Anti-abortion groups unanimously denounce Tiller murder

Tiller had been a lightning rod for pro-life groups for decades as one of the few doctors in the nation performing abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. In March, Tiller was acquitted of 19 misdemeanor criminal charges. He was initially charged with not following Kansas law in getting a second opinion on late-term abortions. Tiller was killed Sunday while ushering at his church in Wichita. His wife, who sings in the choir, was summoned to the back of the church after the shooting. “We are shocked by the murder of George Tiller, and we categorically condemn the act of vigilantism and violence that took his life,” said James Dobson, founder and chairman emeritus of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, a long-time abortion opponent. “America has from its foundation respected the rule of law, by which every citizen is guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those constitutional rights are forfeited only when crimes have been committed, and the perpetrator is charged and found guilty by a jury of his or her peers in a court of law.” Dobson expressed disappointment at the outcome of the court case. “Tiller recently faced serious charges related to the killing of babies in violation of the law, by the most grotesque procedures administered without anesthetics or compassion,” Dobson said. “We profoundly regretted the outcome of his legal case, believing the doctor had the blood of countless babies on his hands. Nevertheless, he was exonerated by the court and declared ‘not guilty’ in the eyes of the law. That is our system, and we honor it. “Our condolences are extended to the Tiller family. The person or persons responsible for his death should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” The suspect in the murder, 51-year-old Scott Roeder, will be tried in state, not federal, Sedgwick County (Kan.) District Attorney Nola Foulston told KAKE-TV Monday. Operation Rescue, a longtime foe of Tiller’s, echoed Dobson’s views and distanced itself from any association with Roeder. “Scott Roeder has never been a member, contributor, or volunteer with Operation Rescue,” said Troy Newman, Operation Rescue president in a statement. “Mr. Roeder may have posted to our open blog web site, as have thousands of members of the public, including those with pro-abortion views, but he is not affiliated with this organization. “We deplore the criminal actions with which Mr. Roeder is accused. “The pro-life ethic is to value all human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Operation Rescue has diligently and successfully worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see to it that abortionists around the nation are brought to justice. Without due process, there can be no justice. “In spite of these horrific events, we remain dedicated to working through all peaceful and legal means available to bring an end to the killing of innocent children through abortion.” Presbyterians Pro-Life also saw Tiller’s murder as unacceptable despie deep-seeded opposition to his practice. “PPL affirms the value of every human life; our work is directed toward helping the Presbyterian Church (USA) restore its own biblical and confessional belief that every innocent human life deserves protection and care,” the organization said. ”We abhor the violence of abortion and surely Dr. Tiller was a long-time participant in the killing of many innocent pre-born children, but in our deep commitment to protect unborn life, we disavow all use of violent means of protest or retaliation.”

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