Wichita Kansas: Media outlets are reporting that Dr. George Tiller has been murdered at his church in Wichita, Kan. He is one of the nation’s few doctors who performs late-term abortions in keeping with state and federal laws. (I will be researching the diagnosis and eitiology of those late-term medical abortions soon, insofar as HIPAA laws will allow, to see what circumstances led to these particular operations being undertaken. There are often severe conditions warranting such surgery that are rarely reported by media, such as massive injury and irrepairable trauma to the infant in utero, as in the case of auto accidents for instance.)

Anonymous police sources said the 67-year-old doctor was killed Sunday morning inside the Reformation Lutheran Church, that the gunman lay in wait, sprang out, and shot the Doctor to death.

Police spokesman Gordon Bassham would not confirm the victim’s identity pending notification of relatives but said a 67-year-old “high-profile individual in the community” was shot and killed.

Tiller’s clinic, home and church have repeatedly been the site of protests for about two decades, and he was shot in both arms by a protester in 1993.

Just as three peripheral notes for now:

Wichita is not far from Topeka… the home of Fred Phelps who with his family of self-ordained Baptists, shows up to veterans funerals and tragedy memorial services with signs saying God Hates You.

Wichita is also the home of perhaps the most fundementalist Catholic Dioscese in the nation, one whose Bishop has issued press release after press release for years now, about how he is punishing and shaming errant Catholics, and naming them by name.

While I was in South Bend, Indiana during the week of the 17th, covering Barack Obama’s speech at Notre Dame, but more so, the community’s response to 8 weeks of Randall Terry who has positioned himself as anti-abortionist hero, bringing hoards of his anti-abortion protesters in from out of state, and littering the community with mobile billboards of dead children, placing them near schools and other places where actual living children must pass … and finding in my research in prep for that article that Randall Terry (who converted to Catholicism two years ago, saying the Evangelical Protestants werent hard enough on the abortion issue) has more than once publicly called for the murder of persons who undergo abortions, assist with abortions, perform abortions, give money to/for abortion. There is much more to this story.

But in all, murder as a “justice” intervention? Those of you who read my work, know my heart on bringing children to life; you know my spirit on the matter. But, taking the life of a person who performs within the laws of the land, is Christian?

DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
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CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago

Murder is obviously NOT just. A belief in right to life should extend to all IMO (including opposition of state imposed death penalty.)

I’m horrified and disgusted at this vigilante “justice” even though I strongly opposed the actions of Dr. Tiller.

GreenDreams
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Reflecting on the proclamations by some of our commenters justifying racial profiling (haven’t most terrorists been Middle Eastern Muslims?), it occurs to me that this is the other source of domestic terrorism. Does anyone think the perpetrators of these acts are Democrats? Anyone think they are non-Christians? Logically, then, Christian Republicans would be appropriate targets for surveillance if we hope to stem the tide of domestic terrorism.

Of course I’m not serious. I disagree with any domestic surveillance without probable cause, but those who made similar points about Muslims might want to reconsider…

kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
7 years 3 months ago

Well said, CStanley. Equally to the point, and it cannot be said often enough, abortion is legal in this country — and that includes the late-term abortions provided by Dr. Tiller. Tiller was murdered for providing entirely lawful medical services.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago

Well, Kathy, the question of legality is quite a bit more muddy than that with regard to whether or not Tiller was acting in accordance with the restrictions put on late term abortions by Kansas law, and as far as I’m concerned his trial was mired in political corruption. But none of that justifies his murder in the least.

Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 3 months ago
I’m not suprised. I’m just not. If anything I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier. Do you know what it’s like if these people think you’re a “murderer”? About twenty years ago I worked as the sole member of the IT staff for Planned Parenthood of Greater Kansas City. Like any other office worker at that time I showed up at 8 AM dressed in slacks and a nice shirt and left at 5 ( I get away with a polo shirt and khakis or nice jeans now. Crawling under desks on no notice just doesn’t work well with nice clothes.).… Read more »
troosvelt_1858
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troosvelt_1858
7 years 3 months ago

While I am troubled by late term procedures, clearly this crime was not the solution.

Pro life means pro LIFE, of all kinds, including this doctor.

I hope they catch, try and convict whoever committed this murder.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago

I don’t deny or attempt to downplay the violence by prolife extremists, and I denounce all of it. However, it’s also true that there are violent attacks made on prolife protestors, even when they’re protesting peacefully. Many prochoice advocates can’t abide even the presence of prolifers who attempt to counsel women before they go into abortion clinics.

I think there was even a documented report about Dr. Tiller himself running over some protestors outside his clinic, and causing serious injuries.

