Chicago Tribune reports on Operation Rescue’s Impact on Abortion
Makeup of high court is political focal point, but activists cutting access with ruling intact
By James Oliphant, Tribune correspondent June 10, 2008
WICHITA, Kan. – Troy Newman appears to be just about the happiest person who ever set foot in an abortion clinic.
“We’re winning,” Newman says excitedly. “We’re winning the youth. We’re winning the hearts and minds of the people.”
Except for his prematurely gray hair, Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, perhaps the most aggressive anti-abortion group in the nation, seems boyish and eager.
“I just want to be the best pro-lifer I can be,” he said.
The organization has just moved into its new offices in Wichita, a shuttered abortion clinic that Newman helped hassle out of business. “Nothing warms my heart more than a closed abortion clinic,” he said. He keeps souvenirs in his office of some of the clinics he has claimed credit for helping shut down.
Newman has good reason to feel optimistic. Through the work of groups like his, the number of places where women can obtain abortions in the United States has shrunk by two-thirds since the early 1990s, to about 700. The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-rights think tank that has had a longtime connection to Planned Parenthood, estimates abortions are now unavailable in 87 percent of counties nationwide.
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