Pro-Lifers Say Abortionist’s Murder Undermines the Right-to-Life Movement
June 1, 2009 - 8:22 AMPro-life groups say murder is incompatible with their beliefs, and they are condemning the shooting death of Kansas abortionist George Tiller.
Tiller, one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions, was killed Sunday at the Wichita church where he was serving as an usher.
A suspect identified by authorities as Scott Roeder was booked into Wichita's county jail on a charge of first-degree murder, the Associated Press reported.
Tiller’s family called his murder an unspeakable tragedy. "This is particularly heart-wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace," Tiller’s widow, four children and 10 grandchildren said in statement.
Many pro-life activists agree: Operation Rescue said it has “worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him (Dr. Tiller) brought to justice.” The group said it denounces the “vigilantism and the cowardly act” that took place Sunday morning, and it prayed that Tiller’s family “will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”
Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said he was stunned.
“As Christians we pray and look toward the end of all violence and for the saving of souls, not the taking of human life. George Tiller was a man who we publicly sought to stop through legal and peaceful means. We strongly condemn the actions taken today by this vigilante killer and we pray for the Tiller family and for the nation that we might once again be a nation that values all human, both born and unborn."
CatholicVote.org also condemned Tiller’s murder and expressed hope that his killer will be brought to justice. “We cannot create a Civilization of Love with such violence,” said Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote.org.
“We call upon all people of good will to pray this week for the soul of Mr. Tiller and to pray that our society will abandon every form of hatred and violence. This senseless act of violence represents the utter antithesis of a people of life. The tens of millions of Americans who peacefully pray and work every day for the protection of all human life are rightfully grieved by this news.”
Burch also quoted the late Cardinal John O’Connor, who said, "If anyone has an urge to kill someone at an abortion clinic, they should shoot me. ... It's madness. It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder...You cannot prevent killing by killing.”
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveAmerica.com, said it’s important for everyone, including pro-abortion media representatives and pro-abortion politicians, to know that pro-life Americans stand against murder.
"Although Tiller killed thousands of unborn babies through late-term and partial-birth abortions, murder is murder and wrong is wrong. Abortion and murder are both unacceptable. Pro-life Americans are peacefully representing unborn babies through sidewalk counseling, public education, and legislative efforts. Murder is against pro-life values," Thomasson said.
Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said she visited Tiller’s clinic two years ago, in the hope that she could change his mind about abortion:
“I wanted to share with him the harm I experienced from abortion,” King said. My prayer was that one day he would join me in repentance. I am deeply sorry that his life was taken before that could happen.”
King called it especially horrifying that Tiller was shot in church: “Just as the womb should be a safe haven, so should church. I condemn this murder in the strongest possible terms.”