Again, I don’t feel that any of it is justified, but the extremism isn’t all one sided.

kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
7 years 3 months ago
Well, Kathy, the question of legality is quite a bit more muddy than that with regard to whether or not Tiller was acting in accordance with the restrictions put on late term abortions by Kansas law, and as far as I’m concerned his trial was mired in political corruption. What do you mean? I understand what you mean (although I don’t necessarily agree) with the end part of your sentence following the comma after “Kansas law,” but I don’t follow the distinction you make between the question of legaility (of late-term abortion and abortion in general) and Dr. Tiller’s compliance… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago

I don’t believe he was acting in accordance with the state law, despite his acquittal. The state licensing board has since censured him and if he hadn’t have been murdered he was in serious risk of losing his medical licensure.

Just because the law isn’t being enforced doesn’t mean that what he was doing was legal. His physician for second opinions was anything but independent, which is what the law requires. She’s also no psychiatric expert and should not have been qualified to make determinations about the mental status of the women.

kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
7 years 3 months ago
However, it’s also true that there are violent attacks made on prolife protestors, even when they’re protesting peacefully. Many prochoice advocates can’t abide even the presence of prolifers who attempt to counsel women before they go into abortion clinics. As someone who has volunteered at clinics that provided abortions (in addition to many other ob-gyn services), I understand the anger at pro-life protesters who come up to women and try to persuade them not to have an abortion, but I don’t condone violent reactions, either. Violence, whether lethal or less than lethal, is never justified on either side of this… Read more »
GreenDreams
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7 years 3 months ago
CS, first, it doesn’t matter what you believe. A jury of his peers acquitted him. Action by the licensing board is irrelevant with respect to guilt or innocence. I hardly think you want to hold them up as arbiters of justice, do you? As for your comment about violence against anti-abortionists, that was sufficiently interesting to me to do a bit of digging. I think you’re wrong about that, or at least glossing over the huge levels of violence on your side of the issue. (got links?) That brief research shocked me. I’ve changed my mind about my first comment… Read more »
kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
7 years 3 months ago
don’t believe he was acting in accordance with the state law, despite his acquittal. The state licensing board has since censured him and if he hadn’t have been murdered he was in serious risk of losing his medical licensure. Okay, I take your meaning now. And admittedly it’s true that I did not closely follow Dr. Tiller’s trial, so you may know more about it than I do. Having said that, is it possible that the state censure was politically motivated as well? I mean, Kansas is a very conservative, anti-abortion state, and if the prosecutors did not have or… Read more »
kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
7 years 3 months ago

GD, where did you go for that research? I’d like to take a look myself.

CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago
Action by the licensing board is irrelevant with respect to guilt or innocence. I hardly think you want to hold them up as arbiters of justice, do you? Since they are apolitical, a medical board censuring a doctor for the same reasons that he would have been convicted of breaking the law is a significant sign that the legal process was corrupted in my opinion. I don’t know how in the world any jury could look at the circumstances of the doctor who gave all of the second opinions and not find that the law was broken. She had no… Read more »
Polimom
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7 years 3 months ago

CStanley — you posted a link that was, I understand, to demonstrate “violence committed by prochoicers against prolifers”.

Did you actually look at their documentation? Since I have a great deal of respect for you, and have generally found your positions to be based on rationality, I have to assume not. But you probably should take the time to do so before relying on this particular source in the future. To say their numbers are suspect would be a massive understatement.

GreenDreams
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7 years 3 months ago
CS: omg. medical licensing boards apolitical? ask your doctor friends about that. It is very clearly not true. Here’s an example from personal experience. A doctor friend who had run two successful methadone clinics was taken down by the medical licensing board for “over use” of pain killers. The politics of pain amelioration for cancer patients have changed now, but at the time, our medical board took a moralistic view of the use of narcotics and believed even terminal patients should not ever have ‘on demand’ medication. My doc friend lost his license and yes, his DEA registration, over this.… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago

The medical boards do take ethical stands, GD (some of which we may agree or disagree with), but they aren’t bought and sold by lobbyists in my experience. DA’s do get strongarmed by their state and local officials over politcally connected groups’ influence.

GreenDreams
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7 years 3 months ago
“Glossing over” was inaccurate, CS. I apologize. But I don’t think there is any comparison in terms of violence from anti-abortionists and pro-choice protestors. Anti-abortionists have deliberately caused millions in property damage through arson and vandalism, and have resorted to everything except weapons of mass destruction (though they have threatened that over 600 times) in their frankly terrorist campaign against abortion clinics and even Planned Parenthood offices that don’t provide abortions. Links, Kathy: From Canada, this article details the cases up to 2004 (when it was written): http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_viol.htm Wikipedia’s entry on “anti-abortion violence” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence (there isn’t one on ‘pro-abortion’ violence).… Read more »
Davebo
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Davebo
7 years 3 months ago

CStanley,

Did you post that link with a straight face?

