By John Jalsevac
September 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This morning at 7:20am James Pouillon, an elderly Michigan-area pro-life activist, was gunned down in front of Owosso High School while protesting abortion with a large sign depicting a baby and the word “Life.” A second man was also killed shortly thereafter – Mike Fuoss, the owner of a local gravel pit. It is so far unknown what the motives for the two killings were.
Pro-life leaders, many of whom personally knew Pouillon, have reacted with horror to the senseless killing of the long-time and dedicated activist for the unborn.
“We are stunned by Jim's murder,” said Operation Rescue (OR) President Troy Newman. “We extend our condolences to the family and share in their grief over his loss. His life was characterized by his love and concern of the vulnerable, and he will be greatly missed.
“We denounce this senseless act of violence in the strongest terms, and pray that this murderer will be swiftly brought to justice.”
Pastor Matt Trewhella of Missionaries of the Preborn said in a press release that Pouillon had joined his group for a few stops of a pro-life tour less than a month ago. “Jim was a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man. All who knew him, knew this,” he said.
Trewhella lamented that, “The press in all its hypocrisy is already painting Jim as a controversial figure. Their hypocrisy is rank. Remember when Tiller was killed how the press painted him as the most saintly man in America, singing his praises? They paint the man who kills the babies as some saint while the man who exposes the babies' suffering is painted as something bad.”
“Jim Pouillon is a hero,” said Monica Migliorino Miller of South Lyon, the director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society. “Jim died while giving a peaceful witness to the sacredness of human life. He stood outside of the local high school on many occasions holding a sign of a baby to send a message to the students that abortion is the taking of innocent life.
“Now his life has been taken as he stood in witness against the injustice of abortion.
“When violence is aimed at those who provide abortion – pro-life leaders are swift to condemn it. We call on the pro-abortion community to condemn this violence against Jim Pouillon. Many have already blamed Jim for his own death because he dared to stand on the street with a pro-life sign. Such a point of view is atrocious and grossly irresponsible.”
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) this morning that he hoped to see “a strong expression of indignation from the pro-abortion community, just like there was a strong expression of indignation form the pro-life community at the killing of Dr. Tiller.”
Fr. Pavone also called for “a renewal of unity within the pro-life community, coming to one another's assistance supporting one another, and by no means allowing fear or intimidation to have any role in our lives, but rather to move forward in peaceful organized ways to stand against this evil of abortion.”
Bradley Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute, said, “It's hard to imagine the hatred that motivates someone to murder, regardless of which side of the debate they're on. It's all desperately wrong.
“The murder of millions of innocent unborn babies is spilling out onto the streets of America. I pray we can stop the killing on all fronts. Our prayers are with Jim's family.”
Lila Rose, the President of Live Action Media also sent out a release, saying, “We are greatly saddened and disturbed by the murder of pro-life activist, Jim Pouillon.
“We condemn the violent act which robbed Jim of his life, and we stand with him in his protest against our nation's violence to the unborn.
“Now is the time for the pro-life community to stand with even more courage and unity against abortion. We will work tirelessly until our nation recognizes the right to life of every human being, even the smallest and weakest.”
“American Life League is heartbroken over the loss of a true pro-life hero,” said Shaun Kenney, executive director of American Life League, “gunned down on the day Americans across the country mourn the violent deaths of 3,017 people. What a terrible irony that his death, on this day of infamy, brings to mind the 50 million innocent lives lost to abortion.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and community in the wake of this tragedy, and we renew our call for peace and prayer as the only remedies for the culture of violence.”
“Since a motive has not yet been determined, speculation is useless, if not harmful,” cautioned Kenney. ”We commend the Shiawassee County sheriff’s department for its swift apprehension of the suspect, and we pray for God’s justice and mercy.”
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), stated, “We are shocked at this senseless violence against a peaceful man. Jim Pouillon sincerely lived out his belief that babies have the right to be born. He dedicated his life to convincing others to reject the violence of abortion. It is a tragedy upon tragedy that a peaceful man who tried to end violence was himself violently killed.
“We hope Attorney General Holder will as vigorously denounce the murder of Jim Pouillon, who tried to save babies from violence, as he did the murder of George Tiller, the late-term abortionist.”
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Well-Known Local Pro-Life Activist Gunned Down in Michigan