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(RNS) News reports of the possible demise of Operation Rescue are premature, the leader of the anti-abortion organization said Wednesday (Sept. 16).
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said responses to a fundraising appeal he sent to supporters two weeks ago has led to a sharp turnaround in the group’s finances.
“Things have improved dramatically since we sent that letter,” he said. “We appreciate the people that have made it happen.”
The Wichita, Kan.-based organization, with an annual budget of $600,000, had seen a drop in donations this year of 30 to 40 percent. In his letter, Newman said the May 31 murder of Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita abortion provider, had a detrimental effect on anti-abortion groups like his.
“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 from has brought our financial support to nearly a halt,” he wrote. “We’re now so broke (as the saying goes), we can’t even pay attention.”
Newman noted that lots of nonprofits have been in similar situations because of the economic downturn.
“Like every other nonprofit, everybody’s a month away from closing,”
he said in an interview. “We’re confident that our work is going to move forward.”
Other anti-abortion groups also have had financial difficulties. On Monday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told supporters that the Washington-based organization needs $2.5 million to meet its budget before its fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
Focus on the Family announced layoffs in early September, cutting its staff by 8 percent to 860 people. The Colorado-based ministry laid off 200 employees in November 2008.
— Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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