WORDS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: Demonized Abortion Doctor Killed En Route To Church By Pro-Life Fanatic

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation’s few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed Sunday in a church where he was serving as an usher. The gunman fled, but a 51-year-old suspect was detained some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said. Although Stolz refused to release the man’s name, Johnson abortmurd350.jpgCounty sheriff’s spokesman Tom Erickson identified the detained man as Scott Roeder. He has not been charged in the slaying and was expected to be taken to Wichita for questioning. Court records and Internet postings show that someone using the name Scott Roeder has a criminal past and has expressed anti-abortion opinions on sympathetic Web sites. Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church. Tiller’s attorney, Dan Monnat, said Tiller’s wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time. MORE

SAN FRACISCO CHRONICLE: Tiller, 67, was a lightning rod in the struggle over legalized abortion and had previously been the victim of violence. In 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion protester as he drove away from his clinic. In 1986, his Women’s Health Care Services clinic was severely damaged in a bomb blast. In 1991, the clinic was blockaded for six weeks by anti-abortion protesters. MORE

RELATED: Warren Hern, a Colorado physician and close friend of Tiller’s, who described himself now as “the only doctor in the world” who performs very late-term abortions, said Tiller’s death was predictable. “I think it’s the inevitable consequence of more than 35 years of constant anti-abortion terrorism, harassment and violence. George billoreillydartboard.thumbnail.jpgis the fifth American doctor to be assassinated. I get messages from these people saying, ‘Don’t bother wearing a bulletproof vest, we’re going for a head shot.’ ” MORE

SALON: But there’s no other person who bears as much responsibility for the characterization of Tiller as a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly [as Bill O’Reilly] thanks to the collusion of would-be sophisticated cultural elites, a bought-and-paid-for governor and scofflaw secular journalists. Tiller’s name first appeared on “The Factor” on Feb. 25, 2005. Since then, O’Reilly and his guest hosts have brought up the doctor on 28 more episodes, including as recently as April 27 of this year. Almost invariably, Tiller is described as “Tiller the Baby Killer.” MORE

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