Letter Demands Cecile Richards Apologize for Calling Pro-Lifers Behind Videos “Violent Murderers”

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 6, 2015   |   3:29PM   |   Washington, DC

The head of a pro-life group has sent cease and desist letters to Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and ABC News seeking an apology and retraction of false, defaming statements made by Richards during an interview that aired on the July 26 edition of “This Week with George Stephanopoulus.”

In her first interview responding to the shocking videos that have exposed the baby body parts sales scandal occurring at Planned Parenthood abortion centers across the country, Cecile Richards lashed out at the pro-life advocates behind the videos.

Richards attacked Operation Rescue president Troy Newman and wrongly accused him of being “behind” acts of violence, including “the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches.”

Newman tells LifeNews he is defending himself from Richards’ false statements.

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“I cannot stand by while Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and ABC News air false allegations against me that are now being repeated as fact in numerous news sources. I have never condoned violence against abortion providers or businesses and Richards’ patently false statements against me must be retracted,” he said.

Newman said Operation Rescue began as a peaceful protest movement that engaged in non-violent civil disobedience at abortion facilities. Since then, under Newman’s leadership, Operation Rescue has evolved into a well-respected watchdog group that focuses on documenting and reporting substandard and unlawful practices within the abortion industry and seeking enforcement of existing abortion laws.

The demand letter, sent by Operation Rescue’s Chief Counsel, Brian Chavez-Ochoa, stated that Richards’ statements on the ABC News show hosted by George Stephanopoulus were “reckless and malicious. Its reckless and malicious conduct gives rise to substantial liability for defamation.”

The interview was prompted by the release of undercover videos made by the Center for Medical Progress that show evidence of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the illegal selling of aborted baby remains. Newman appears to have been targeted by Richards because he serves as a Board Member for the Center for Medical Progress.

“Planned Parenthood is lashing out and trying to deflect from their own appalling and allegedly illegal behavior by attacking me. With ongoing criminal investigations in at least 11 states, Planned Parenthood is desperate to change the subject. I cannot allow Richards to make statements that damage my good name just so she can shift public attention away from what is really going on inside her abortion clinics,” said Newman.

Read Cease and Desist Letter Draft to Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood

Read Cease and Desist Letter Draft to ABC News.

In an interview with ABC News, Richards slammed what she called “highly-edited videos” released by “militant pro-life activists,” who she said were killers because they supposedly bomb abortion clinics. Never mind that the full, unedited videos have been released and the pro-life advocates involved in the undercover work to expose Planned Parenthood have never engaged in violent or illegal activities.

In the interview, Richards says she’s not worried about the dozen videos the pro-life muckraker behind the undercover investigations says are still to come because this is a “three-year, well-funded effort by the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement in this country to try to entrap doctors, and, of course, highly-doctored videos.”  Richards claims David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress and the people behind the videos are “part of the most militant anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches, and that’s what actually needs to be looked at.”

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“These activists don’t care about women’s health care,” she says — claiming that all pro-life people care about is trying to “entrap doctors.”