January 14, 2010
A Kansas-based anti-abortion group is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of abortion doctors who break the law.
Operation Rescue announced its Abortion Whistleblower campaign Thursday, saying it wanted the campaign to coincide with the Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
"Pro-Lifers want to see justice from conception, all the way to the natural end of life," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.
Newman told KAKE News that doctors abiding by abortion laws and regulations need not be concerned. However, on Operation Rescue's website, Newman says, "We have yet to find an abortion clinic that abides by all laws."
The website goes on to list doctors across the country arrested or charged with abortion-related crimes.
The new campaign includes a series of radio and Internet ads, as well as direct mailings to abortion clinics across the country asking clinic workers to report clinic abuses.
Abortion rights supporters criticize Operation Rescue's tactics and timing, particularly as the man accused of killing Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller heads to trial this week.
"Operation Rescue is an organization that should be investigated, not one that should be investigating others," said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation in Washington, D.C.
Saporta accused Operation Rescue of attempting to solicit questionable information from potentially disgruntled clinic workers. She refered to another anti-abortion group which tried a similar tactic in 2000.
"The organization that used that tactic was caught red-handed in a congressional hearing paying the witness to lie about an alleged illegal activity they witnessed at a clinic," Saporta said.
Operation Rescue's campaign follows Nebraska abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart's announcement last month that he will likely perform more late-term procedures at his Bellevue, Neb.-based clinic.
Carhart said that move is meant to meet the demand left when Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kan., was shot and killed last year.
Newman said he's only interested in seeking the truth.
"We will take that and put it before a district attorney, attorney general or another law enforcement agency," Newman said, adding Operation Rescue would pressure authorities to prosecute the crimes.
Newman dismissed speculation that Operation Rescue was financially strapped, as reported last year. He says the reward money comes from several generous donors.