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On March 21, Dan Kelly appeared virtually at an event for the Wisconsin chapter of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty. The event was headlined by Matthew Trewhella, a Brookfield pastor, who has previously endorsed killing abortion providers as “justifiable homicide.” 

In the early 1990s, Trewhella and over 30 other anti-abortionist extremists signed a “justifiable homicide” declaration that supported killing doctors who performed abortions. The declaration is associated with the murder of Dr. David Gunn, who was shot to death in 1993 by an assailant claiming it was “justifiable homicide.”

In a statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Kelly’s spokesperson said he “did not hear the comments by another guest speaker, nor does he condone calls for violence of any kind.” A video of the event shows Kelly joined the event during the last 20 minutes following Trewhella’s presentation.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Dan Kelly appears at event headlined by pastor who advocated for killing abortion providers, compared COVID-19 policies to Holocaust

New York Times FBI Undertakes Conspiracy Inquiry In Clinic Violence

Southern Poverty Law Center The Signers: ‘Defensive action statement’

Facebook Sons and Daughters of Liberty – Wisconsin, March 21

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.