Dem. Senator, liberal media falsely accuses Operation Rescue of advocating for murder...

Dem. Senator, liberal media falsely accuses Operation Rescue of advocating for murder of abortionists

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Operation Rescue
Sen. Dick Blumenthal falsely accuses pro-life group of advocating for murder of abortionist.
Operation Rescue
Sen. Dick Blumenthal falsely accuses pro-life group of advocating for murder of abortionist. (Source: YouTube)

During Tuesday’s grilling of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to be Attorney General, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., falsely accused the pro-life group Operation Rescue (OR) of advocating for the murder of abortion providers, prompting a swift reaction from Troy Newman, president of the organization.  Predictably, media outlets repeated the charge.

According to Newman:

Operation Rescue has a long history of peaceful activism within the law in advocating for innocent life.

Blumenthal also displayed a “wanted” poster targeting abortion provider George Tiller and attributed it falsely to Operation Rescue. This organization never circulated that poster and never called for anyone to harm Dr. Tiller.

Blumenthal also falsely accused Operation Rescue of calling for the murderer of Dr. Tiller to be treated as a political prisoner. Operation Rescue never made any such statement and has always been clear that murder or other violent acts are an unacceptable means of advocacy.

We call on Sen. Blumenthal to retract his false and slanderous statements and issue a public apology to Operation Rescue and Troy Newman.

“That was a cheap shot by a hack politician who thinks he can lie about us with impunity and without consequences in order to advance his political agenda,” said Newman. “We are considering legal action to protect our good reputation.”

But Blumenthal wasn’t the only one to level the defamatory charge against Operation Rescue.

In an article about the hearing, The Hill originally reported (Emphasis added):

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) noted that Sessions has been endorsed by a group called Operation Rescue, which has advocated for the execution of abortion providers.

After he displayed a wanted poster disseminated by the group, he asked Sessions if he would disavow the group’s endorsement as attorney general.

“I disavow any activity like that or a group that would even suggest that is unacceptable,” Sessions said.

“I would enforce the laws that make clear a person that wants to receive a lawful abortion cannot be blocked by protesters.”

Sessions said he’s not in favor of abortion, but will enforce the law.

We reached out to The Hill, expressing our concern about the charges made in the article.  Within a short period of time, we received an email indicating the post had been edited.  As of this writing, the article reads:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) noted that Sessions has been endorsed by a group called Operation Rescue, which he said has been accused of advocating for the execution of abortion providers.

After he displayed a wanted poster disseminated by the group, he asked Sessions if he would disavow the group’s endorsement as attorney general. (The group released a statement Tuesday afternoon blasting the way Blumenthal’s characterization.)

“I disavow any activity like that or a group that would even suggest that is unacceptable,” Sessions said.

Although The Hill did the responsible thing by editing its article, other outlets falsely portrayed OR as a group with ties to violence against abortion clinics.

Buzzfeed wrote:

This answer was in response to a question from Sen. Richard Blumenthal about Sessions and Trump receiving the endorsement of the radical anti-abortion activist organization Operation Rescue, which has ties to the murder of an abortion provider and the torching of abortion clinics.

The far-left Daily Kos said:

Blumenthal continues with support for Session from Operation Rescue, a group that advocates “execution of abortion providers.” Shows OR “wanted poster” for Dr. George Tiller, who was indeed assassinated. Blumenthal asks if he’ll disavow their endorsement.

The Hartford Courant added:

Blumenthal displayed a wanted posted for Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who was murdered by an anti-abortion extremist in 2009. The poster was produced by Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that endorsed Trump’s picking Sessions as his attorney general nominee. He asked Sessions to disavow their endorsement and whether or not he would protect women seeking abortions from harassment.

The organization’s statement on violence in general and the murder of Tiller in particular reads:

Operation Rescue was among the first to denounce the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller in 2009. All accusations, implications, or inferences that there was any involvement by Operation Rescue in the death of George Tiller is completely false. Operation Rescue and its staff were not involved in any way. Operation Rescue explicitly denounces violence in any form as a means of ending abortion.

Here’s video of the exchange as tweeted by CNN:

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