Operation Rescue Broke After Tiller's Murder

In the wake of George Tiller's murder and the revocation of its tax-exempt status, anti-abortion group Operation Rescue is out of money.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman wrote an e-mail to supporters Monday that read, in part,

We're now so broke (as the saying goes), we can't even pay attention. [...] You see, this summer has been brutal for Operation Rescue. Not only did George Tiller's death throw everybody in the pro-life movement for a loop (and especially us), but the economic crisis our nation is suffering has brought our financial support to nearly a halt. [...] I had to borrow money just to send you this letter, in hopes that you will come to our rescue so that we can continue to rescue babies.

Tiller's murderer Scott Roeder had the name and phone number of Operation Rescue's senior policy adviser in his car when he was arrested, and news of the quickly spread around the Internet. Oddly (especially given the mention of Tiller in the e-mail), Newman told the AP that the organization's financial woes had nothing to do with the shooting. Operation Rescue also lost its tax-exempt status in 2006, because of its activity in the 2004 election, but Newman also said this had not affected donations. Whatever the cause of its insolvency, Feministing points out that Operation Rescue probably won't be making good on its offer to buy Tiller's Wichita clinic anytime soon.

Possibly cheering to abortion foes, though, is news that abortion may increase the risk of premature or low birth weight babies later on. a Canadian study found that women who had undergone an abortion face a 35% higher risk of a low birth weight baby in the future, and a 36% higher risk of delivering prematurely. Women who had had more than one abortion saw a 72% increase in low birth weight risk, and in 93% increased risk of prematurity. However, study author Dr. Prakesh Shah says that these higher risks are probably due to damage to the cervix during dilation, and that new abortion methods — especially if they include drugs to soften the cervix — are probably safer. Professor Philip Steer, editor of the journal where the research was published, adds,

The most important message is not that this should be used in any way to prevent women having a termination of pregnancy. The effect has to be balanced against the serious effects of forcing women to continue with unwanted pregnancies. Any medical procedure is likely to have side-effects.

Abortions May Pose Risk To Future Babies, According To Study [Guardian]
Operation Rescue Says It's Broke, May Shut [AP, via NBC]
Operation Rescue May Have Seen It's Last Days [Feministing]