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May 31, 2009

Late-term Abortion Doctor Shot Dead in Church

George Tiller, one of the few doctors to perform late-term abortions, was shot to death today in a church in Kansas.

Tiller, 67, was shot in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church, where he was a member. According to the Wichita Eagle, he was serving as an usher at the church and handing out bulletins to people going into the sanctuary minutes before being shot. A 51-year-old male suspect was arrested about three hours later.

The New York Times offers more background on Tiller.

Dr. Tiller, who had performed abortions since the 1970s, had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion, particularly in Kansas, where abortion opponents regularly protested outside his clinic and sometimes his home and church. In 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent but recovered.

He had also been the subject of many efforts at prosecution, including a citizen-initiated grand jury investigation. In the latest such effort, in March, Dr. Tiller was acquitted of charges that he had performed late-term abortions that violated state law.

Several pro-life groups have issued statements condemning the killing.

Family Research Council

As Christians we pray and look toward the end of all violence and for the saving of souls, not the taking of human life. George Tiller was a man who we publicly sought to stop through legal and peaceful means. We strongly condemn the actions taken today by this vigilante killer and we pray for the Tiller family and for the nation that we might once again be a nation that values all human, both born and unborn.

Susan B. Anthony

The Susan B. Anthony List condemns this anti-life act in the strongest of terms. The heart of the pro-life movement is one founded in love. Without this driving powerful center no justice can possibly be achieved. Authentic progress in women’s rights has always encompassed the protection of human rights of every person across the board. The rights of one human being can never be honored by diminishing or ignoring the rights of another.

David Cry of the Associated Press writes that anti-abortion leaders fear backlash.

Many anti-abortion groups condemned the killing of Tiller, a prominent abortion provider who was shot dead at his church in Wichita, Kan. But they expressed concern that abortion-rights activists would use the occasion to brand the entire anti-abortion movement as extremist.

They also worried that there would now be an effort to stifle anti-abortion viewpoints during questioning of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Her exact views on abortion aren't known, but conservatives fear she supports abortion rights.


see it's stuff like this i don't understand. i guess to some people - life is only valuable until you are born

Unfortunately, its all too easy to understand from the right-wing fringe of Christendom. Hopefully the vast majority of Christians who can themselves tell right from wrong will forcibly denounce this murder and tone down the pro-life rhetoric that causes the fringe to perform such acts.

I wouldn't go that far Libhomo. Both sides need to respect each other's position

Libhomo said 'The anti abortion movement is a terrorist network similar to Al Qaeda.

You in the anti-abortion a.k.a. pro-life movement have sown the wind with your violent and absolutist rhetoric and now you are reaping the whirlwind. Like Randall Terry I doubt if you are terribly shocked, and I expect most of you think this "baby-killer" got what he deserved. Maybe this wake-up call will force you to reevaluate your position.

aren't we all tired of this seeming unending struggle?

Every act of killing is a tragedy, including this one. But before people go blaming the prolife movement for the crime, lets remember what we all profess to believe about sin and the world--no one's hands are clean and we all stand equally condemned without the cross of Christ. Every death, in that sense is both tragic and deserved. But praise be to God who has overcome the grave. Most prolife folks I know believe this with every fiber of their being. Even infants who never took so much as a mouthful of breath still have hope. And that's what makes vigilantism so unnecesary and heinous--God's justice. However, to tell the prolife movement to stop telling the truth because of the spectre of murder would be both useless and unconstitutional. Remember Pastor Fred Winters gunned down in his pulpit earlier this year? Who's to blame for that other than one disturbed individual? Should all haters of the Church be considered potential murderers from now on? Of course not. The same can be said in the case of Dr. Tiller's murder.

But surely you must admit Tyler that incendiary rhetoric only serve to inspire acts like these.

It certainly depends on the rhetoric. Words have consequences, words spoken publicly even more so, and thus should be carefully chosen. I am wary, though, of calling particular words "incendiary" however because that is such a subjective word. Saying, for example, "Abortion Kills Children!" may be incendiary to some and hard-hitting truth to others. To put it another way, if you were seated on the jury at the trial of the accused killer in this case, would the "graphic images at the pro-life rally made me do it" defense cast reasonable doubt on his culpability in your eyes? All of us are responsibile to speak the truth in love regardless of whether or not the consequences of such words, for good or bad, are ever realized. As Christians we answer to a higher authority, but as citizens we, like it or not, have a lot more wiggle room under the first amendment.

justin, thanks for calling out Libhomo on his incendiary rhetoric. Obviously, the vast majority of pro-lifers (like me) think the murder of anyone - abortion doctor or no - is a vile crime and affront to God and roundly condemn this act as such.

