crime in federal prison.”
“In 2003, Newman issued a press release attacking “judicial tyranny” in the prosecution of Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor and his bodyguard in Florida, and arguing that Hill, who was executed the same day, should have been able to present a defense of “justifiable defensive action.” A 2004 Los Angeles Times story described Newman shadowing clinic workers and seeking “not just to make their lives uncomfortable” but also to “disgust their friends and associates.”
“Operation Rescue’s second most important officer, Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger, has her own radical history. In 1988, she was convicted of conspiring to bomb a San Diego abortion clinic and sentenced to three years in federal prison. The indictment said that Sullenger provided gunpowder and other material for the bomb and gave a wig to the man who actually planted it, according to The Los Angeles Times.”
“And while Newman is careful to publicly reject violence against abortion providers, he was not above rejoicing at an Arkansas provider’s death from leukemia in 2010, declaring, “In the end, God always gets the last word.” In 2003, Newman argued that a man sentenced to death for killing an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that his crime was “a justifiable defensive action.” Newman also runs AbortionDocs.org, a website that lists photographs of and personal information about abortion providers.”
Background: Donald Trump would make abortion unsafe and illegal
Trump said the biggest way to ban abortion is “by electing me president”: “Asked on Fox News what one thing he would do to ‘protect the sanctity of life,’ Trump told host Bill O’Reilly, ‘I will protect it, and the biggest way you can protect it is through the Supreme Court and putting people on the court. Actually, the biggest way you can protect it, I guess, is by electing me president.’” [Huffington Post, 5/11/16]
Trump: If abortion is banned then there should be “some form of punishment” for women seeking abortions: “The statement came as Mr. Trump appeared at a town-hall-style forum with Chris Matthews of MSNBC, recorded for broadcast on Wednesday night. Mr. Matthews pressed Mr. Trump, who once supported abortion rights, on his calls to ban the procedure, asking how he might enforce such a restriction. ‘You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places,’ Mr. Trump said, after initially deflecting questions. ‘But you have to ban it.’ He added, after a bit more prodding, ‘There has to be some form of punishment.’” [The New York Time, 3/31/16]
Opposes overturning the Hyde Amendment: “Public funding of abortion providers is an insult to people of conscience at the least and an affront to good governance at best.” [Washington Examiner, 1/23/16]
Would appoint “pro-life” judges to the Supreme Court: Donald Trump told conservative, Christian media mogul and founder of Regents University Pat Robertson that he would elect “pro-life” judges to the Supreme Court, “Robertson asked Trump what he would look for in a Supreme Court nominee. Justice Antonin Scalia died Feb. 13, leaving the high court with four Democratic appointees and four Republican appointees. ‘Pro-life,’ Trump said without hesitation. ‘I’ve always said that Justice (Clarence) Thomas doesn’t get enough credit. Justice (Samuel A.) Alito is a terrific guy ... so in that realm,’ Trump added.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/24/16]
On CNN’s State of the Union, Trump said being “pro-life” would be a litmus test for SCOTUS nominees: TAPPER: You're pro-choice or pro-life? TRUMP: I'm pro-life… . TAPPER: How important is that issue to you now when President Trump picks Supreme Court justices? Would that be a litmus test? TRUMP: It is. It is.” [CNN’s State of the Union, 6/28/15]
Trump releases list of potential Supreme Court nominees; many are pro-life: “Several of the judges on Mr. Trump’s list have questioned abortion rights. They included Raymond W. Gruender, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit who led a majority that permitted South Dakota to enforce a law requiring doctors to tell women that abortions ‘terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.’ They also included William H. Pryor Jr. of the 11th Circuit, whose appointment Senate Democrats had tried to block in part because, in his previous role as Alabama attorney general, he denounced Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion, as having manufactured ‘a constitutional right to murder an unborn child.’” [New York Times, 5/19/16]