News Abortion

Hatch Offers Anti-Choice Amendment to Korean Trade Agreement

Jodi Jacobson

You know how abortion is related to automobile production and the United States balance of trade with South Korea? I don't either.  But apparently Senator Orrin Hatch does.

You know how abortion is related to automobile production and the United States balance of trade with South Korea?

I don’t either.

But apparently Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) does. Hatch, following the grand GOP tradition of sticking it to women wherever and however they can, will offer an amendment to the Korean Trade Agreement that would disqualify any health organization that provides abortion services from participating in the Medicaid family-planning program—even hospitals that provide emergency life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it.

This bill is before the Senate Finance Committee and is expected to be considered this afternoon.

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Hatch, according to Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, “is always in the running for the award of Most Notorious Anti-Choice Politician, but with this latest stunt, he’s in a league of his own when it comes to being out of touch with our country’s values and priorities.”

“Sen. Hatch wants to tell a hospital that providing life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it will render it ineligible for the Medicaid family-planning program. This latest attack underscores just how obsessed politicians like Sen. Hatch are when it comes to attacking women’s freedom and privacy. Not even a trade agreement is immune from Hatch’s relentless and mean-spirited anti-choice extremism.”

News Politics

Another Anti-Choice Radical Seems Ready to Back Donald Trump

Ally Boguhn

Shifting stances on reproductive health and rights have created questions about Trump’s position, though Trump’s charity has given money to anti-choice groups and the candidate has spoken at length about his opposition to funding Planned Parenthood.

Troy Newman, president of radical anti-choice group Operation Rescue, said he would vote for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in a post on his organization’s website that stopped just short of an endorsement, adding to the chorus of anti-choice leaders lining up to back the candidate.

Newman, who originally endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and served on his anti-choice coalition before the candidate suspended his campaign, wrote that since his “man” was no longer an option, he felt conflicted about who to support in the general election. It was ultimately a “simple choice” to vote for Trump.

“So, yes, I can vote for Trump, but I’m stopping short on an endorsement,” Newman wrote before calling on Trump to “earn” the anti-choice vote through a laundry list of demands.

“Donald Trump needs to name 3 or 4 Supreme Court Justices that he would appoint. He needs to codify his promise to defund Planned Parenthood,” Newman wrote. “He needs to ensure that the pro-life position in the GOP platform is left untouched, or, better yet, made stronger by adding ‘Defund PP’ language!”

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The activist directed Trump to release his choices for several key positions in his administration, claiming that “we all know that personnel are policy.”

“I’d like to see Trump pre-appoint a cabinet,” Newman wrote. “Who would be his Attorney General to prosecute Planned Parenthood? Who would be the HHS Secretary ensuring that the abortion mandate in ObamaCare is abolished?”

Newman’s record as an extremist has been a point of controversy on the campaign trail. Leaders from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and People for the American Way penned a letter in April calling on Cruz to distance himself from Newman based on the activist’s history of violent rhetoric about reproductive health.

That rhetoric includes writing a book arguing that those who have abortions should be treated as murderers and abortion care providers should be executed. Newman co-founded the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the anti-choice organization whose deceptively edited videos falsely accused Planned Parenthood of profiting from fetal tissue donations and led to the felony indictment of the group’s figurehead.  

A recent report from the National Abortion Federation (NAF) found “a dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder,” that coincided with the launch of CMP’s smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.

Newman was detained last October by Australian authorities who feared the anti-choice leader’s presence in the country could lead to the “harassment and intimidation” of those seeking reproductive health care.

Trump has faced a wave of criticism from conservatives and anti-choice activists over his assertion that he would change the GOP’s platform on abortion rights to include exceptions for cases of rape and incest. Cruz supporters have reportedly moved to block such changes from being made during the GOP convention in July.

Nevertheless, anti-choice groups and their leaders have backed the presumptive Republican nominee. Officials from both Priests for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List last week signaled support for Trump in statements to the Washington Times, despite both groups having condemned the candidate over his abortion rhetoric.  

The night prior to Newman’s post, Trump vowed during an appearance on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor to nominate anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court should he be elected. “They will be pro-life, and we will see about overturning [Roe v. Wade],” Trump told host Bill O’Reilly when prompted to discuss how he would “protect the sanctity of human life” if he won the White House. “I will appoint judges that will be pro-life.”

Shifting stances on reproductive health and rights have created questions about Trump’s position, though the candidate has spoken at length about his opposition to funding Planned Parenthood.

Trump in March went as far as to suggest that those who have abortions should be punished should the procedure be outlawed. His campaign later issued a statement claiming doctors, not abortion patients, would be punished.

News Politics

Open Letter Asks Ted Cruz to Drop Extremist From Anti-Choice Coalition

Ally Boguhn

"Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue who has argued that the murder of abortion providers is justified and that the attacks of 9/11 were retribution from God against legal abortion,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Leaders from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and People for the American Way penned a letter Thursday urging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to drop anti-choice activist Troy Newman from the GOP presidential candidate’s coalition over Newman’s violent rhetoric on reproductive health.

“While there are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns, Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale,” reads the open letter to Cruz.“Especially in an environment where anti-women’s health violence is on the rise, Newman’s extremism and violent rhetoric should be condemned, not given a platform by a major presidential campaign.”

The letter points to a recent report from the National Abortion Federation (NAF) that found “a dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder,” which coincided with the release of the Center for Medical Progress’ (CMP) deceptively edited videos smearing Planned Parenthood by accusing the health-care organization of illegally profiting from fetal tissue donations.

Newman co-founded CMP in 2013, though he later separated from the anti-choice front group that has worked with GOP legislators in attacking funding for Planned Parenthood. 

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“Cruz’s decision to give Troy Newman a formal role in his campaign is completely unacceptable. No person aspiring to be the next president of the United States should have anything to do with someone whose record of violent rhetoric includes calling for the execution of abortion providers,” Michael Keegan, president of People For the American Way, said in a statement. “And no politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out. With Ted Cruz’s all-important Indiana primary coming up, it’s past due for Cruz to fire Newman from his campaign team.”  

Newman is one of Cruz’s most extreme allies, as Rewire has reported. Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, an anti-choice group that moved to Wichita, Kansas in 2002 to continue its campaign to intimidate abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, who was shot dead in 2009. Though Newman issued a statement condemning Tiller’s killer, the phone number of a member of Operation Rescue was found on the dashboard of the killer’s car.

Newman has his own history of violent rhetoric, having argued in his book Their Blood Cries Out that those who have abortions should be treated as murderers and that abortion care providers should be executed.

He was detained by Australian authorities in October after an Australian lawmaker raised concerns that Newman’s speaking tour would contribute to the “harassment and intimidation” of people trying to access reproductive health care in the country.

Nevertheless, Cruz praised Newman’s work after the extremist offered his endorsement in November. “We need leaders like Troy Newman in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice,” Cruz said.

Newman in January was appointed to co-chair Cruz’s anti-choice coalition, Pro-Lifers for Cruz.

“Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue who has argued that the murder of abortion providers is justified and that the attacks of 9/11 were retribution from God against legal abortion,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a statement condemning Newman’s extremism. “Troy Newman has no place in this campaign and I encourage Ted Cruz to surprise us all and send him packing.”