As for the rhetoric, well, it's like slavery - does one tone down language against slavery because a few people like John Brown go AWOL and kill in the name of the cause? Yes, pro-lifers should be more concerned about life after birth and more strongly condemn violence, but that does not mean the rhetoric is untrue. So, in a way, toning down the rhetoric sounds an awful lot like toning down injustice, to downplay the ongoing tragedy in the name of stability.

Personally, I think that the people who do these kind of things are wrong in doing so. My position is that life is to be valued at all levels, both inside and outside the womb. I strongly condemn the actions against abortion clinics and doctors, and I'm also against the death penalty in almost every case.
What is interesting to me, however, is that the pro-choice position seems to be that before a life exits the womb, it is absolutely fine to kill it. But, when that person becomes a grown man, it is not ok to kill them.
So, it seems to me that this event is a gut check for BOTH sides of the debate, to consider their views on life. In my view, it seems to me that the pro-choice position is just as hypocritical as the person who shot Mr. Tiller, just at opposite of a person's existence.

It's incendiary language only if you disagree with it. That goes for both sides.

This does go to show that the DHS report that was so widely criticized in Christian circles was not as far off as it was thought.

Cole said "In my view, it seems to me that the pro-choice position is just as hypocritical as the person who shot Mr. Tiller, just at opposite of a person's existence."

No, the pro-choice position is exactly as consistent as (the majority of) pro-lifers. The pro-choice positions are either that personhood begins at birth or at quickening, and from then on is sacrosanct. The majority pro-life position is that personhood begins at conception and from then on is sacrosanct. The only internally inconsistent position is the pro-execution minority among pro-lifers (and pro-choicers, for that matter).

"This does go to show that the DHS report that was so widely criticized in Christian circles was not as far off as it was thought." So when animal rights and/or environmental activists commit vandalism or even kill (remember the Unabomber?) to promote their causes, are we to assume that all such activists are killers and vandals? To equate one act of murder with the thousands of peaceful pro-life activists around this country is patently unfair. It's the same thing as saying all Muslims are terrorists.

I can only imagine that the man who shot Tiller was acting under his own distorted version of beliefs being fed to him by his religion and whatever media outlets that may have coincided with those religious beliefs.

In my opinion; he acted no differently that an Al Qaeda follower or suicide bomber might have acted.

I'm not blaming religion per se, but sometimes when you mix ideology with an unstable mind these things happen.

Ironically, this does nothing to promote the so-called "Pro-Life" movement.

Whether you believe in a woman's right to choose or not; this is not the answer.

I categorically condemn the killing.

Today an Army recruiter was shot and killed. Has anyone now called the anti-war movement a terrorist organization or suggested this what happens when you have an anti-war movement?

People, including Christians, killed each other in the Civil War over the issue of slavery. Armed forces fought against and killed Nazis for slaughtering millions of innocent people. What I am most surprised about is not that this man staked his own personal war against Dr. Tiller, but that more conscientious people have not declared war on those who are responsible for the mass murder of unborn babies. There is a holocaust going on underneath our noses every day in this country, but those who speak out about are deemed fanatics. So were those who spoke out against Hitler in Germany. America was split 50-50 over slavery, and it was something worth dying--and killing--for. Maybe war is never justified. But if it ever is, it certainly is in the case of fighting those who intentionally take the innocent lives of others.

"I'm not blaming religion per se, but sometimes when you mix ideology with an unstable mind these things happen." Interestingly, as an ideology, atheism may have killed many more people than religion has, if you consider the mass genocides committed under atheistic communist dictators such as Pol Pol, Mao Tze Tung, and Stalin, not to mention the hundreds of innocent people (including children as young as five) who die in detention camps in communist North Korea. I am sure that those who would equate all Christians and all pro-lifers with Tiller's killer would certainly not want all atheists to be equated with monsters like Pol Pot.

There needs to be better education from the pulpits... Christians need to be taught from the pulpits the differences between rhetoric and facts. This reminds me of the pastor who used the Koran to "prove" that Islam was, at heart, a violent religion, and that members were somehow possibly dangerous, or even terroristic in nature, due to "their book". Never mind that the Bible (especially the OT) could easily have that judgement levied against it as well.
Then all you need is some unstable person in the crowd to take such a message and then take matters into their own hands. Pastors, Preachers need to communicate more responsibly to their congregations, so as not to overlook these potential "side effects" of what they are saying. For those who don't or refuse to, the rest of Christiandom should openly and public denounce them for what they are. (but somehow I suspect they won't out of fear of appearing divisive or sectarian).

