The American anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman has been denied a visa to travel to Australia, just days after the government indicated it might block the American singer Chris Brown from touring the country.
Newman was due to speak on the topic “save the babies down under” at events promoted by the group Right to Life Australia, but was branded an “anti-choice extremist” by the Labor MP Terri Butler, who said Newman’s visa should be denied on character grounds.
Butler wrote to the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, on Monday arguing that the campaigner could “cause significant harm to our community” because he had previously called for the execution of abortion doctors.
On Wednesday Dutton said the government was taking action.
“I can confirm that my department has cancelled the visa for Mr Troy Newman under Section 128 of the Migration Act,” the minister said.
“Mr Newman can appeal for a revocation of this decision and no further comment will be made during this appeal period.”
Newman is president of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that denounced the visa cancellation.
The group blamed “viciously false accusations brought by Australian pro-abortion activists and news media that Newman supports violence against abortion providers”.
“Newman has never advocated violence and in fact, urges pro-life activists to work within the governmental and legal system to accomplish change,” Operation Rescue said in a statement.
“Newman boarded his flight in Wichita, Kansas, hoping that the situation would be resolved by the time he arrived in Los Angeles. However, while boarding a connecting flight in Dehownver, Colorado, Newman was stopped and told he could not board his flight to LA because of an order by the Australian government.”
Newman’s allies posted footage of the scene at Denver as Newman argued with airport staff who told him he would have to contact the Australian government to contest their refusal to let him on the flight.
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