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Archive for Sunday, May 31, 2009

Anti-abortion groups fear Tiller’s murder could influence Supreme Court justice’s confirmation

May 31, 2009, 3:19 p.m. Updated May 31, 2009, 3:57 p.m.

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George Tiller shot to death at church

The man accused of shooting and killing Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller remains in jail.

— 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.

Many anti-abortion groups condemned the killing of Tiller, a prominent abortion provider who was shot dead at his church in Wichita, Kan. 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."

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.

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."

A month ago, Terry was arrested protesting President Barack 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."

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.

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."

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.

Comments

chicklet 5 years, 4 months ago

They should be scared, they made him a martyr.

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UfoPilot 5 years, 4 months ago

Assume, Assume, Assume. No name released. No motive released. You make yourself look dumb by making assumptions . If having one nut job a member of a group makes the whole group nut jobs, then you must be a nut job as well, because you are a member of (some) group.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

Did these terrorists really think they have any leverage to stop this confirmation before one of their faithful devotees committed this terrible murder? The Republican Party is already in the tank, with it's leaders Steele, Limbaugh, Cheney and Gingrich. Do the Republicans think they could have had some effect on this nominee? This is the most disgusting item I have seen in the news for some time.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

"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."

No, I don't think that would move some mentally-challenged moron to kill anyone, do you?? Ya think??

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storm 5 years, 4 months ago

This brings to national light how awful it's been for women to excerise their right to choose. It's unfortunate that operation rescue and their ilk misplaced blame on physicians instead of the women. Operation resue can't even identify Dr. Tiller as a doctor in their statement. They don't seem like a credible lot. They're their own worse enemy.

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storm 5 years, 4 months ago

This brings to national light how awful it's been for women to exercise their right to choose. It's unfortunate that operation rescue and their ilk misplaced blame on physicians instead of the women, all this time. Operation resue can't even identify Dr. Tiller as a doctor in their statement. They don't seem like a credible lot. They're their own worse enemy.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 4 months ago

bearded_gnome

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the lead up to this made it clear that no whites, few males, would be considered.

besides being hispanic and female, is she also dyslexic, disabled, a lesbian? I mean, did all the other checkboxes line up too?

she is blatantly racist to say that the experience of a latina is "richer" and would make for a better judge than the experience of a white male.

the reverse would draw the long knives, and rightly so, but the far left is hypocritically accepting this blatant racism.

---still true, moreso now.

btw, Tiller was killed by a "Freeman" antigovernment nutbag not a member of the religious "rite."

'mania isn't too bright.

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ASBESTOS 5 years, 4 months ago

"btw, Tiller was killed by a “Freeman” antigovernment nutbag not a member of the religious “rite.”"

Also a proven Operation Rescue member as well.

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Mike Blur 5 years, 4 months ago

The following is directed at bearded_groan: (from the fox4kc web site) "Wichita Police are also towing the blue Taurus back to Wichita.

Neighbors said they've seen a similar car at the house in Merriam. They describe the ongoings at the house as strange.

They said it's a revolving door of men coming and staying there and describe what appear to be religious gatherings."

You don't know at all, talking out of your ass (as usual) and it looks like indeed, Roeder is a member of the extreme religious rite/right. Just like you.

I have friends that are conservative and religious. (I am neither.) None of them are nowhere near at hateful as yourself and the other right-wing wack jobs that infect this comment forum.

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