Related to this: Why aren't there more sermons at churches on the twin blights upon Christianity: Fundamentalism and Superstition (as a cognitive/behavioral manifestation), and how they differ from Christian thought?

Julie: the DHS report did not say that all pro-life activists were terrorists, only that there was the chance that there were fringe groups that had the potential for violence. Also mentioned was animal rights and environmental groups. But Christians at the time kept insisting that it couldn't happen. It did not lump everyone together.

Is true Christianity being undermined here? I believe so wirhout a doubt. Those who do not know Christ personally are not able to understand that many who call themselves Christian are not. It is as simple as that.They carry the name only and one day they will be met with the words "I never knew you" when they come face to face with the Lord at judgment time.True Christians are not as many of you have described. Until you have been properly educated in the truth of Christianity and who the Christians really are and what they really believe, I would ask that you refrain from putting your own perspective on the labels you draw up for them.

This tells us that that the DHS document warning us about the threat that anti-abortion right-wingers pose to American society was precisely correct.
(The only way to identify which ones are the extremists is AFTER they've killed or bombed someone.)

Is any one the least bit surprised that the doctor's murderer would turn out to be a Christian terrorist -- not many atheist anti-choice murderers, are there?


Thanks for your careful reporting as in use of the proper medical terminology - late term.

I don't know that many of your readers have any medical awareness of what that may mean or that partial birth is not a medical term, but I appreciate your carefulness.

CT has gotten a lot more interesting with you on board.

Christian lawyer,
I appreciate your knowledge of the law brought to the table. My earlier point about culpability was in fact that rhetoric intended to influence the political process is not a legal justification for murder. This was to counter the early comments on this thread that try to lay the blame for this at the feet of a group of anti-abortion protesters. I think that's a load of rubbish from beginnning to end. Why? Because this is at the heart about political correctness. Being against "choice" is a politically incorrect position among the culture shapers. Thus, it's not hard for many to make the "natural" connection between a disfavored political movement and an act of vigilantism committed by one deranged individual. Other commenters have made the comparison to environmentalism and radical Islam--they are not invalid in the realm of ideas simply because a few people have hidden under their banners to justify criminal behavior.
As for your burning building analogy, you are treading on thin ice here. Try changing the victims to a room full of children and a room full of disabled WWII veterans in their 90s. Who is easier to carry and thus save? Who is more "worth" saving? I'll leave that up to you. Point being that ethical standards are not best codified by gut instinct no matter how "clear" they might seem to you in the time. Human beings have a nasty tendency to label entire groups of human beings as not worthy of saving/living/bringing to term, etc. But hopefully history has taught at least a few of us that there's a big train at the end of that tunnel.

Incendiary rhetoric does not just inspire murder,spiritually it is murder.

Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.
Mt. 5:21-22

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"Is any one the least bit surprised that the doctor's murderer would turn out to be a Christian terrorist -- not many atheist anti-choice murderers, are there?"

The mistake here is to assume that a murderer/terrorist who claims to be a Christian is, in fact, a true follower of Jesus. No one who is a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ would commit murder in order to promote their own agenda. Another mistake is to assume that atheists have never committed murder in order to achieve their goals. As I pointed out in one of my previous posts, some of the most murderous dictators in history were those who had embraced atheistic communism as an ideology.


Isn't that the thing though? Where exactly does it end? Can you call someone who spews these sort of remarks knowing full well that there are idiots in our country with very easy access to weapons, Christians? Aren't they just as guilty as the person who pulls the trigger?

And while I'm at it... How come I've never heard of any Evangelical Christian who so values life speaking out against gun violence?

What- is Jesus a gun nut as well?

Re: Justin. I share your frustration with the firebrands in the Christian community whose tongues never stop setting fire to everything around them. They surely burn down their own house and bring it down upon their heads.

In the meantime, there is a vibrant Christian minority that stands up for the very issues you point out, like gun violence. See the peace churches, such as the Mennonites: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_06123mennos.shtml
Funnily enough, it takes British news to report on American Christians against gun violence.

If you look around carefully in the Christian community, you'll see dissent against those firebrands - don't give up hope. Peace.

