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Abortion Doctor Murdered

Jess. IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 07 February 2006
Posts: 13362

Posted: 02 June 2009 at 6:20pm | IP Logged

(AP/Mike Hutmacher, Wichita Eagle)
The assassination of Dr. George Tiller in his Kansas church on Sunday was a realization of a threat he faced on a daily basis.

Tiller was one of just a few doctors in this country who perform late-term abortions. That made him a prime target for harassment and violence from abortion opponents.

At least three other providers have been killed since 1993, including Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was shot by a sniper in his home in upstate New York. Providers also have reported dozens of death threats, assaults and acts of vandalism.

Attorney General Eric Holder has sent U.S. marshals to protect some clinics and individuals, but there are still many practitioners living in a constant state of fear, and patients who face intimidation when seeking their services.

No matter what your moral position may be on abortion, Tiller was first and foremost a doctor and acting within the law. That should not have cost him his life.



WICHITA, Kan. – Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed Sunday in a church where he was serving as an usher.

The gunman fled, but a 51-year-old suspect was detained some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said.

Although Stolz refused to release the man's name, Johnson County sheriff's spokesman Tom Erickson identified the detained man as Scott Roeder. He has not been charged in the slaying and was expected to be taken to Wichita for questioning.

There was no immediate word of the motive Tiller's assailant. But the doctor's violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff.

Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church, Stolz said. Tiller's attorney, Dan Monnat, said Tiller's wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time.

The slaying of the 67-year-old doctor is "an unspeakable tragedy," his widow, four children and 10 grandchildren said in statement. "This is particularly heart-wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace."

The family said its loss "is also a loss for the city of Wichita and women across America. George dedicated his life to providing women with high-quality health care despite frequent threats and violence."

Stolz said all indications were that the gunman acted alone, although authorities were investigating whether he had any connection to anti-abortion groups.

Tiller's Women's Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy. The clinic was heavily fortified and Tiller often traveled with a bodyguard, but Stolz said there was no indication of security at the church Sunday.

Anti-abortion groups denounced the shooting and stressed that they support only nonviolent protest. The movement's leaders fear the killing could create a backlash just as they are scrutinizing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, whose views on abortion rights are not publicly known.

"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down," Troy Newman, Operation Rescue's president, said in a statement. "Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning."

President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and outraged" by the murder. "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," he said.

At Tiller's church, Adam Watkins, 20, said he was sitting in the middle of the congregation when he heard a small pop at the start of the service.

"We just thought a child had come in with a balloon and it had popped, had gone up and hit the ceiling and popped," Watkins said.

Another usher came in and told the congregation to remain seated, then escorted Tiller's wife out. "When she got to the back doors, we heard her scream, and so we knew something bad had happened," Watkins said.

He said the service continued even after an associate pastor announced that Tiller had been injured. "We were just really shocked," he said. "We were kind of dumbfounded. We couldn't really believe it had happened."

Tiller had in the past endured threats and violence. A protester shot Tiller in both arms in 1993, and his clinic was bombed in 1985. More recently, Monnat said Tiller had asked federal prosecutors to step up investigations of vandalism and other threats against the clinic out of fear that the incidents were increasing and that Tiller's safety was in jeopardy. Stolz, however, said police knew of no threats connected to the shooting.

In early May, Tiller had asked the FBI to investigate vandalism at his clinic, including cut wires to surveillance cameras and damage to the roof that sent rainwater pouring into the building.

In 1991, the Summer of Mercy protests organized by Operation Rescue drew thousands of anti-abortion activists to this city for demonstrations marked by civil disobedience and mass arrests.

Tiller began providing abortion services in 1973. He acknowledged abortion was as socially divisive as slavery or prohibition but said the issue was about giving women a choice when dealing with technology that can diagnose severe fetal abnormalities before a baby is born.

Nancy Keenan, president of abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued a statement praising Tiller's commitment.

"Dr. Tiller's murder will send a chill down the spines of the brave and courageous providers and other professionals who are part of reproductive-health centers that serve women across this country. We want them to know that they have our support as they move forward in providing these essential services in the aftermath of the shocking news from Wichita," Keenan said.

After the 1991 protests, Tiller kept mostly to his heavily guarded clinic, although in 1997 he opened it to three tours by state lawmakers and the media. He wore a button that read "Trust Women."

The clinic is fortified with bulletproof glass, and Tiller hired a private security team to protect the facility. Once outside the clinic, Tiller was routinely accompanied by a bodyguard.

At a recent trial, he told jurors that he and his family have suffered years of harassment and threats and that he knew he was a target of anti-abortion protesters.

Federal marshals protected Tiller during the 1991 Summer of Mercy protests, and he was protected again between 1994 and 1998 after another abortion provider was assassinated and federal authorities reported finding Tiller's name on an assassination list.

Tiller remained prominent in the news, in part because of an investigation begun by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, an abortion opponent.

Prosecutors had alleged that Tiller had gotten second opinions from a doctor who was essentially an employee of his, not independent as state law requires. A jury in March acquitted Tiller of all 19 misdemeanor counts.

"I am stunned by this lawless and violent act, which must be condemned and should be met with the full force of law," Kline said in a statement. "We join in lifting prayer that God's grace and presence rest with Dr. Tiller's family and friends."


