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May-31-2009 10:58printcomments

Dr. Tiller, Reknowned Abortion Doctor Murdered in Kansas Church

After years of repeatedly being the target of protests and violence, the doctor was killed while attending church.

Dr. Tiller
Photo: blognetnews

(WICHITA, Kansas) - Police say a Kansas doctor was killed Sunday about 10:00 a.m. while attending the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, where he was a member of the congregation.

The attorney for Dr. Tiller, Dan Monnat, told The AP that Dr. Tiller was shot as he served as an usher during Sunday morning services, and Tiller's wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time of the shooting.

67-year old Dr. George Tiller has been at the head of longstanding controversy surrounding his practice of administering abortions. His clinic has been the site of many anti-abortion protests for decades, and the doctor was recently acquitted of several misdemeanor charges lodged against him. Tiller has been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortion.

According to The New York Times, the doctor was killed when shots were fired from a handgun from the church lobby as he walked into the morning service.

The Wichita Eagle newspaper's website says authorities are looking for a powder blue Taurus made in the 90's which witnesses saw leaving the parking lot immediately after the shooting. They also told the newspaper that the assailant appeared to be a white man. NBC News affiliate, KSN news, reports that the Taurus has a Kansas tag of 225BAB, traced to a residence in Marion, Kansas.

According to the Associated Press, Dr. Tiller had been a favorite target of anti-abortion protesters, and he testified that he and his family suffered years of harassment and threats.

The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue which has been highly critical of Tiller issued this statement via their website:

"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."

Dr. Tiller was beseiged with difficulties throughout his career while attempting to perform medical services for women.

In 1985 his clinic was bombed. In 1991, the clinic was the site of protest called "Summer of Mercy", complete with mass demonstrations and arrests; and in 1993, Dr. Tiller was shot in both his arms by an extremist abortion opponent, Shelley Shannon, who received an 11-year prison sentence for the crime.

On March 19th, 2009, Dr. Tiller was acquitted of 19 misdemeanor charges stemming from procedures he performed. He could have faced a year in jail for one conviction. The jury took about an hour to find him not guilty of all counts, which stemmed from the notion that he had gotten second opinions from a doctor he worked with instead of an independent doctor.

Another investigation was announced just moments after that verdict however, when the state’s medical board said it was looking into allegations against him that were nearly identical to those the jury had rejected.

According to the Wichita Eagle, Dr. Tiller's clinic had been vandalized in early May, including wires to security cameras, outdoor lighting wiring cut, and the roof was cut and building's downspouts plugged which reportedly caused thousands of dollars of damage to when rain poured through the roof.

Dr. Tiller studied at the University of Kansas School of Medicine from 1963 to 1967. Shortly thereafter, he held a medical internship with United States Navy, and served as flight surgeon in Oakland, California in 1969 and 1970. The Christian Defense Coalition has scheduled a news conference in front of the US Supreme Court on Monday, June 1, to discuss the impact the shooting of Dr. George Tiller will have on the anti-abortion movement and the Supreme Court.

Christian Newswire says that Rev. Patrick Mahoney, national leader and former national spokesperson for Operation Rescue, had just completed leading two weeks of prayer vigils in Wichita during the trial of Dr. Tiller. Their website published a condemnation of the shooting by Rev. Patrick Mahoney.

“This is going to be a larger search than maybe just Wichita,” said Brent Allred, a police captain, who told the New York Times the FBI and state police had been called to the scene.

By noon, there were reportedly few parishioners still at the church, a facility that seats about 500, though police cars were a plenty.

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chris December 16, 2010 12:42 pm (Pacific time)

I just wanted anyone’s opinion on if I was in the wrong here, and what any of you guys would have done in this situation. So my wife is quite liberal and I’m more on the conservative side, and she’s about 3 months pregnant. She can’t work right now, so I’ve been forced to support her as of late. The thing is that about a week ago she started asking me if she could borrow $400, and being pretty secretive about the reason why. I soon found out that $400 was the average cost of a back alley abortion, which is ridiculous considering that she knows how vehemently pro-life I am. After refusing to give her the money and the countless hours of arguing that ensued, I ended up making a comment about how if she wanted to do something liberal with $400, she should take advantage of Obummer’s “ ARRA,” so that “instead of murdering our kid, he can have satellite internet at a smashing price!” (I linked it so you can actually see it’s about $400 in taxpayer money that our President chose to waste on this s**t, aren’t I so funny hah). The messed up part is that she went and told her dad, who happens to be just as liberal as her, and who also happens to own the house that we’re renting. To make a long story short, my tenancy has been “suspended” from his house (I’m now staying at my buddy’s place until this thing blows over) and he gave her the money to get the abortion. I haven’t talked to her in almost a week, so it’s pretty safe to say that she has already gone through with it. So my question is, do you think I was being inappropriate for mocking my wife and father in law’s political ideologies, or do you think I’m being unfairly persecuted because of my relative conservatism, and the Obummer joke I made has little to nothing to do with this? I’m thinking the latter.

Editor: There is nothing wrong with your believing what you believe, but try to see the bigger picture.  I can see that you are a card and probably a pretty nice guy.  I would toss out an apology and get it back together so your life is normalized.  It sounds like a tough experience, I used to be totally what you could call 'pro-life' but I can't see the laws that restrict it being the answer.  

Cath August 3, 2009 7:42 am (Pacific time)

I do not see how 'murderous hatred' motivates the anti-abortion movement libhomo! More likely the hatred of murder of defenceless babies motivates them!

Joe June 1, 2009 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

It is the hatred of murder that motivates the pro-life movement. Any REAL pro-lifer roundly condemns this idiot for what he is. This murder was committed by a murderer who would have eventually have found SOMEthing to kill over. Anti-abortion was just the most convenient excuse for him.

Mike H. June 1, 2009 8:54 am (Pacific time)

Those sorts of people have their heads wedged so far up their ass it's not even funny. Sickening huh, that they were probably church going people...Don't kill? So much for that. RIP Doctor Tiller

Henry Ruark May 31, 2009 7:58 pm (Pacific time)

"Anti-abortion" ostensibly devoted to pro-life stance, with life so precious cannot be sacrificed under any condition. How ironic that murder is committed in defense of that belief !

libhomo May 31, 2009 5:23 pm (Pacific time)

This terrorist crime demonstrates the murderous hatred that motivates the anti abortion movement.

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