Operation Rescue (OR) has taken over a former Wichita abortion facility as its national headquarters. The organization announced June 30 that it had secured a $112,000 loan to buy the Central Women's Services building after the center fell behind on rent.

OR's new headquarters will have a chapel and a memorial to the estimated 50,000 pre-born babies who died in the building during the past 23 years, according to OR president Troy Newman. Part of the facility will remain untouched to show the squalid conditions that existed there, he says. Last year, OR successfully lobbied the Kansas legislature to pass a bill requiring abortion facilities to report injuries and deaths, and to adhere to cleanliness and safety standards. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed the bill.

Eighty pastors were arrested in 1991 for blockading the clinic OR purchased. In the past, the abortion industry responded aggressively to blockade tactics, convincing lawmakers to pass legislation that threatened to bankrupt pro-lifers as convicted racketeers. But in February, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racketeering statutes couldn't be used to halt abortion protests.

Ironically, now that protests are protected, OR has begun to limit their use. Newman believes it's more effective to spread the anti-abortion message through pictures. A fleet of OR "truth trucks," emblazoned with graphic enlarged images of aborted fetuses, park outside large public gatherings.

"We've become smarter cultural warriors and learned where we can stand and what we can say," Newman told CT. "The best use of our time and resources is not sitting in a jail cell OR being sued out of existence."



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