Sunday May 31, 2009

Kansas Late-Term Abortionist George Tiller Shot and Killed – Pro-Life Groups React

By John Jalsevac

WICHITA, KS, May 31, 2009 ( – Witnesses have confirmed that a man that was shot and killed in the lobby at a Wichita church this morning was Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Tiller, 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a congregation member. Police have reportedly apprehended a suspect – a white male who was seen fleeing the scene of the shooting in a blue Taurus.

The Kansas abortionist has long been a lightning rod for the abortion debate, partly on account of his emphasis on providing late-term abortions at his Wichita facility – a specialization that recently landed him in court on 19 counts of conducting illegal late-term abortions.

Last month, after a three day trial, a jury acquitted Tiller of all the charges. Immediately following the trial, however, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts stated that it was bringing 11 charges against Tiller’s license. The Board accused Tiller of “performing an abortion on a fetus that was viable without having a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with him; unprofessional or dishonorable conduct or professional incompetency; and commitment of acts likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.”

Pro-life organizations immediately denounced this morning’s killing. Operation Rescue, which has helped spearheaded the effort to bring the charges against the abortionist, issued a statement, saying:

“We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. 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. We pray for Mr. Tiller’s family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has also been closely involved in Tiller’s case, issued a brief statement saying simply that he and his coalition “condemn” the shooting.

Jim Hughes, the president of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, and vice president of International Right to Life, also reacted to the shooting with dismay. “Not only is this sort of violence seriously damaging to the pro-life cause, it is also deeply contrary to everything that is meant by the phrase pro-life,” he told “Those of us in the pro-life movement do not want to see abortionists die, we want to see them convert.”

Hughes speculated that the shooter may be someone who has been personally affected by abortion and was seeking revenge against Tiller. “May God have mercy on his soul,” said Hughes of the abortionist.

Fr. Pavone, the head of priests for life, also issued a statement, saying:” I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind itâEUR¦

“But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions.”

See related coverage:

Jury Declares Abortionist Tiller Not Guilty of Illegal Late-Term Abortions

Tiller Update 3: Closing Arguments Scheduled for Early Friday after Tiller Admits Alleged Illegal Associate “Worked” for Him

Tiller Trial Update 2: Tiller Takes the Stand after Alleged Partner Neuhaus Declared Hostile Witness

Tiller Trial Update: Abortionist Offers “Conflicting” Statements on Tiller Relationship