New York Congresswoman-Elect Is Former Anti-Abortion Spokeswoman

There will be yet another anti-abortion activist in congress in 2011, as Republican Ann Marie Buerkle has won a very close election over Dan Maffei in New York.  But Buerkle isn’t just another Tea Party activist, but a former Operation Rescue spokesperson, too.

Via RightwingWatch:

After a contentious recount, Rep. Dan Maffei has conceded to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who led the Upstate New York Democrat by just 567 votes. While Buerkle ran as a Tea Party conservative, she has her political roots in the anti-choice movement. Buerkle formerly served as her region’s spokesperson for Operation Rescue, the militant anti-choice and anti-gay organization founded by Randall Terry. Terry, like Buerkle, is from Upstate New York where he made a run for Congress and started his career of attacking “murderous abortionists and demonic homosexual sodomites.”

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Buerkle “was the local spokeswoman for Operation Rescue when the group demonstrated outside of a gynecologist’s office in 1989. In that protest, 44 abortion protesters who blocked the entrance to the office were charged with trespassing. Earlier that year, she was with a group that carried a blackened fetus named ‘Baby Choice’ to a protest at Planned Parenthood in Syracuse, where 14 protesters were arrested.”

Buerkle told a Tea Party rally that under Democratic leadership “we lose more and more freedoms every day” and that if Republicans don’t win the election, “by 2012 we’re not going to recognize the United States of America.” One threat to freedom that Buerkle falsely alleges is that “the Obama Health and Human Services Department is planning to compile a federal health record on all U.S. citizens by 2014, and will include information on each individual’s Body Mass Index in the files.”

Former Operation Rescue staff and volunteers appear to be getting more active in the political process these days.  Randall Terry is pushing for new candidates to run in 2012 on a “graphic abortion pictures on TV as campaign ads” platform, and is even meeting with future Majority Leader John Boehner, according to Think Progress:

When it comes to the GOP agenda, future House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) always looks for constructive input. On Wall Street Reform, Boehner was quick to consult corporate lobbyists on how to defeat it. On the GOP “Pledge to America,” he made sure to invite “senior Republican lobbyists” and “more than 20 trade representatives” to offer their advice, while summarily ignoring that of the public. Now, apparently seeking to flesh out the GOP’s social agenda, Boehner has invited another influential voice to the table: the far right Christian activist Randall Terry.

As the founder of the extremist, pro-life group Operation Rescue, Terry turned rabid fanaticism into a high-profile career. Known for his outlandish antics and incendiary rhetoric, Terry earns the scorn of most respectable lawmakers. But, according to an email alert obtained by Right Wing Watch, Terry’s extremism has now secured him a spot in Beohner’s inner circle. Meeting with Boehner’s staff, Terry apparently demanded the GOP “hasten the end of legalized child killing in America” and that “unless the Republicans do something concrete to save babies from murder, then they are collaborators with child killers, and we must treat them as such”…

Having former Operation Rescue activists making policy for the country?  That ought to scare some progressives back to the voting booth in 2012.

wikimedia commons


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle7 years ago

CHOICE, not abortion nor murder. This mislabeling will continue forever, but women have the LAW. Roe vs Wade says that a woman's right to privacy is upheld. Because only females have the ability to conceive, that puts a completely different vision on the direction of our lives. Females must have the right to live the lives THEY want. If males could get pregnant, there would be outrage if we females tried to force them to be parents.

And so it continues ... with women being touted as being saints because we are mothers, yet under the thumb of others' religious views that we MUST be mothers if our bodies become pregnant. We are not chattel. We are people, with rights, just as men have rights, to decide what to do with our lives -- and that means control over our bodies.

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

Thanks and by the way it's choice.

Morgan G.
Morgan Getham7 years ago

First point: the politics of abortion in this country is FAR from settled, so you'd better expect both sides to be represented everywhere, and that includes congress. Get over it.

Second point: the biblical references taken to condemn homosexuality are mostly big mistakes on the part of those quoting them. The "sin" of Sodom, for example, was undoubtedly breach of the ancient custom of HOSPITALITY, without which trade would have been impossible in those days. If the men of Sodom were truly committed homosexuals, why on earth would Lot offer them his DAUGHTERS??? The few authentic old testament condemnations of homosexuality are GREATLY outnumbered by condemnations of eating pork, so why aren't these people railing against THAT?

Tom Y.
Tom Y7 years ago

There's some concern among the Tea Party's grassroots that Washington's Culture of the Trough could sway their new candidates; there are even counsellors who've offered to help these newbies resist the Establishment's seducers.

With Anne Marie Buerkle's stand on abortion, here's hoping they'll give up on her before they even start! And if they do, Congress needs more like her.

Ccc Www
Ccc Www7 years ago

Laura S. is correct; let's get the semantics straight.
It ain't abortion. It's murder.

Laura S.
Laura S7 years ago

Robin, I'm surprised at you, of all people, using the term "anti-abortion" in your article. We shouldn't have to explain to someone who claims to be a proponent of choice why the terms anti-abortion or pro-abortion are misused.

No one is FOR abortion. Everyone is "anti-abortion". Those on the side of choice are against abortions. But those who believe that women have the right to choose whether or not to bring a pregnancy to full term are proponents of CHOICE (hence the term, pro-choice), while those who would deny that right are ANTI-CHOICE.

Please, please use the right words. It's so important. I know people will say that they're just words; that it all means the same. But it doesn't. There's a difference. Please acknowledge that.

David M.
Eva Daniher7 years ago


David Anderson
David Anderson7 years ago

If abortion is to be minimized, it must be done by offering viable alternatives and adequate physical and emotional care, not by edict. If one chooses to oppose abortion it is imperative to lead by positive example and not merely use law to beat people into submission.

It is very sad that a few less than credible demagogues armed with a Bible in one hand and a brick in the other create such image problems for those who work very hard at providing those viable alternatives and invest their hearts into suffering mothers with problem pregnancies.

Even though I am very much pro-life, I fail to see the moral superiority of a life-threatening makeshift procedure performed in the shadows over a far more survivable alternative in a public facility. I don't believe that abortion is emotionally or spiritually healthy for the mother, but throwing rocks isn't the answer. Conversion at swordpoint never has worked and never will.

I would also add that I disagree with forcing those who consider this to constitute murder to subsidize it with tax money.

Linda H.
Linda h7 years ago

So what will you people do when they can make fetuses out of a bit of skin or few loose cells from the inside of your mouth? Will you just go nuts or ban tooth brushing? Go foster a poor kid who needs a square meal and a safe bed.

Linda H.
Linda h7 years ago

Randall Terry? I can't believe that creep is back again with the holy types after what he did to his ex wife. The last I heard he was living in a trailer in Binghamton NY with the young woman he was sleeping with and his own church threw him out. It was quite a scandal. Scum will always rise to the top.