Hill Case Sets Back Pro-Life Cause, Poll Shows

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The case of Paul Hill, the former minister who was put to death in Florida Wednesday for the murder of an abortionist and his bodyguard nine years ago, hurts the American pro-life cause, according to the results of an Internet survey.

The poll conducted by CNSNews.com - Cybercast News Service -- showed that 66 percent of the respondents thought Hill's actions "hurt the pro-life movement," while eight percent said they think it helped the movement.

Nearly a quarter of respondents believe Hill's actions will have no effect on pro-life efforts, according to the survey, which involved 769 respondents between the mornings of Sept. 3 and Sept. 4. The responses represent the opinions of those reading the Internet newswire and the survey is not considered scientific.

"These data are indicative of what we've been hearing in the pro-life community," said CNSNews.com Managing Editor David Thibault. "There are very few people who support Hill, and a vast majority of pro-life conservatives with whom we've talked about this agree it hurts their cause."

Hill was sentenced to death after the July 29, 1994 murder of Dr. James Britton and his bodyguard, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, near an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Fla. Hill was executed by lethal injection Wednesday, making him the first American to be put to death for violence linked to abortion.

Officials in Florida said Hill's last words were, "May God help you to protect the unborn as you would want to be protected."

Hill, a former Presbyterian minister, did not contest his sentence following the statutory appeals involved with death penalty cases in Florida. He had maintained that his murder of Britton saved the lives of unborn children, and Hill had urged other pro-life advocates to use whatever means were necessary to protect the unborn.

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