The leaders of People For the American Way (PFAW), NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund released an open letter today calling on presidential candidate Ted Cruz to fire a national co-chair of his “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, Troy Newman. Newman – among other heinous stances – has written that the U.S. government has a duty to execute abortion providers.
People For the American Way President Michael Keegan stated:
“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. 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."
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said:
"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. Ted Cruz’s 'gratitude' for Newman's support paints a clear picture of what a Cruz presidency would look like: an administration that condones violence and is committed to eliminating women’s reproductive freedom. Their partnership sends an unambiguous message to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law and who trust women to make our decisions about how and when we become parents—that neither your vote, nor your lives, matter all that much to Ted Cruz. Troy Newman has no place in this campaign and I encourage Ted Cruz to surprise us all and send him packing."
Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens added:
"Embracing this kind of violence is reprehensible and irresponsible, especially from a presidential candidate. Troy Newman has called the murder of an abortion provider a 'justifiable action' and runs an organization whose baseline purpose is to harass and terrorize women. It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government in order to prevent low income women from accessing cancer screenings. However it is disappointing to see even a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz so blatantly disregard women's health and lives but this is what the Cruz Fiorina ticket stands for."
In addition to the letter, an online campaign to #FireTroy has also been launched, including this petition. For more information about Troy Newman or to schedule an interview about this campaign, please email Laura Epstein (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Open Letter to Sen. Ted Cruz
Dear Senator Cruz,
We urge you to remove Troy Newman from your campaign’s “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, where he presently serves as a national co-chair.
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.
Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, has written that the U.S. government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers. He has said that a woman who has sought an abortion should be considered a “murderer” and a “contract killer.” Newman has claimed that a man who killed an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the killing was “justifiable defensive action.” Newman and his staff have harassed individual women’s clinic workers at their homes, at restaurants and coffee shops, and throughout their communities in an attempt to make them quit their jobs. Newman’s closest associate at Operation Rescue, Cheryl Sullenger, has spent time in federal prison for conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic.
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. A report released this month by the National Abortion Federation on threats and violence against abortion providers noted a “dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder” in 2015, coinciding with the distribution of smear videos intended to demonize providers — videos which Newman was a driving force behind. No patient or provider should have to fear for their life in order to seek or give critical medical care.
There are wide-ranging beliefs about abortion in our country, but no one who has said it’s the government’s duty to execute abortion providers should have any place in a campaign for our nation’s highest office. We urge you to denounce this extremism and remove Troy Newman from your campaign’s coalition immediately.
Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Michael Keegan, People For the American Way
Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Organizations listed for identification purposes only.