American anti-abortion activist Troy Newman has arrived in Australia, despite having his visa cancelled yesterday. Public outcry compelled Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to revoke Newman's visa yesterday over concerns that he would encourage the vilification of women. As Labor's Terri Butler wrote last week to Mr Dutton, "I am concerned that Mr Newman's presence in Australia will cause significant harm to our community."
Despite this, Newman somehow managed to board a flight and land in Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport this morning. He is currently being held in detention, awaiting deportation.
Widely known for advocating the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions, Troy Newman is the 46-year-old president of Operation Rescue, a Kansas-based Christian pro-life organisation. The group achieved notoriety in 2009 when a member murdered one of only three US doctors providing late-term abortions. Newman was cleared of any responsibility of the murder, but he has persistently defended Paul Jennings Hill, who also murdered an abortion doctor in 1994. Newman has also frequently claimed that employees of Planned Parenthood sell foetal body parts for a profit.
Newman was due to appear in Australia from October 1-10 as a guest of the Australian anti-abortion organisation, Right To Life, for their national tour titled Save The Babies Down Under.Newman was advertised as a guest speaker at events being held in Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns.
Newman's journey from the US was seemingly plagued by problems from the start. Yesterday this YouTube video appeared showing Newman getting angry with airline employees who refused him passage from Colorado to LA, en route to Australia. However, this morning Newman posted a flight map on Facebook, displaying a plane approaching the Australian east coast. "Through a chain of events the Lord has allowed me to get on a plane…" He wrote in the post. "We have been in the air 11 hours and will land in about four. Please pray that we can get past immigration so the truth can be told throughout Australia."
Only hours later Operation Rescue tweeted that Troy Newman had indeed arrived, but was detained and about to be deported. Not long after the Australian Border Force released this statement: "Despite having no visa to enter Australia Mr Newman-Mariotti boarded a flight and arrived in Melbourne this morning. 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. "
The statement also highlighted the fact that airline carrier responsible, believed to be United Airlines, would be fined for allowing him to board without the appropriate paperwork.
All of this has come just days after American singer Chris Brown had his visa denied over his well-established history of domestic violence. Regardless of how you feel about the debate surrounding abortion, or the soft rap of Chris Brown, you might take some comfort in the fact that Australia takes a firm stance on the abuse of women, at least in these two cases.
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