Thanks for that comment Brendan. There are many good things going on in the Christian community than the news ever reports on. In addition to the death of Dr. Tiller, the action of the killer was a huge set-back for the pro-life movement. This was a horrible thing from anyone's perspective.

I think that it is time for the Christian community to hold the pro-life movement accountable for their outrageous rhetoric. For too long we have excused their sin because we suppose that their hearts are in the right place.

I receive several dozen fliers a year from pro-life groups. Nearly every one of these fliers distorts the truth and makes slanderous accusations against abortion providers. While I understand that people may believe that abortion is evil, we are simply not free to use lies and slander as the means of fighting our battles. We cannot seek to hold others accountable for sin by using tactics that are themselves inherently sinful.

Many of the late-term abortions that Dr. Tiller performed were on women who had problem pregnancies and whose lives could be jeopardized by giving birth. My mother nearly died in 1971 because she was legally forced to give birth to a severely deformed fetus. She could not legally get an abortion in her home state. Thus, the unavailability of late-term abortion nearly cost me my mother when I was 18 months old. I bristle when self-righteous pro-life activists suppose that they know that my mother's life was worth less than that of a severely deformed fetus that never took one breath outside of the womb. Dr. Tiller's practice has spared many women the near-death experience that my mother faced.

Yet what pro-life flier has focused on this aspect of Dr. Tiller's practice? We are called to be salt and light. We are called to listen before speaking. And we are called to be honest and sober in our judgments of others. The pro-life movement has been none of these things. We should be silent no more.


Your hypothetical unfortunately again misses my point. You personally may know "in your heart" that it is right to save a toddler before a container of embryos. But gut feelings (even those shared by a majority of people) do not make an ethical (or legal) standard that must be shared by everyone. You consider children and the elderly of equal worth on what grounds? Certainly not by the emotive argument you use to separate helpless, voiceless embryos from other humans more similar to yourself. My aim was simply to point out the fallacy in your argument--the very same logic that yes, led to the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, discrimination, and hate throughout human history. There was a time when even a Christian professional could say with a straight face, "in my heart I know that a white girl is more worth saving than a slave girl," or countless other such examples. You may think your position scientific, but then again, so did the Nazis. History has never been kind to these sorts of arguments.

As for your broad-brush characterization of the pro-life movement (which is by the way quite large and diverse in makeup and in tactics employed), since when has the number one aim of the movement been to put women in difficult situations in jail? Yes there are some that have advocated extreme views over the years, but the mast majority of pro-life people I know would more likely be found volunteering in a Crisis Pregnancy Center than at a political rally or blockading the doors of an abortion clinic. Even President Obama has urged the nation to move beyond such simplistic and unhelpful stereotypes. That's not to say that there aren't those who have adopted the talk-radio style of political engagement. But as you well know, there are such people in almost every political and social movement in existence. They get far more airtime than they deserve because of the sensationalism of the media. So for you and other commenters here to pontificate against an entire bloc of people, many of whom are practicing Christians, is borderline slander--exactly what you accuse the pro-life movement of doing.

And finally, to clarify, almost all pro-lifers do in fact believe that abortion is a type of murder. But as you know, the law recognizes big differences between wanton and unintentional killing, the degree of pre-planning, the means used, etc. I, for one, would never equate a woman in a difficult, or perhaps life-threatening situation, with a murderer bent on revenge, or a killer of children. But that is because I desire to give her the benefit of the doubt, not because the end result of her "choice" is categorically different from the end result of a gang shooting. The heart has its reasons for what it chooses to do--it is up to the courts to determine a fitting consequence for criminal acts. For a pro-life person to deny that abortion is a form of murder would be to remove the entire foundation of their position--a position that is based on scientific fact, not simply what we know to be true in our easily-deceived hearts.

How can we compare the murder of this one man to the murder of millions of babies? The reason this isn't that unsettling to me is because of this man's actions. Babies killed in the womb are innocent of any wrong-doing and are usually killed for the convenience of their very own mother. This man was killed because his actions were heinous. Even if you're angry about the murder of Dr. Tiller, surely, you see a distinction between the wrongs.

For pro-lifers to be intimidated into silence because of this incident would be a real tragedy! Many are speaking on behalf of this one man. Where are the voices for the needlessly slaughtered innocent?


Thanks for your words of encouragement. God bless

Tyler: It is simply inaccurate to say that criminalization is not a top priority for pro-lifers. Nearly all corners of the movement have called for the reversal of Roe. Roe invalidated a criminal statute! If one opposes the logic of Roe, then one is inherently advocating the criminalization of abortion.

