In a July 27 WorldNetDaily article, Leo Hohmann serves as a crisis-management agent for Operation Rescue, touting pushback by Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards that the group -- which is among the anti-abortion activists behind the Center for Medical Progress' dishonestly edited attacks on Planned Parenthood -- is made up of "militant anti-abortion extremists" that is "behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches."
Hohmann turns to a less-than-objective group, Live Action, to offer a highly disingenous reponse:
She’s alluding to Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion doctor who was murdered in church by a man who acted independently. Scott Roeder, who killed Tiller, would call Operation Rescue on the phone (as any member of the public can do), but he was not part of their group. Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, sits on the board of CMP, so the abortion giant is trying to tie CMP to murder.
In fact, Operation Rescue denounced Roeder[.]
Hohmann even trots out Newman himself to claim he's "considering legal action against Richards for her slanderous and libelous accusations." Hohmann curiously fails to mention that his employer published a book by Newman and his Operation Rescue lieutenant, Cheryl Sullenger, hiding a conflict of interest in the issue.
And this is where we can speak on the issue -- and demonstrate how dishonest WND is being beyond the undisclosed conflict of interest.
Last year, WND acted on Newman and Sullenger's behalf by sending us a cease-and-desist letter demanding that we delete a 2014 ConWebWatch post in which we detailed Operation Rescue's links to anti-abortion violence that WND won't admit: The phone number to Sullenger and Operation Rescue was found on a note inside Roeder's car when he was arrested, and Sullenger herself was sentenced to three years in prison in 1988 for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.
We declined WND's request on numerous grounds, among them that it was objecting to alleged behavior WND itself regularly engages in on its own website. We have heard nothing from WND's lawyer since.
Newman's denouncement of Roeder is irrelevant -- it is, in all likelihood, something presented for public consumption as a way to stay in the mainstream anti-abortion movement. After all, Newman has expressed different views privately; Ms. Magazine reported Roederʼs claim that Newman said it “wouldnʼt upset” him if Tiller were murdered, as well as Roeder's claim that he was an active and regular participant in Operation Rescue events with "donation receipts, event T-shirts and a signed copy of Newman’s 2001 book, Their Blood Cries Out, to prove it."
Further, Operation Rescue under Newman and Sullenger issued a news release (h/t Media Matters) defending Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor in Florida in 1994, by denouncing a court decision not to let Hill use as a defense in his trial the ability to call his murder a "justifiable defensive action" -- thereby effectively stating that Newman and Sullenger thought murder of an abortion doctor was justifiable. Newman and Sullenger called Hill's execution for the doctor's murder "nothing less than murder of a political prisoner."
And as Ms. Magazine also noted, Newman and Sullenger moved Operation Rescue's headquarters to Wichita for the sole purpose of targeting Tiller. Thus, it is logical to assume that even if Roeder had no connection to Operation Rescue (which he did no matter how much Newman tries to deny it), the provocation of moving the headquarters and continued aggressive targeting of Tiller helped create an atmosphere that resulted in Tiller's murder by Roeder.
Newman, whether he likes it or not, is indisputably linked to anti-abortion violence -- which would seem to undercut any slander or libel lawsuit he wants to file against Planned Parenthood (or us, for that matter). He should own what he has wrought and stop trying to harrass those who tell the truth into silence.