Rolling Stone Magazine published an article in 2004, entitled The Anti-Abortion Campaign Against Dr. George Tiller which displayed the daily work of members of Operation Rescue in Wichita, Kansas. From activities such as stalking clinic employees to their homes, to digging through their trash to find information about past patients, the article describes head of Operation Rescue Troy Newman as stopping at nothing to get his anti-choice point across. Newman, who moved his entire family to Wichita (so that he could harass Tiller on a more personal note), spent his free time while not harassing clinic employees threatening local business owners to stop serving Dr. Tiller, or face the risk of losing business.
In a town where seven out of ten residents are anti-choice, such blackmail could truly damage a business. The article describes how Newman’s supposed “successful” boycott of cab companies prevented many women from being able to access the clinic. In response, Tiller’s clinic had to start a shuttle service to pick up women up. I believe that Operation Rescue does not realize that as much as they harass the clinic, women still need the services that the clinic provides, thus they will continue going.
I think that perhaps one of Operation Rescue’s lowest blows is the use of helpless children to scare clinic employees. The article explain how Rescue’s team told children that Dr. Tiller and his staff were “baby-killers,” and pleaded with children to knock on the doors of clinic employees and kindly ask them to consider changing occupations. Taking advantage of children who probably still think that babies come from storks is incomprehensible.
However, the most chilling message through the article was Newman’s statement that “‘Wichita isn't big enough for George Tiller and me,’ [he] declared in a full-page ad he took out in a Catholic paper called The Wanderer.” While this Rolling Stone article was written half a decade ago, it is horrifying that this article remains relevant, and that Operation Rescue continues to threaten the lives of clinic employees on a daily basis.