A prominent pro-life activist has been denied a visa to tour Australia because under the country's immigration laws, his extremist views make him a threat to the community.
Troy Newman, the head of pro-life group Operation Rescue, is one of the founders of the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind the series of misleading Planned Parenthood videos that circulated over the summer. He has written that he thinks abortion doctors should be executed, and that women who ask for abortions should be charged with murder, the Guardian reports:
Newman’s book, originally published in 2000, is now out of print, but contains numerous references to abortion as murder, and advocates for the execution of those who perform them.
“The United States government has abrogated its responsibility to properly deal with the blood-guilty. This responsibility rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge blood-guilt from the land and people,” the book said.
It goes on to say that “the only standard that is effective against innocent bloodshed, excluding the lawful execution of the murderers, which is commanded by God in scripture”.
The Australian opposition leader, Penny Wong, and another member of parliament, Terry Butler, wrote to the country's immigration minister asking that Newman be denied entry because his advocacy of violence could put doctors and patients at risk.
"I am concerned that Mr Newman's presence in Australia will cause significant harm to our community," Butler wrote in the letter. "I am most concerned that Mr Newman's call for abortionists to be executed could lead to threats or the commission of acts of violence against women and medical professionals."
There was also community support in Australia for Newman to be denied a visa:
In a statement on their website, Operation Rescue denied that Newman has ever advocated for violence, calling them "viciously false accusations."
"RED ALERT!!! The Australian government has revoked my visa in midflight. I was pulled off a plane in Denver and told I could not travel to Los Angeles. And then on to Melbourne Australia. I am scheduled to speak on Friday at Right," Newman wrote in a Facebook post this afternoon.
Despite the Australian government revoking his travel visa, Newman is currently on his way to Melbourne. One of his allies, the Reverend Patrick Mahoney, held a press conference outside the Australian embassy in Washington D.C. this afternoon.
"The Minister of Immigration for Australia late yesterday afternoon, early evening, denied entry of Troy into Australia," said Mahoney. "Troy was very creative. I won't go into all the details but it was like a Bourne Identity movie and he found a way to get in."
It's unclear how Newman plans to get past Australian immigration officers after landing, since he does not have a valid visa to enter the country. Earlier this week, Australia banned singer Chris Brown from going on tour there because of his alleged history of domestic violence.