Several organizations and various individuals have issued statements following the shooting death of Dr. George Tiller. Known for performing so-called late term abortions, Dr. Tiller was shot to death while attending services at his church in Wichita Kansas.
Kansans for Life
Kansans for Life deplores the murder of Dr. George Tiller, and we wish to express our deep and sincere sympathy to his family and friends.
Our organization has a board of directors, and a 35 year history of bringing citizens together to achieve thoughtful education and legislation on the life issues here in Kansas.
We value life, completely deplore violence, and are shocked and very upset by what happened in Wichita today.
--Mary Kay Culp, state executive director, Kansans for Life
Priests for Life
I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.
But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions.
--Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life
We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. 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.
The Kansas National Organization for Women is deeply saddened at the cowardly act of violence committed against Dr. George Tiller, a champion for women's reproductive freedom -- an act that ultimately took his life.
Dr. Tiller, although previously surviving many acts of terrorism and violence directed at him and his clinic, did not allow it to stop him from standing up for the rights of all women.
Kansas NOW grieves not only the loss of Dr. Tiller, but also the loss that all women needing access to safe abortion have suffered due to this act of violence.
Kansas NOW is keeping Dr. Tiller's family and staff in our thoughts during this difficult time.
I am stunned by this lawless and violent act which must be condemned and should be met with the full force of law. We join in lifting prayer that God's grace and presence rest with Dr. Tiller's family and friends.
--Phill Kline, former attorney general
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.
--Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue
NARAL Pro-Choice America
On behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America, our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Tiller's family and friends at this moment, a moment that fills us with immeasurable shock and deep sadness.
For almost two decades, Dr. Tiller and those individuals who helped provide care to his patients have lived under intense harassment tinged with persistent threats of violence. Even under these adverse circumstances, Dr. Tiller never wavered in his commitment to providing abortion services and other reproductive health care to women and their families, often in the most difficult and heart-breaking circumstances.
Dr. Tiller's murder will send a chill down the spines of the brave and courageous providers and other professionals who are part of reproductive-health centers that serve women across this country. We want them to know that they have our support as they move forward in providing these essential services in the aftermath of the shocking news from Wichita.
We understand that the investigation is ongoing and that law-enforcement officials are pursuing a suspect. If it proves to be an act of anti-abortion violence, as we suspect it is, then the full weight of the law must be used to send a clear message that these types of attacks will be prosecuted fully and swiftly.
We also call on opponents of a woman's right to choose to condemn this action completely and absolutely. What happened today in Wichita cannot become the beginning of a more aggressive wave of violence targeting abortion providers and the women for whom they provide care. Women accessing their legal right to abortion -- and the providers who make this possible -- should never be targets of violence.
--Nancy Keenan, president, NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
We are shocked and deeply saddened at what has happened today. This is a devastating loss. Our thoughts right now are with his family and friends.
It is abhorrent that once again, individuals who oppose the right to choose have used violence to try to advance their extreme anti-choice agenda."
--Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation
Bishop Michael O. Jackels
The Catholic community extends sympathy to the family of Dr. George Tiller, a victim of violent crime made even more heinous, if that is possible, by being committed in a church as he was preparing for worship.
Many Catholics have over the years engaged in peaceful protest outside of Dr. Tiller's clinic, praying for an end to abortion, and especially late-term abortions; I have on occasion joined them for this purpose. This position and hope cannot however serve as a justification for committing other sins and crimes, like the willful destruction of property and, even worse, murder.
It is my prayer that the Tiller family find consolation, that Dr. George Tiller find mercy and the fulfillment of the great hope of Christians, and that all will find peaceful and legal means to resolve differences.
Attorney General Steve Six
This is a deplorable criminal act and a tragedy for Dr. Tiller's family. Violence of this kind has no place in our society. I am confident law enforcment will bring the perpetrator to justice.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
The entire Planned Parenthood family is deeply saddened by the murder of Dr. George Tiller. While he was not a Planned Parenthood provider, he was an integral part of our community and his loss is felt by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those close to him who are suffering a personal tragedy.
Dr. Tiller was the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. He provided critical reproductive health care services, including abortion services to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances. He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career -- his clinic was burned down, he was shot by a health center protestor, and he was recently targeted for investigation only to be acquitted by a jury just a few months ago. None of this stopped George Tiller from his commitment to providing women and their families with compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer.
His death is an enormous loss for the patients who relied on him, his dedicated staff, the medical community and for women and their families across America.
-- Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Kansas Coalition for Life
The Kansas Coalition for Life Unequivocally Condemns the Shooting of Abortionist George Tiller.
Although at the time of this writing, it is not known who killed Abortionist Tiller, we do know for certain that this crime was NOT the work of any true proLife person. A true proLife person respects human life as a gift from God, and leaves all life and death decisions to God Himself.
This killing -- if it is in any way connected to a genuine proLife group, has the potential to set back the proLife movement by 20 years or more.
The Kansas Coalition for Life asks all reporters and commentators to make a clear distinction between lawless thugs who act on their own accord, and the good proLife people who obey the law, seeking a change in abortion laws via peaceful means and the legislative process.
It is completely misleading, for the media to imply, in any way that this is the work of the proLife movement. We urge the media to report responsibly and truthfully in this regard.
KCFL would have much preferred that Abortionist Tiller follow the footsteps of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist who is now one of America's most prominent and effective proLife leaders.
In 1993 Shelly Shannon, who had no connection whatsoever to any proLife organization, brought shame on all proLife groups by her stupid action, when she attempted to kill abortionist Tiller as he entered his abortion facility on East Kellogg Drive at Bleckley Street in Wichita.
Tiller's death comes at a time when all recent polling data shows that the peaceful proLife message has the support of a majority of American voters. We hope this terrible news does not hurt the steady progress that the proLife movement has made by peaceful legal means over the years.