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Operation Save America members protest in front of an abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, during their 2006 National Event in that city.

Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue National) is an organization based in Dallas, Texas, that opposes human induced abortion and its legality. In 1994, Flip Benham became the director of the organization, then called Operation Rescue National. Benham replaced Keith Tucci, who had replaced Randall Terry.[1]


Name dispute

In the late 1990s, Benham abandoned the name of Operation Rescue, and changed the name of his organization to Operation Save America. Once Newman's organization (the former Operation Rescue West or California Operation Rescue) began to grow in prominence and use the name Operation Rescue, Benham also began using the name Operation Rescue. After a feud with Newman, and after Benham was named in a lawsuit from the United States Department of Justice, Benham officially changed the name of Operation Rescue National to Operation Save America.[1] Meanwhile, Benham broadened the scope of Operation Save America to include criticism of homosexuality, pornography, and Islam, and formed alliances with Christian conservative groups and the Constitution Party.[2]


Operation Save America promotes an anti-abortion agenda by conducting mass protests at abortion clinics. Operation Save America has mobilized its members for other causes common to the Christian right, for example, opposition to Gay-Straight Alliances in public schools. At South Rowan High School, near Charlotte, North Carolina, when a Gay-Straight Alliance was forming at that school, Operation Save America arranged to have some 700 people to show up at the school board meeting and get the board to ban the club from the school.[3] Critics contend that in so doing, the school board violated the Equal Access Act which is the same act that protects the right of prayer groups and Bible clubs to form in public schools.[4]

They have also been involved in burning the Islamic holy text, the Qur'an, despite the opposition of some in the Muslim community to the practice of abortion. Their actions have been described as "an affront to Islam, all people of faith, and to our society as a whole... not Christian [and] not American" by the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference.[5]

In August 2006, after Wal-Mart publicly announced its corporate partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Operation Save America began a nationwide campaign to protest the alliance. Headlining the campaign was the slogan, "Corporate America is Being BLACKMAILED by the Radical Homosexual Agenda".[6] Wal-Mart did not renew their membership with the NGLCC the following year.

On July 12, 2007, three members of the organization (Ante and Kathy Pavkovic, and their daughter Christan Sugar) tried to shout down a Hindu clergyman as he offered the traditional morning prayer on the US Senate floor. [7] The protesters denounced the prayer as an "act of abomination" and "gross idolatry". The protesters were arrested for disrupting congress and taken away, and the prayer resumed.[8] The protest was denounced by Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.[9]

See also




  • Operation Rescue: A Challenge to the Nation's Conscience by Philip F. Lawler (1992) ISBN 0-87973-506-6
  • Live From the Gates of Hell: An Insider's Look at the Antiabortion Underground by Jerry Reiter (2000) ISBN 1-57392-840-2
  • "METRO DATELINES; Anti-Abortion Group Will Close Its Offices", The New York Times, December 17, 1990
  • Appel, Jacob M. "The Paradox of Anti-Abortion Violence", May 31, 2009.
  • Jim Risen & Judy L. Thomas, Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War (1998)
  • New York Times Sept 15, 2006 "Anti-Abortion Group Loses Tax Exemption" by Stephanie Strom
  • CourtTV
  • Clinics Prepare for Operation Rescue 1993
  • Man's views change radically 2001 Jerry Reiter interview

External links


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