Shauna: Your statement wreaks of Pelagianism. Babies in the womb are guilty of original sin. If aborted fetuses have a soul (which is unclear), there is no reason to suppose that none are damned. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that Dr. Tiller's practice primarily served women who were having abortions for convenience's sake. In fact, the evidence demonstrates the opposite.

Christian lawyer,

There is a big difference between legal and colloquial uses of words, for example the word murder. I can say that abortion is murder without suggesting that women who seek abortions are the moral equivalent of say, a paid hit man. Most people who say that abortion is murder are not making a legal argument, but rather a moral one. As I said before, the law recognizes the circumstances surrounding the violent act, but the end result is still the same, and still should grieve anyone who believes that even the smallest embryos are still created in the image of God.

Again, your emotive charge that I am depraved because I prefer to act on facts and not on gut instincts is a perfect example of why the pro-choice movement has had such success as a political movement. The facts are clearly not on your side--i.e. the only scientific position is that human life begins at conception, and therefore if "human rights" as a legal term means anything at all, abortion-- except perhaps when deemed necessary to save the mother's life--should be considered a criminal act tantamount to murder.

Bobby- You are probably well aware that there are differences of opinion within the medical community as to whether or not late term abortion is ever necessary. So your characteriation of Dr. Tiller as a noble humanitarian is disingenuous at best--he was a pro-abortion radical no different than Dr. Kevorkian, the latter who also has "compassionate" reasons for believing in state-sanctioned killing. Furthermore, those who argue for the repeal of Roe are not thereby arguing that every abortion be treated as first degree murder. Do you know of any women or abortion "providers" who were treated as such prior to Roe? Perhaps there were, but I doubt that the majority of pro-life folks have that in mind when they talk of Roe being overturned. The idea that is promulgated by the media that pro-choice = pro-woman is simply a bald-faced lie. I know of no organiation more patronizing and dis-trusting of women than Planned Parenthood. That you align yourself with a group which self-consciously desires to stop at nothing (even killing) to remove all consequences of sexual promiscuity should make you at least pause for a moment's reflection.

I notice this killer of late term babies didn't kill his own children whether or not it was legal, or maybe he did. Sucking out a baby's brain or burning the baby with acid is torture and murder to a born baby and since the unborn has been seen with ultrasound to react to pain, I would call what is legal in this country torture and murder to the unborn. Funny everybody is so concerned about torture to murderers in Cuba but care little and have no concern to the legal torture and murder being done to babies being born. The murderers are those who made this cutesy law. They would have made great Nazis because the Nazis loved testing different ways to kill unborn babies. This doctor whose first command is do no ill to others is a legal serial killer and certainly not a Christian and should have been kicked out of this church. He would have been kicked out of ours especially with him still doing it. It was in the thousands of babies, wasn't it. As for the guy who shot him, he'll be in prison for the rest of his life because he illegally did something about this legal murderer. Politians and lawyers, you will answer for not correcting this 50 million torture/murders in this not so wonderful country and abortion is not in the Constitution, no it is not because our forefathers would definitely label it as torture/murder.

I really don't understand your reasoning. Both of us recognize that there are different punishments for murder under the law for a whole range of circumstances. Abortion would be no different. Several of the various versions of the HLA simply give the states the right to restrict abortion--not all of them legally define when life begins. Furthermore, as I have already said, all pro-lifers believe that embryos have the same right to life as a sentient adult. That is the foundation of their entire position. As for what punishment to inflict on those who violate that right (assuming Roe is overturned)--that is a legal question and one on which opinions would diverge greatly. That is not hypocrisy but rather discernment, the same discernment excercised by criminal courts every single day.

Two closing comments: please explain to me how the science of human development supports the pro-choice position. I'm all ears. I know of no pro-choice activist using science to make their case. Instead, they hide behind the 14th amendment and the right to privacy to cover up the true nature of what abortion really is--brutal violence inflicted on innocent human beings. And finally, "most women disagree with you"...really? Have you surveyed them? If you have a minute, check out this website: www.childpredators.org to see how "pro-woman" PP really is. I rest my case.

All the hysteria about pro-lifers being overjoyed by the death of an "enemy" is just that. I for one, never heard about Tiller until after his death. Where I live there are no "Tillers", and if they were, he would be just another on a long list of misguided persons, in my view.

