Dr. George Tiller was murdered today as he ushered at his Kansas church. This wasn't the first act of terrorism committed against Dr. Tiller because he performed late-term abortions which eliminates any theory that this was a random act of violence. In short he was specifically targeted and he was assassinated.
Pro-life groups provided support for this particular act of violence against this particular man through their choice of tactics and rhetoric.
It's no surprise to me that the suspect in this murder is a man since for too many pro-life men the issue is about controlling and limiting all girl's and women's choices related to pregnancy. As an anonymous commenter recently explained to me:
What is rape? Is it just a man forcing himself upon a woman to gain entry to her sex? Or is it the attempt of those with NO reproductive rights to seize reproduction from those with a reproductive monopoly?
Operation Rescue issued a statement which included the following:
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.
This is very disturbing statement. Dr. Tiller wasn't a criminal, but Operation Rescue has clearly framed him as a criminal and as a murderer. By declaring the man who murdered Dr. Tiller a vigilante and not a murderer Operation Rescue supports what they are now claiming to oppose.
When they reference my religion, Christianity, to back their position and their actions they turn my stomach. I'm sure the man who walked into a Christian church with the intent to murder also uses Christianity as his excuse for his crime. This makes him no better than any other terrorist including those involved in the 9/11 attacks. Those who support him or helped him rationalize this crime are no better than those who supported the 9/11 hijackers or helped them rationalize that crime.
Many doctors have been terrorized out of performing abortions and this murder raises the threat level. This unfortunately syncs up with the thinking of the anonymous man who sees many rapes as acts of righting someone else's wrong.
Until the abortion clinic bombing in the 1980s I respected the hard line pro-life position even if I didn't agree with it. But when the hard line pro-lifers started resorting to terrorism and when many seemingly less violent pro-lifers made excuses for terrorism ("Of course I'm against murder but one or 2 murders may prevent thousands of murders.") or gave practical support for this type of terrorism (donating to the legal fund of murderers) I stopped believing that this political movement had anything to do with a respect for life. This latest murder again reinforces my belief that hard line pro-lifers don't respect life and instead hold life very cheaply.
This is reinforced by the way pro-life groups frequently stage even their non-violent protests. Those protests show disrespect for the lives of those they confront as those people seek medical services. The tactics of the pro-lifers pretending to Planned Parenthood that they are under the age of consent ring false when they claim to care about underage rape victims. The goal seems to be to take away a resource for young rape victims not to ensure compliance to the mandatory reporting laws.
Those who believe abortion is wrong and who are not trying to force girls and women to give birth should not themselves get abortions and they should not do anything which might cause an unplanned pregnancy.
On a larger scale they should shift their focus to working toward reducing the demand and/or need for abortions. This means both genuine rape and pregnancy prevention and increasing the options beyond adoption for those who experience unplanned pregnancies. It also means increasing the funding for research into health issues related to pregnancy so that no woman has to fear that pregnancy will lead to a quick or early death. Those who are genuinely pro-life will also be pro-affordable health care for all.
Only then could the political label pro-life possibly be trustworthy.
Update (6/1): Randall Terry of Operation Rescue issued a statement to his followers (see video on Crooks & Liars), says Dr. Tiller was a mass murderer who deserved to be executed only he should have been allowed time to get right with his maker. This statement makes it clear that Operation Rescue is focused on its own Jihad and is not pro-life. Dr. Tiller's death was one of their goals.