Pro-life leaders, groups condemn murder of Kansas abortion doctor

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pro-life advocates universally condemned the May 31 murder of a Kansas abortion doctor, with officials from several U.S. right-to-life groups saying such extreme acts only hurt the pro-life cause.

“We condemn this lawless act of violence,” said Charmaine Yoest, president of the Americans United for Life. “The foundational right to life that our work is dedicated to extends to everyone. Whoever is responsible for this reprehensible violence must be brought to justice under the law.”

Dr. George Tiller, 67, of Wichita, Kan., was fatally shot while serving as an usher at the city’s Reformation Lutheran Church during morning services, according to The Associated Press.

Scott Roeder, 51, was charged June 2 with first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

In 1996, a 38-year-old man with the same name was charged in Topeka, Kan., with criminal use of explosives for having bomb components in his car trunk and sentenced to 24 months of probation, the AP reported. However, the conviction was overturned on appeal the next year after a higher court said evidence against him was seized by law enforcement officers during an illegal search of his car, the AP reported.
Tiller — whose clinic is one of just a few in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy — had been a target since the 1970s. He was shot in both arms by a protester in 1993 and his clinic was bombed in 1985.

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