FoxNews: “Pro-Life Groups Fear Backlash After Tiller Murder”

From AP via FoxNews:

My emphases and comments:

Pro-Life Groups Fear Backlash After Tiller Murder
Many anti-abortion groups condemned the killing of Tiller, a prominent abortion provider who was shot dead at his church in Wichita, Kansas. But they expressed concern that abortion-rights activists would use the occasion to brand the entire anti-abortion movement as extremist[Isn’t that what the Department of Homeland Security did in a memo?  Along with military veterans?]

NEW YORK — Anti-abortion leaders voiced concern Sunday that the Obama administration and other Democrats may try to capitalize on the murder of Dr. George Tiller to defuse the abortion issue in upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings. [It might go beyond that.]

Many anti-abortion […] groups condemned the killing of Tiller, a prominent abortion provider who was shot dead at his church in Wichita, Kansas. But they expressed concern that abortion-rights activists would use the occasion to brand the entire anti-abortion movement as extremist.

They also worried that there would now be an effort to stifle anti-abortion viewpoints during questioning of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Her exact views on abortion aren’t known, but conservatives fear she supports abortion rights. 

Said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, an anti-abortion activist: "No one should use this tragedy for political gain."   [Not a "pro-life" activist.  We can discuss different terms in another entry.]

Tiller, one the few American doctors specializing in late-term abortions, had been the target of repeated protests and harassment for many years, and he was wounded by gunfire from an anti-abortion activist in 1993.

"It is abhorrent that once again, individuals who oppose the right to choose have used violence to try to advance their extreme anti-choice agenda," said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation["extreme anti-choice agenda"]

"We condemn this lawless act of violence. The foundational right to life that our work is dedicated to extends to everyone. Whoever is responsible for this reprehensible violence must be brought to justice under the law," said Americans United for Life President and CEO, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, in a statement.

While many anti-abortion leaders swiftly issued statements condemning the shooting, their expressions of dismay were not echoed by Randall Terry, a veteran anti-abortion activist whose protests have often targeted Tiller.

"George Tiller was a mass murderer and we cannot stop saying that," Terry said. "He was an evil man — his hands were covered with blood."

Terry said he was now concerned that the Obama administration "will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions."  ["most effective rhetoric" does not in my mind include murdering abortionists.]

A month ago, Terry was arrested protesting President Obama’s appearance at the University of Notre Dame commencement. The president’s graduation speech was dominated by abortion issue — and an appeal for the nation to seek common ground instead of vitriol.

Mahoney said he had been conferring with other anti-abortion leaders about how to deal with any backlash to the Tiller killing that might undercut their cause at a time when they are trying to challenge Obama’s support for abortion rights.

"I’d hope they wouldn’t try to broad-brush the entire pro-life movement as some sort of extremist movement because of what happened in Wichita," Mahoney said. "That’s really important — don’t use this personal loss for a political gain."  [But… isn’t that what that memo of the Dept. of Homeland Security did?]

He noted that abortion is likely to be one of the most contentious issues at Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings, and expressed hope that the Tiller murder would not be raised there[Well… it is part of the background buzz now, one way or other.]

Abortion rights leaders reacted to the killing with shock and determination

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the murder would "send a chill down the spines of the brave and courageous providers" offering abortion to American women.

"Violence and murder will never end the need for abortion," said Dr. Suzanne T. Poppema, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. "With great sadness and discouragement we call on the government to reactivate its protection system for our nation’s abortion providers."  [Are pro-life groups justified in being worried?]

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said Tiller was aware of the dangers he faced, "yet he continued to protect his patients and provide safe and legal abortions to women in often-desperate circumstances."

She and other activists urged that Monday be observed as a national day of mourning for Tiller, as well as a day of commitment to the cause of abortion rights.

According to the National Abortion Federation, Tiller was the eighth U.S. abortion provider murdered since 1977, and 17 others had been targeted with attempted murder.


This is going to heat up.

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  1. avecrux says:

    Yes – and I am worried about the focus on Randall Terry given his recent interview with Archbishop Burke.
    Archbishop Burke – who presents the most reasoned, truly Catholic understanding of bringing our Faith to the public square – and who made such a great critique of ND’s invite to Pres. Obama…
    I still think it is odd that we have so little info on the suspect and yet everyone has made statements on his motives already.
    Doesn’t this all fit so nicely into the Dept. of Homeland Security’s agenda and the arrest of “trespassers” (like a Priest praying the Rosary) at ND?

  2. John 6:54 says:

    As frustrated as I am about legal abortion in the United State, today’s news did my heart no good. If anything it frustrated me even more. God’s victory needs our vigilance but not vigilantes.

  3. Mark Windsor says:

    Our Lady of Akita, pray for us.

  4. As soon as I saw the Randall Terry press release, I knew it was going to be thrown in our faces. It didn’t take long, did it? One quote condemning the killing, a statement that other pro-life (excuse me “anti-abortion”) groups also condemned it, then three paragraphs on Randall Terry.

  5. “According to the National Abortion Federation, Tiller was the eighth U.S. abortion provider murdered since 1977…”

    What they are not telling you is that he is the only American abortionist murdered since 1998. (That statistic can be verified, for example, at this page on Wikipedia. Pro-choicers dominate abortion-related articles on Wikipedia, so this is particularly significant.

    I am very sad about this. The killer had no thought for the state of Tiller’s soul. Let us pray for both of them, and for the babies.

