As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, partial birth abortion doctor George Tiller has been murdered:
(CNN) — Dr. George Tiller, whose Kansas women’s clinic was the epicenter of the state’s battles over abortion for nearly two decades, was shot and killed at his church Sunday morning, his family said.
Tiller, 67, was fatally shot shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Church, Wichita police said.
Sunday afternoon, authorities took a man into custody near Kansas City after stopping a car that matched a description of the killer’s getaway vehicle, according to sheriff’s deputies in Johnson County, Kansas. No charges had been filed and a motive for the killing was not immediately known.
Witnesses provided a license number for a powder-blue Ford Taurus they said the killer used to speed away from the church, police spokesman Gordon Bassham said.
Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians who still performed late-term abortions. In 1993, he was shot and wounded through both arms outside his Wichita clinic. Shelley Shannon, an ardent foe of abortion, was convicted of attempted murder in the shooting and is currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison.
Because Tiller was a target of pro-lifers for decades, it is being assumed – mostly by the left – that his murder was committed by a pro-life “Christianist.” Even President Obama, unsurprisingly, has jumped on this bandwagon:
WICHITA, Kansas – President Obama said this afternoon that he was “shocked and outraged” by the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller, who was shot while attending church in east Wichita.
Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said at a news conference late this afternoon that a suspect in the shooting was in custody and on his way back to Wichita.
“However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” the president said in a statement issued by the White House.
The suspect is in custody:
Deputy Chief Tom Stolz w/ Wichita Police Dept. says Dr. Tiller died of a single gunshot wound. A 51-year-old suspect is in custody in Johnson County. Police say the suspect was arrested without incident after a traffic stop.
Stolz says formal charges are expected Monday. Suspect faces one count of murder, two counts of aggravated assault. Detective says suspect threatened two others who tried to keep him from leaving the area.
The suspect, whose name will not be released until formally charged, is on his way back to Wichita.
First things first, whether or not the person who murdered Tiller was a “pro-life Christianist” or not, I join other conservative bloggers who are stating without hesitation that Tiller’s murderer deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that the death penalty should be on the table. Even if he/she was/is a “pro-life Christianist,” this isn’t the wild, wild West anymore, and this isn’t the way that a civilized society resolves its differences. As readers of this blog know very well from my prior writings on the topic, I am strongly anti-abortion, but I also strongly condemn acts of violence against abortion providers. The way to go about changing minds on abortion is not by killing its providers. It’s by educating people on what abortion actually is, what it involves, and why most women have them. Changing enough minds on the issue could make it so that one day abortions are so unpopular that it would be a mere formality to ban the practice. And yes, I know that day is a long way off.
That said, it should be no surprise to anyone the despicable displays being shown by pro-abortion forces on the left, trying to broad brush the entire pro-life movement for the actions of a few fringe nuts in the past – and possibily the present (again, we don’t yet know the motivations for the murder). Andrew Sullivan, unsurprisingly, has been a ringleader in all this by using the “Christianist” label, and blaming Bill O’Reilly for the murder of Tiller. Donald Douglas verbally slaps him, and other opportunistic lefties, down here.
In addition to conservatives across the blogosophere, various pro-life groups have issued statements condemning the murder, but that hasn’t stopped even “respectable” leftists from using the broadbrush, and in the process characterizing this murder as an act of “domestic terrorism” (more here).
No doubt, pro-abortionists will use (and are in fact already are using) the murder of Tiller in order to put a smiley face on the practice of abortion and the doctors who provide them, in hopes of continuing to advance the idea that abortions are “ok” to have and should remain “legal.” But in the middle of all the drama surrounding Tiller’s murder, and the inevitable mainstream media/left wing bloggers/columnists mass broad condemnations of the pro-life movement for the actions of a few disturbed individuals, it shouldn’t be ignored that Tiller was not just an abortion provider – he was one of the few doctors who performed abortion after the 21st week. LaShawn Barber reminds everyone in detail of what the process of PBA actually involves, and notes how Tiller once said of PBAs:
He’d spoken at a National Education Association conference, and pro-life group Students for Life of America secretly videotaped him talking about babies slipping out of the womb alive during abortions. He called this “sloppy medicine.”
No, Tiller certainly did not deserve to be gunned down, but he doesn’t deserve the “hero” label that so many on the left are giving him for the “quality health services he provided for women across the country.” Dr. Tiller performed the following procedure on third trimester babies:
Under the Intact D&X method, the largest part of the fetus (the head) is reduced in diameter to allow vaginal passage. According to the American Medical Association, this procedure has four main elements. First, the cervix is dilated. Second, the fetus is positioned for a footling breech. Third, the fetus is partially pulled out, starting with the feet, as far as the neck. Fourth, the brain and material inside the skull is evacuated, so that a dead but otherwise intact fetus can be delivered via the vagina.
Usually, preliminary procedures are performed over a period of two to three days, to gradually dilate the cervix using laminaria tents (sticks of seaweed which absorb fluid and swell). Sometimes drugs such as pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, are used to induce labor. Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the doctor uses an ultrasound and forceps to grasp the fetus’ leg. The fetus is turned to a breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the birth canal, causing what is referred to by some people as the ‘partial birth’ of the fetus. The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, usually without the aid of forceps, leaving only the head still inside the birth canal. An incision is made at the base of the skull, scissors are inserted into the incision and opened to widen the opening, and then a suction catheter is inserted into the opening. The brain is suctioned out, which causes the skull to collapse and allows the fetus to pass more easily through the birth canal. The placenta is removed and the uterine wall is vacuum aspirated using a cannula.
That procedure can be described many ways, but a “quality health service” is not one of them. Dr. Tiller can be called many things, but a “hero” is not most definitely not one of them. Also, let’s not forget that, in spite of the left’s assertions on why women have partial birth abortions, the myth of “life of the mother” was debunked long ago.
The chips will fall where they will with this murder, and hopefully the killer will get what he deserves when all is said and done. But just because Tiller’s murder may have been due to the type of abortions he performed doesn’t mean that that the position that all unborn babies should be protected is wrong and shouldn’t be advanced. There are kooks on both sides of the aisle. Does the left think that because the eco-terrorist movement is alive and well (see FBI: Eco-Terrorism Remains No. 1 Domestic Terror Threat) means that the green agenda isn’t a worthy one? No, they don’t, and they don’t appreciate it when anyone on the right tries to make such an argument. By the same token, the left shouldn’t use the isolated acts of fringe abortion opponents to broad brush the pro-life movement on the whole, but they will – perhaps because they know that the tide is turning on the issue of abortion, and as a result they’ll have to use whatever excuses they can to continue to justify its practice, including continued deception on both the procedures themselves and why they’re done.
May justice be served – both for Tiller’s murderer, and for the precious unborn.