Pro-life activist group Operation Rescue released its "Top Ten Victories of 2011" Tuesday, highlighting the organization’s major political and legal gains in its battle to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion.
Operation Rescue’s leaders said they have made significant strides in the last year and thank God for allowing them “the privilege of laboring in the pro-life movement side by side with so many fine activists across the nation.”
The group is considered one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation.
The list of the group’s top advances includes having exposed Maryland abortionist LeRoy Carhart’s plans to relocate his late-term abortion business to Germantown Reproductive Health Services in Germantown, Md. Operation Rescue worked with local activists to expose Carhart’s activity and the Maryland Coalition for Life was formed from those efforts.
“In Maryland, they basically went from having no (pro-life) activism to 3,000 people who are active,” OR’s senior policy adviser, Cheryl Sullenger, told The Christian Post Tuesday. “An entire pro-life community has risen up because of the work that we did in uncovering what was going on there.”
The 3,000 volunteers take regular shifts praying and offering help to abortion bound moms. A pro-life referral office which aids pregnant women was established directly across the parking lot of the clinic. The Summer of Mercy 2.0, sponsored by Operation Rescue in August, brought national attention to Carhart’s “grisly late-term abortions,” said the group's officials.
As the result of added pressure from Operation Rescue, a complaint against Carhart was filed with the Maryland Board of Physicians alleging that he misled them on his medical license application in order to open his business in the state. After a full investigation, Carhart was issued a formal letter of admonishment that goes into his permanent record, according to OR.
In Texas, Operation Rescue joined forces with The Survivors to conduct a 3-month undercover investigation of randomly-selected abortion clinics in Texas. That investigation uncovered widespread abortion abuses including the illegal disposal of aborted baby remains, violations of the Texas informed consent and parental notification laws, and other infractions.
Operation Rescue filed complaints with three state agencies. As a result, two abortion clinics and Stericycle, a waste disposal company that contracts with abortion clinics nationwide, was fined a total of $83,000. The Texas Medical Board is now in the process of holding hearings against the “Texas 10” – 10 abortionists who face discipline for violating the law and standard of care in Texas.
Operation Rescue officials say that because they gave reports detailing the results of the investigation to every Texas legislator, new pro-life bills were passed that provide "another layer of accountability for Texas’ out-of-control abortion industry."
“Whenever you can have an abortionist prosecuted that is really excellent,” Sullenger said. “It really shows the truth about the dirty underbelly of the abortion industry.”
Sullenger said that there are plenty of pro-life laws in the nation. Operation Rescue has never found an abortion clinic that completely follows the law," she said.
“The weak part of the pro-life movement has been, in the past, demanding enforcement,” she said. “That’s something that Operation Rescue has taken to a new level. We demand enforcement and because of that abortion clinics are closed. Abortionists have lost their medical licenses, and abortionists have been fined huge amounts of money. It’s impacting their businesses.”
Sullenger said it's time for people to understand that abortionists do not have immunity in legal matters as they may even believe so themselves.
“We are exposing that attitude they have of being above the law and we are educating oversight agencies to go into these clinics and force the laws that are on the books,” she said. “Major strides have taken place in oversight agencies that used to turn a blind eye to abortion clinic violations and are now taking them very seriously.
“That’s a change we need in this country. The pro-life laws that have been in the books have not been enforced. Now we are seeing a change.”
Sullenger believes that in 2011, Operation Rescue helped “turn the corner” on the previous lack of enforcement.
“Next year, we expect to take these things and build on them,” she said. “I think we are going to further expose the wrongdoing in the abortion industry.”
Operation Rescue also reported on its list that it is making strides in California, New Mexico, Kansas, Ohio, as well as across the nation.
“A historic number of pro-life bills flooded legislatures in 2011, many of them passing into law. Some of the legislation was based on investigative reports and other work by Operation Rescue,” the group said.