Anti-abortion campaigner loses high court bid to stay in Australia

By Melissa Hills and AAP

This is the moment anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman was told he could not travel from Denver to LA due to restrictions put on the passport by the Australian government.

The female airline attendant tells Mr Newman that he cannot be checked in to fly to LA.

She tells Mr Newman: "You cannot continue due to the Australian embassy, you need to contact the Australian embassy."

Mr Newman asks: "Since when does the Australian embassy prevent me from travelling Denver to LA?

The woman tells Mr Newman that they were told to stop him travelling and asks him to stop filming.

Mr Newman still managed to get to Melbourne on Thursday but was detained.

Mr Newman's airline tickets. Photo: YouTube

On Friday afternoon he lost his attempt to have his visa cancellation overturned in the High Court.

He was detained by officials at Melbourne Airport since after arriving on Thursday because the federal government had revoked his visa amid concerns his planned speaking tour could incite community harm.

Mr Newman, who has suggested doctors who abort babies should be executed, had planned speaking engagements with Right to Life groups in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane and Cairns.

Instead, he was detained and could be deported.

"Since Mr Newman-Mariotti does not hold a visa, he is unable to enter Australia and remains in the presence of (Australian Border Force) officials at the Melbourne Airport pending his removal," a spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told AAP on Thursday.

The airline faces a fine for letting him travel without a visa.

Right to Life Australia spokeswoman Katrina Haller says Mr Newman was not told about the decision to revoke his visa, with officials only posting a letter to his US address.


"He is sitting in a cell with a stainless steel toilet, not able to contact his lawyer. It's disgusting," Dr Haller told AAP.

However Mr Newman was informed about a visa issue.

He posted a video online of his argument with airline staff when they tell him he cannot board a plane from Denver to Los Angeles due to the cancelled visa.

Right to Life president Margaret Tighe said Mr Newman took another flight.

"He half expected to be stopped getting on a flight, so it was only natural that he thought the government had dropped their opposition - it certainly was not a PR exercise," she said of his decision to still come.

United Airlines confirmed a passenger without a valid Australian visa had boarded flight UA98 from Los Angeles on September 29.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton let Mr Newman remain in Australia for an extra day. Photo: AAP

"As this is an ongoing Australian government issue, we are unable to comment further on the status of this passenger," the airline said in a statement.

Counsel for Mr Newman say the federal government's decision to prevent the speaker from coming to Australia is flawed because Mr Newman has never incited violence.

While Mr Newman has been arrested for taking part in anti-abortion protests in the US, he has never been charged or advocated violence, the High Court heard on Thursday evening.

"The basis of the (visa) finding seems to rest solely on the adverse reaction to my client's presence in Australia," barrister Richard Knowles said.

"There was no question at all that my client has ever advocated violence."

Morning news break - October 2