UK, American, Canadian Pro-Life Groups Condemn Tiller Murder
By Alex Bush
June 1, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller, pro-life groups from across North America and the UK have condemned the killing as “heinous,” “deplorable,” “cowardly,” “senseless,” and “unconscionable.”
Abortionist Tiller was renowned for performing late-term abortions in Kansas, many of them post-viability. The abortionist only recently found himself in court facing 19 counts of performing illegal late-term abortions, but was found “not guilty” by a jury last month. He had also survived a previous murder attempt in 1993.
Scott Roeder, a man with no affiliations with the mainstream pro-life movement, has been taken into custody and is expected to be charged with allegedly murdering Tiller.
LifeSiteNews.com has obtained statements from some 20 pro-life groups, all unanimously condemning the murder. The statements stress that while Tiller was involved in perpetrating a great evil, all life is sacred, including the lives of abortionists. They also stress that the pro-life movement wishes to change abortion laws by legal means and not by violence. (To read all the statements, click here)
“Pro-lifers do not answer violence with violence,” said Stephen Borden, a Pastor in a pro-life African-American coalition, in response to the news of the Tiller slaying.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a colleague of Borden, said that she “wanted to share with [Tiller] the harm [she] experienced from abortion.” She continued, saying that she had a deep desire for Tiller to “join me in repentance.”
“I am deeply sorry that his life was taken before that could happen,” King said.
Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family issued a statement saying that members of the organization “categorically condemn the act of vigilantism and violence.” Dobson said that America was built on the rule of law, and despite the verdict in Tiller’s case “he was acquitted by the court and declared ‘not guilty’ in the eyes of the law. That is our system, and we honor it.”
Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition in Canada and Vice President of International Right to Life said that not only is the murder of abortionists “seriously damaging to the pro-life cause, it is also deeply contrary to everything that is meant by the phrase pro-life.”
The Family Research Council issued a statement saying that they “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.”
The UK group Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) director John Smeaton said on his blog, “SPUC has always condemned violence, whether against abortionists or unborn babies.”
“Those responsible [for violence against abortionists] have on each occasion acted as individuals, and not members of any pro-life group,” he continued.
The American Life League’s executive director Shaun Kenney said that “Leaders within the pro-life movement often discuss justice in connection with our mission to end the tragedy of abortion. Today, Dr. George Tiller's life ended in an act defying those principles.”
“We firmly hope the perpetrators of this act are apprehended, that the facts be made known, and that justice according to the law is preserved and dispensed.”
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, said in a statement that “We cannot create a Civilization of Love with such violence. 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.”
Burch quoted Cardinal John O’Connor, who said that killing abortionists “discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder. It’s madness. You cannot prevent killing by killing.”
The National Right to Life Executive Director David O’Steen said that the “pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.”
List of pro-life groups condemning the murder (To read all the statements, click here):
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
40 Days For Life
Center for Bio Ethical Reform
American Life League
Focus on the Family
Women Influencing the Nation
Campaign Life Coalition
Kansas Coalition for Life
Life Issues Institute
Family Research Council
The Christian Anti-Defamation League
Kansas Family Policy Council
Susan B. Anthony List
Priests For Life
Kansans For Life
National Right to Life
Kelowna Right to Life
Real Women of BC