Sunday, 31 May 2009

Embattled abortion doctor is shot and killed -- at church

All through the winter and the spring, we heard the rightwing loons screeching, screaming, bellowing their hate, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

And went out to launch we-hate-Obama tea parties.

And screamed for armed revolution.

And screamed for secession from the federal government, by violence if necessary.

And screamed that all the right-thinking white folks need to buy more guns because Big Bad Obama is going to confiscate them all.

And through it all, their Republican apologists kept saying – “hey, it’s free speech, we can’t control it, and they’re harmless anyway….” Not only did the Republicans refuse to show some responsible leadership and rein in their own extremists – in some cases they egged them on. Their most extreme leaders – Newt, Cheney, Rush – cranked it up even higher, spewing their vomit on the radio and on television. It became an entire industry of bile and venom.

Fear and hate, fear and hate, fear and hate.

Sure, it’s harmless, just folks blowing off steam, right?

Abortion provider George Tiller shot to death at Wichita church

The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA - George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning as he walked into church services.

Tiller, 67, was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. Witnesses and a police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.

No information has been released about whether a suspect is in custody. Police said they are looking for white male who was driving a 1990s powder blue Ford Taurus with Kansas license plate 225 BAB.

Homicide detectives and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston arrived at the church after the shooting.

Members of the congregation who were inside the sanctuary at the time of the shooting were being kept inside the church by police, and those arriving were being ushered into the parking lot. Witnesses are being transported downtown for interviews and other members of the congregation are slowly being released from inside the sanctuary.

Tiller has long been a focal point of protest by abortion opponents because his clinic, Women's Health Care Services at 5701 E. Kellogg, is one of the few in the country where late-term abortions are performed.

"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down," anti-abortion group Operation Rescue said in a statement on its Web site. "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."

Protesters blockaded Tiller's clinic during Operation Rescue's "Summer of Mercy" protests during the summer of 1991, and Tiller was shot by Rachelle Shannon at his clinic in 1993. Tiller was wounded in both arms, and Shannon remains in prison for the shooting.

Tiller's clinic was severely vandalized earlier this month. According to the Associated Press, his lawyer said wires to security cameras and outdoor lights were cut and that the vandals also cut through the roof and plugged the buildings' downspouts. Rain poured through the roof and caused thousands of dollars of damage in the clinic. Tiller reportedly asked the FBI to investigate the incident.

Sgt. Bart Brunscheen of the Wichita Police Department said there has been no activitiy today at Tiller's clinic, although security crews were being brought in to make sure the building was secure. Officials also were going to check the clinic's security cameras to see whether there was any activity over night.

Tiller and his clinic have faced continuous threats and lawsuits. A Wichita jury ruled in March that he was not guilty of illegal abortion on 19 criminal charges he faced for allegedly violating a state law requiring an "independent" second physician's concurring opinion before performing later term abortions. Immediately following the ruling in this criminal case, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts made public a similar complaint against Tiller that was originally filed in December 2008.

**UPDATE* -- And in no time the head of Operation Rescue swoops in to exploit the murder for his own purposes:

George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder. Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.

In other words, he wants more of his psychotic acolytes to go to church and confront abortion providers....just like the guy did today. He put a bounty on their heads.

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