Wichita Two leaders in the anti-abortion movement are in a legal battle over who owns the name Operation Rescue.
Randall Terry, who became the face of the anti-abortion movement in the late 1980s and lives in Washington, D.C., has filed suit against Troy Newman of Wichita.
Newman registered the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December 2006. This week, Terry filed suit before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the registration.
Newman's organization, which went by Operation Rescue West for years, lost its ability to take tax-deductible contributions in September 2006 when the Internal Revenue Service revoked the organization's nonprofit tax-exempt status.
He said he simply resurrected an organization that Terry left in 1991, shortly after the "Summer of Mercy" protests in Wichita.
"We really haven't heard from him since," Newman said.
Since moving to Wichita in the late 1990s, Newman has been leading protests aimed at abortion provider George Tiller. Newman, along with other anti-abortion groups such as Kansans for Life, helped generate signatures to petition a citizen grand jury to investigate Tiller's late-term abortion practices.
The grand jury is still convened.
Members of the Operation Rescue national board condemned Terry for an "unbiblical lawsuit."
"The Bible requires us to take our matters before fellow believers," said Jeff White, a board member. "We believe the proper response is with Christian arbitration."