American Anti-Abortion Campaigner Troy Newman Is Currently Being Detained At Melbourne Airport

Pray 4 Troy :'(

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[UPDATE: October 1, 11am]: Despite having his visa pulled earlier this week — resulting in Newman being “pulled off a plane in Denver” and told he could no longer travel to Australia, Newman posted in the early hours of this morning that he was still on his way to speak at the Right to Life of Australia’s convention in Melbourne.

“Through a chain of events the Lord has allowed me to get on a plane in spite of many objections by the airlines and Australia. We have been in the air 11 hours and will land in about 4,” he posted on Facebook, eight hours ago. “Please pray that we can get past immigration so the truth can be told throughout Australia.”

Sadly for Newman, his prayers failed.

We received the following statement from the Department of Immigration this morning, explaining that Troy Newman is currently being held by Australian Border Force officials at Melbourne Airport, awaiting his departure. An injunction has been lodged in the Federal Court to get the ruling reversed — but in the meantime, the airline which carried him to Australia has been fined:

Mr Newman-Mariotti’s visa was cancelled on 29 September 2015 under section 128 of the Migration Act.

Despite having no visa to enter Australia Mr Newman-Mariotti boarded a flight and arrived in Melbourne this morning.

The airline faces a fine for carriage of a person who does not a valid visa.

Since Mr Newman-Mariotti does not hold a visa, he is unable to enter Australia and remains in the presence of ABF officials at the Melbourne Airport pending his removal.

An injunction was lodged in the Federal Court seeking to restrain the Government from preventing his entry.

That matter is to be decided today.

[Original story from September 30]

In heartbreaking news for mouthbreathers everywhere, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has cancelled the visa of Troy Newman, a controversial anti-abortion activist from America who was due to tour Australia later this week.

Newman had a five-city itinerary of speaking nights lined up courtesy of local anti-abortion group Right to Life Australia, including an event at NSW Parliament House, but news of his tour was met with a swift and immense backlash from figures like Queensland Labor MP Terri Butler, NSW Greens MLA Mehreen Faruqi and feminist group Destroy the Joint.

It’s the second such incident in a week, with Chris Brown’s upcoming tour put on hiatus after his visa was cancelled on Sunday due to his history of domestic violence. That decision sparked a pretty rigorous debate, but given Newman’s history his ceremonial booting is less likely to be viewed as an issue of censorship, ethical inconsistency or an effort to suppress debate by pro-choice activists opposed to his views.

That’s because Newman and Operation Rescue, the prominent anti-abortion organisation he runs, use tactics several grades above the already nasty stuff we’re used to seeing from anti-abortion activists in Australia. Both have a history of extremist and threatening action against abortion clinics and those who run and work in them. Operation Rescue regularly targets people who work in abortion clinics with campaigns of sustained and aggressive harassment, posting signs outside their houses, following them in the street and publishing their home addresses on the internet.

One of Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisors, Cheryl Sullenger, was jailed in 1988 for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic in San Diego, and in 2003 Newman himself called the murder of a Florida abortion clinic doctor a “justifiable defensive action”, arguing that the murderer, Paul Hill, should have been allowed to use a defence of “taking the life in defense [sic] of innocent human beings” in his trial. The 2009 murder of abortion doctor George Tiller in Kansas was committed by Scott Roeder, who tracked Tiller’s movements with the help of Sullenger. Operation Rescue also posted Tiller’s home address — where he was eventually murdered by Roeder — for public viewing on its website.

Newman only discovered he’d been banned from coming to Australia while he was en route here; he was stopped from boarding a United Airlines flight from Denver to Los Angeles earlier today because it was travelling on to Melbourne. Going off a video he posted a few hours ago, featuring bored flight attendants laughing while he berates them and accuses them of being in hock to the Australian government, it seems he has not taken the news well.

That video’s taken off among the American abortion wingnut crowd, with almost 45,000 views in around four hours and enough batshit insane commentary to power a hot-air balloon to the sun. Expect a noticeable uptick in frothing mad denunciations of the godless, baby-killing Australian government by Twitter eggs over the next few days.

oh boy

Oh boy.

Feature image via Operation Rescue/Facebook.