    Ironically, it might be that this won’t change the rhetoric much. One of my friends recently advocated the talking point of, “Do you know how many abortionists have been killed in the past decade?” When the person hazarded a guess, he would reply, “Zero.” But gun-toting anti-abortion protesters have remained a common stereotype in the media anyway. In other words, I’m not sure that the stereotypes have much connection to reality, one way or the other.

  6. ED2 says:

    Well, it sends a chill down my spine to hear abortionists being described as brave and couragoues. How can it be brave and courageous to kill a baby?

  7. Lubeltri says:

    WILLIAM ROPER: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    SIR THOMAS MORE: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    ROPER: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!


  8. Juli says:

    “”It is abhorrent that once again, individuals who oppose the right to choose have used violence to try to advance their extreme anti-choice agenda,” said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. [“extreme anti-choice agenda”]”

    Oh dear… I thought only one person is the murderer. Who are these “individuals” that Ms. Saporta mentions?

  9. Cygnus says:

    If I were Obama, I would go on TV and tell Congress to pass FOCA tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t, of course, but if I were of his mindset, that’s how I’d take advantage of this.

    As for Randall Terry, he’s officially off the deep end.

  10. Ma Tucker says:

    Of course one must ask why abortionists who murder children for a living never fear a constant blacklash from pro-life groups. Could it be that they know well that pro-life groups do not support murder. Anyway, Tiller might have been killed for a completely different reason. Let’s wait and see shall we.

  11. C. says:

    If they want to try to make a hero out of Tiller, let them try. Americans despise late-term abortions, which are Tiller’s life’s work. We deplore vigilantism against child molesters too, but that doesn’t validate their crimes.

  12. EDG says:

    In fairness to Randall Terry (whom I do not like), he didn’t say anything urging or supporting the killing of Tiller. He simply said that Tiller was evil and had blood on his hands, which is absolutely the truth, and that he was concerned that Obama would use this to attack the rest of the pro-life movement, also a realistic concern.

    I don’t support violence against abortionists or anybody else and killing Tiller was wrong. But we have to remember that Tiller not only died by the sword, but lived by it. He engaged in an extremely evil practice, blatantly, frequently; he encouraged it, he defended it, he suborned politicians to support it and crush people who opposed it, and there is no doubt that he was possessed by evil and was having an evil effect on our society. He will have to answer to God for all this, and only God knows what his eternal judgment will be. We should not rejoice at his death, but I think we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Tiller was a very evil man.

    I am saying this because Tiller is now being portrayed as a hero and a martyr, and seeing him described that way makes me sick.

  13. Jordanes says:

    Millions of babies have been brutally murdered by abortionists. Seven, perhaps eight, abortionists have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists. But it’s the peaceful pro-lifers who pray or sidewalk counsel outside the butcher shops who are demonised by American society and the mainstream media.

  14. Seamus says:

    Well, Rahm Emmanuel has said that “you must never let a serious crisis go to waste.” I can’t see the administration letting this Reichstag fire go to waste, either.

  15. Rancher says:

    The effect on the Sotomajor confirmation hearing is likely minimal for two reasons. #1 It is unlikely that the Senate will mount much opposition to her for a variety of politically correct reasons, and #2 Her clearly racist comments and affiliations would likely, if there is any opposition, be more of a problem for her than her views on abortion

  16. Jim Dorchak says:

    It is very sad that this man or any other is murdered. Obviously murder is wrong.

    I am asking:

    Is it possible that some one who is actually pro abortion killed this man?

    I think so.

    Then the question is why?

    Jim Dorchak

  17. MAJ Tony says:

    Randall Terry’s complete quote as per (emphasis mine)

    George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

    Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.

  18. Laura Lowder says:

    First of all, this report contains erroneous “facts.” Tiller was NOT one of the few abortionists in the nation performing late-term abortions; he was one of the few who performed them in a clinic, rather than in a hospital. Late term abortions account for approx. 1.4% of all abortions performed – that’s roughly 42 per day in the U.S. – and most of those are performed in hospitals.

    Moreover, the pro-aborts fail to take note of the fact that pro-abortion violence occurs at a far greater rate. More pro-abortion acts of violence are performed against men, women, and wanted babies per year than anti-abortion violence since the mid-1960s. See for more info – I’ve got some of it up on my blog, also.

    We need to know these things in order to counter the hostilities being leveled against us now – no matter that we denounce violence.

    This murderer of Dr. Tilley may have termporarily saved a few babies, but some other profit-making abortionist will fill Tilley’s shoes soon enough; and in the meantime, he has made our work of promoting Life much more difficult.

  19. Chris Ronk says:

    I can only imagine that the man who shot Tiller was acting under his version of beliefs being fed to him by his religion and whatever media outlets that may have coincided with those religious beliefs.

    In my opinion; he acted no differently that an Al Qaeda follower or suicide bomber might have acted.

    I’m not blaming religion per se, but sometimes when you mix ideology with an unstable mind these things happen.

    Ironically, this does nothing to promote the so-called “Pro-Life” movement.

    Whether you believe in a woman’s right to choose or not; this is not the answer.

  20. Broadsword says:

    Please forgive this very cynical question; I do not really believe it. But in the same way the pro-abortion people have said, “How can you oppose abortion yet support the death penalty”, what would they say if asked, “How can you support abortion yet oppose murder?” It is, of course not a charitable question, but perhaps shines a bit of light…

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