I mean, seriously, 1,251 homicides and other killings?????

Why not just claim over 10,000 since they refuse to document any of them anyway? And they list Dr Milos Klvana in their “more” section despite the fact that his conviction had to do with attempting home deliveries, not abortion.

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

ordinarysparrow
Guest
7 years 3 months ago
So sorry for the lost of this life, i have meet him and he was a decent “salt of the earth Kansan”. . .What kind of mentality justifies gunning down some one at church??? and C Stanley, i would suggest you doing a bit of research on the case brought against Dr. Tiller. . .Let me suggest doing a little research on Phil Kline. . .Zealot Fundamentalist Politician obsessed with anything sexual or having to do with reproductive rights. . . Here is a bit from wicki on Phil Kline. . .the lawsuits had more to do with Kline and… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago
So, ordinarysparrow, what does wiki say about the Harvard psychiatrist who reviewed the files (redacted of personally identifying information to protect privacy) and found that there was no psychiatric history taken, no diagnosis given, but the determination of need was based on frivolous reasons? The guy who was not even consulted by AG Morrison, let alone allowed to provide testimony? It’s much more convenient to smear the character of Kline than to actually examine the evidence he uncovered. It’s also important to follow the money when we question the biases of the two AG’s involved: ProKanDo, a political action committee… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago
Did you actually look at their documentation? Since I have a great deal of respect for you, and have generally found your positions to be based on rationality, I have to assume not. PM, I’m not highly familiar with that source, but each of their allegations is documented either to media sources or court records. I recall reading some of the info on their site about some GA cases, which they reference back to legitimate stories from the AJC, so those at least were valid (I remember some of the cases from local news reports.) Those particular stories weren’t about… Read more »
ordinarysparrow
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7 years 3 months ago

when i tried the link given by asty on Dr. Tiller. . .received a warning that it contained a virus. . .i use to not have a warning alert, so if other’s don’t have an alert might want to avoid the link. . . .

archangel
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archangel
7 years 3 months ago
re asty, and a link that warns of a virus. When I followed the link, it led to a site of gibberish. ‘Asty’s’ comment with same wording was left three times on three different postings at TMV re Dr. Tiller, and appears to be a form of spam. The comment has been deleted so as not to mislead other TMV readers, and ‘asty’s’ incoming stats marked as spam. If ‘asty’ is a real person who is not trying to wallpaper a website targeting a murder victim by name, he/ she can log into TMV under another name, and his /her… Read more »
DdW
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DdW
7 years 3 months ago

I have been reading the comments on this post and on other blogs.

The vast majority express anger, sorrow and horror at the senseless killing of Dr. George Tiller, as it should be.

However, I am puzzled at some of the inevitable “buts” which sometimes follow such expressions..

In this case, I feel there are no ifs, ands, or buts, period. But, perhaps I am wrong

tom_brain
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tom_brain
7 years 3 months ago

This was a very sad news in any point of view.

Mexico Medicines

Ghostdreams
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Ghostdreams
7 years 3 months ago
CS That url you gave for as proof for the violence against pro-lifers is a hate site. The url they give for their state by state documentation? Check it out. http://abortionviolence.com/0.HTM (or go to the url you listed and click on their state by state doc link – it’s right there under a big picture of the USA). This site gives you 1001 reasons (all of which are lies, exaggerated half truths, yellow journalism) to hate GBLT people, unionists, feminists, civil rights activists and even animal rights activists (yes, even those of us who have companion animals are dangerous to… Read more »
Ghostdreams
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Ghostdreams
7 years 3 months ago
Hiyas doc. The murder is horrible. He was known as a very kind and gentle man. According to wikipedia he leaves behind a wife. The idea of that woman, alone without her life partner is ….tear provoking. Night night. Ghost Oh wait! This just in! Murder suspect Scott Philip Roeder (born February 25, 1958(1958-02-25)) was arrested some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said. [29][7][30] The suspect had been a member of the anti-government Freemen group and was convicted in 1996 on explosives charges after police officers discovered… Read more »
CStanley
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CStanley
7 years 3 months ago
Ghostdreams, as I’ve stated I am not deeply familiar with that source and I’ll take you at your word about what you found there. It doesn’t nullify some of the accurate information that is found in some of the links to valid sources though. And come on, although I clicked on that one page and I see the rhetoric about homosexuals, which I certainly don’t agree with or condone, I also think you’re being a bit over the top in ridiculing any claims of violence in the animal rights movement. There certainly are some such groups which are extremist and… Read more »
Jackie Gysler
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7 years 3 months ago
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