Cheryl Sullenger

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Cheryl Deann Sullenger (born 1955) is an American anti-abortion activist and convicted federal felon. She pleaded guilty to conspiring to blow up an abortion clinic in 1988. She also provided the scheduled court dates of physician George Tiller to Scott Roeder, who assassinated him in 2009. Sullenger is currently the senior policy advisor for Kansas-based anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.

Anti-abortion activism[edit]

Sullenger started her involvement with the anti-abortion movement in 1984, volunteering for a crisis pregnancy center in San Diego County.[1]

Attempted bombing of clinic[edit]

Sullenger and her husband Randall worked as apartment managers and were members of the Bible Missionary Fellowship, a fundamentalist church in Santee, California. On July 27, 1988 they attempted to bomb the Family Planning Associates Medical Group with six other members of the church. Sullenger procured gunpowder and other bomb materials. She also provided a wig for co-conspirator Eric Everett Svelmoe, who planted the bomb. The gasoline bomb was placed at the premises but failed to detonate as the fuse was blown out by wind.[2]

Sullenger and her husband both pleaded guilty to conspiring to blow up the Alvarado Medical Center abortion clinic with a gasoline bomb.[2] Sullenger's husband was sentenced to 18 months and she was sentenced to three years by US District Judge Earl B. Gillam. Her sentence was scheduled to begin after her husband's ended so that one of them could stay at home with their daughters, then four and six-years-old.[2] Sullenger served two years in U.S. federal prison and was released in April 1990.[3]

Following completion of her sentence, Sullenger taught children at a Christian school for seven years. She was also elected to the Central Committee of the 75th District of the San Diego Republican Party.[1]

Wichita and Operation Rescue[edit]

In 2003 Sullenger moved to Wichita, Kansas where she began serving as a senior policy advisor for Operation Rescue under Troy Newman. With Newman she wrote the books Their Blood Cries Out! and Abortion Free. In 2003 she and Newman issued a statement on behalf of murderer Paul Jennings Hill, writing that his assassination of physician John Britton and his bodyguard was a "justifiable defensive action".[4] As a part of Operation Rescue, she pressured companies to cease doing business with abortion provider George Tiller, once following his wife Jeanne to a cleaning company at a strip mall and taking her picture. Sullenger also participated in protests at the homes of clinic workers.[5]

Link to Tiller assassination[edit]

In 2009 Sullenger drew attention following the trial of Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion activist who assassinated Wichita physician George Tiller. Sullenger initially denied any contact with Roeder, but after her name and phone number were discovered on the dashboard of his car, she revealed that she had kept him informed of Tiller's scheduled court dates.[6][7] Rachel Maddow ran an expose covering an alleged "unholy alliance" between Sullenger and Roeder.[8] Jacob M. Appel has highlighted Sullenger's violent history in his efforts to enact mandatory lifelong registration for perpetrations of crimes against abortion clinics.[9]

Sullenger serves as director of Kansans for Truth in Politics, a social conservative activist group.


  1. ^ a b "Who We Are: Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor". Operation Rescue. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Frammolino, Ralph (May 6, 1988). "2 Get Prison for Trying to Bomb Abortion Clinic". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ "Inmate Locator - CHERYL DEANN SULLENGER". Register Number, 10664-198. Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  4. ^ Newman, Troy; Sullenger, Cheryl (September 3, 2003). "Execution of Paul Hill Nothing Less than Murder" (Press release). Operation Rescue West. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. 
  5. ^ Sevcik, Kimberley (June 1, 2009). "The Anti-Abortion Campaign Against Dr. George Tiller". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ Bauer, Laura; Thomas, Judy L. (June 3, 2009). "Operation Rescue adviser helped Tiller suspect track doctor's court dates". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on August 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ Kendall, Justin (June 1, 2009). "Phone number found inside car of man suspected of killing George Tiller belongs to woman who plotted 1988 clinic bombing". The Pitch. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  8. ^ Links to Expose
  9. ^ Appel, Jacob M. (July 30, 2009). "The Case for an Anti-Abortion Violence Registry". Huffington Post. 

External links[edit]