A prominent leader in the U.S. pro-life movement, Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, vows to return to Australia after he was deported from the nation over the weekend for his pro-life beliefs.
Newman, whose organization once bought the building of an abortion business to shut down the practice, also is a board member of the Center for Medical Progress, which recently exposed Planned Parenthood’s trade in the body parts of aborted babies.
Newman had been invited by pro-life leaders in Australia for a speaking tour. But government officials canceled his visa while he was traveling to the country, and when he arrived he was detained.
After a court hearing, he was escorted to a U.S.-bound flight.
He arrived home over the weekend but on Monday promised he’ll be back.
“On behalf of my wife, Mellissa, and myself, I would like to thank those who supported us throughout this ordeal,” he said. “We are aware that many people worked around the clock both in Australia and the U.S. to right this wrong. We especially appreciate Australia Right to Life for their loving care of Mellissa while I was detained.
“As Gen. Douglas McArthur once said, ‘I shall return.'”
Cheryl Sullenger, a spokeswoman for Operation Rescue, said the cancellation was triggered by “a member of the Australian Parliament who is a radical abortion supporter.”
The lawmaker, Terri Butler, complained to Peter Dutton, the head of Australia’s immigration program, and he ordered Newman to be barred from the country because of concerns about his activities and statements.
However, Newman’s newest book, “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time,” specifically addresses how to use existing law and current precedent to fight the abortion industry.
Sullenger contended that Dutton failed to check the facts before stopping Newman’s entry.
Australian authorities charged in documents submitted in court that Newman said “abortion is a most savage act of violence,” a statement by which he stands.
Authorities also noted Newman was arrested near House Speaker John Boehner’s office in March, but they failed to explain he was arrested while kneeling in prayer at a peaceful event.
“The fact is that the radical abortion supporters in Australia wanted to prevent me from spreading even a peaceful pro-life message that abortion clinics can close through peaceful activism using the legal tools available,” said Newman. “For a government to silence non-violent speech simply because some people disagree is contrary to the tenants of a free democracy. This is a dangerous precedent that does not bode well for the Australian people or anyone traveling there with a pro-life message. Freedom of speech in Australia is under attack, make no mistake.”
Authorities in Australia are planning a hearing later regarding Newman’s presence in Australia. In the meantime, he will not be allowed to enter the country.
“I look forward to having my case heard in full and to being given an opportunity to clear my name and that of Operation Rescue from the completely false accusation that we support violence in any way,” Newman said.
He explained some of the statements quoted by abortion advocates were taken out of context. One, for example, was a statement about executing abortionists.
It was made in the context of a theological study of the biblical doctrine of bloodguilt, which says that if abortion is murder, existing penalties for the offense would apply.
“There is a distinct difference between saying that the Bible gives the authority to governments to execute justice, as we explained in the book, and advocating that individuals commit murder of abortion providers, as Ms. Butler erroneously has accused Mr. Newman of doing,” Sullenger wrote.