What do you guys think about this situation, the fact that someone was murdered because of their profession? Is it right to enforce your views on someone else like that? Just because he performed abortions doesnt mean that someone who is anti-abortion can kill him...(threats before had been made to dr. tiller)

What are your views?

*Woh Ajnabee* IF-Sizzlerz
*Woh Ajnabee*
*Woh Ajnabee*

Joined: 15 September 2007
Posts: 22970

Posted: 02 June 2009 at 7:10pm | IP Logged
No matter what your beliefs are, its never okay to kill someone. I don't think anyone would disagree with that --- and if they do, then some sense needs to be knocked into their head.

But "a loss for women across America"? --- seriously?
Jess. IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 07 February 2006
Posts: 13362

Posted: 02 June 2009 at 8:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by *Woh Ajnabee*

No matter what your beliefs are, its never okay to kill someone. I don't think anyone would disagree with that --- and if they do, then some sense needs to be knocked into their head.

But "a loss for women across America"? --- seriously?

they probably said that cause there are only 4 doctors in US who abort babies after 20-something weeks
he was one of them
_Angie_ IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 21 February 2008
Posts: 10179

Posted: 03 June 2009 at 9:17am | IP Logged
Abortion after 20 weeks of gestation is very risky & complicated. In India it is not permitted as per MTP Act.
..RamKiJanaki.. IF-Addictz

Joined: 20 August 2008
Posts: 59663

Posted: 03 June 2009 at 6:43pm | IP Logged
I don't agree with the doctor's profession, but no one has a right to take another's life simply because of his/her profession. I was really shocked when I heard this news. I mean, what the guy does is his Karma, and if we don't agree with it, then we don't agree with it, but what right does it give us to kill him?
..RamKiJanaki.. IF-Addictz

Joined: 20 August 2008
Posts: 59663

Posted: 03 June 2009 at 7:25pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by angie.4u

Abortion after 20 weeks of gestation is very risky & complicated. In India it is not permitted as per MTP Act.
Yes, you're completely correct. If someone feels they have to have an abortion, it's best if they get it done in the initial stage. Even though I'm against the whole thing in general, I'd rather it be done before the embryo develops too much.
return_to_hades IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 18 January 2006
Posts: 24113

Posted: 03 June 2009 at 8:18pm | IP Logged
Here is a passionate but pretty sincere and valid point of view from a former pro-life evangelist - Frank Schaeffer.

Every person is entitled to their opinion. People who believe abortion is wrong, have the right to that belief, the right to express that belief and the right to persuade the people and the legal system to adapt that belief. Depending on popular opinion and other factors there are various laws.

I think the problem comes when people start thinking that they are entitled to enforce their opinion and make their beliefs into laws without thoughtful consideration process.

My biggest beef with a large section of the pro-life camp is not the fact that they are against abortion, but the way they go about expressing their opinion. In many ways morally, I do concur with pro-life stances, but their verbiage and methodology of coercion and harassment do not sit well with me.

On another online forum a guy pointed out how he hated the term pro-life, because the opposite of it is anti-life. It is not as if those who support abortion are anti-life. There are equally compassionate and equally cruel on both sides.  In a true sense to be pro-life you would have to be against death penalty, wars etc. When you make exceptions, you are not really pro-life. Pro-life people are not truly pro-life, all they do is subscribe to a different definition and value to the word 'life'. In fact both the terms pro-life and pro-choice are misguided use of semantics. Because its not like anti-abortion people are against choices, they merely feel that there are better choices in comparison to abortion.

However, these misguided semantics are something I can live with. What absolutely kills me are terms like 'baby killer', 'murderer', 'nazi' and other despicable words. You really cannot compare a doctor who performs a morally questionable, but comepletely legal surgery to a group of tyrants who gassed thousands of living people in an act that is morally and legally condemned by a majority. A murderer or a war criminal deserves a trial and punishment and will not stop unless forced to, a doctor is just doing his job, and he will stop if it is illegal.

While passionate evangelicals and TV personalities like Bill O' Reilly trash abortion doctors and the pro-abortion people, they may not be literally telling people to kill them. But, their words paint a picture that these people are ghastly people who deserve to be dead, and it is not surprising that every once in a while someone takes that picture very seriously.

This is not the first time this has happened. Abortion clinics, stem cell clinics, and doctors have been threatened, harrassed, beaten and absused. Even secretaries and lab assistants who just do paperwork have not been spared.

This is really a wake up call for both sides,to carefully rethink their words. Are you expressing your belief or are you being so carried away by your passion that you are painting an unfair and untrue picture of the other side. I'm pretty thick skinned, but I know that sometimes the way people speak against abortion its like just because a person supports abortion you are the scum of the earth.

Theres one surprising thing though. No pastor, evangelical or other prominent speakers on the pro-life side have faced such threat. No doctor has been threatened or attacked for refusing to do an abortion. Heck, sometimes their right to refuse dispensing birth control (ironic if you are against abortion) is supported. I have to say the pro-choice camp seems to really lack passion in what they believe in. Wimpy weiners.

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rogna IF-Dazzler

Joined: 30 November 2007
Posts: 4973

Posted: 04 June 2009 at 1:24am | IP Logged
isn't killing a man fully grown mature man even worse than abortion

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