Anyone who would rejoice over the violent death of another human being needs to have their head examined,
along with those who would blame the action of one individual on a whole group of persons holding a variety of views.

Then again, this blame game works both ways. You say I should take responsibility for the death of an abortion "provider", I say you should take responsibility for the death of millions of unborn. Someone says since Roe v Wade five (5) abortion "providers have been murdered, another responds that in the same period 49 million innocents have been slaughtered.

As long as the killing continues who really wins?

Tyler & Anna,

1. Murder is murder. We may heighten the punishment when there is evidence of premeditation. But I'm aware of no range of lesser degrees of murder (either colloquially or legally). The pro-life movement uses the word "murder" because it has more rhetorical flair, and has more power to incite rage. This, in turn, helps to increase fundraising. Calling abortion murder has more to do with the pro-life movement's appetite for money than anything else.

2. Evidence suggests that Dr. Tiller's practice focused on pregnancies where the mother faced serious medical dangers from her pregnancy. If you suggest that he was merely providing abortions to those who sought them for personal convenience, then you are lying.

3. Early-term abortion was generally legal in the US until the late 19th Century.

4. Medical practitioners' opinions about the beginning of life are not germane to the legal question of whether it makes sense to criminalize abortion. For centuries, our Anglo-American jurisprudential system has determined that life starts at birth. We should not be so quick to throw off centuries of legal wisdom. Defining life to start at conception has a myriad of problems. For example, we would need to investigate every miscarriage as a potential homicide. Moreover, you'd need to ban birth control pills because they function as an abortificant 5-10% of the time.

5. Even the pro-life movement tacitly acknowledges that fetal life is not the same as post-birth life. Otherwise, there's no reason to be so quick to condemn Roeder.

6. For evangelicals, abortion is not about life, but about sex. The availability of abortion means that more people will have unplanned sex. Otherwise, why strenuously oppose sex ed and condom distribution. If abortion is murder, then we should be pulling out all stops to end it. The fact that evangelicals oppose condom distribution belies their assertion that abortion is murder.

Bobby - You're way off base in #2 (at least - I won't comment on the others for now). Unless you think missing a rock concern constitutes a serious medical danger.

I like to recommend the Wall St.Journal article on Tiller, whose link I found here in CT. It reminded me of something: our arguments should always be based on scripture. The problem is that scripture is silent on abortion, and it could have spoken: the practice existed in ancient times in several forms.
And Shauna, God even told the Israelites occupying the Promised Land to kill everyone there including the innocent babies.
So then, what about a deformed fetus in the womb? Or one in the womb of a young rape or incest victim? Surely good people can disagree without having horns placed on their heads--or can they? Whatever you answer, I want your reference, chapter and verse.

Thou shalt not kill. 10 Commandments. Exodus 22

Alison, Booby is correct. He is quite on point. according to this article from the NY Times that is exactly what he was doing and providing some services free of charge as well.

Alison: "Bobby - You're way off base in #2 (at least - I won't comment on the others for now). Unless you think missing a rock concern constitutes a serious medical danger."

Well, let's see, this "doctor" was only doing late term abortions for medical reasons, well since I haven't fill out his paperwork, I don't know if he was covering up what he was doing or not, but with abortions he did in the thousands, he sure had a high rate of problem births as compared to other areas of the world. I'm also assuming that the DNA of what's inside the women were human, which means he wasn't killing no bugs, or plants, or, well you get the picture. Maybe the pro-lifers call it murder because it is murder and I really wish they would change their name to something a wee stronger than the germane pro-life and be more active instead of sitting back and just complaining instead of doing petitions and demanding change by their politicians. As for centuries of Anglo-American jurisprudential wisdom, please, it took longer for women to get the vote than it did to give them the right to murder the unborn. And, slavery was legal wisdom too. And ultrasound does show movement from the begining, especially if the carrier is upset, or something intrudes on the unborn's space, it moves away from what is causing pain like a fist or pressure, etc. It does not have a name for the pain but it hurts and moves away. Tiller was such a nice Christian donating freely his services, he even went to Church. MMMM, didn't KKK members claim they were Christians too because their actions sure said otherwise. The Russian constitution has nothing to do with ours. If the government doesn't have the power to prohibit abortion than it doesn't have the power to approve abortion either. It's either assumed by leaving it out to not be a right and therefore not necessary to declare it as a right or it should be left to the States then. And, I'm willing to bet that the founding Fathers didn't think of it because it wasn't approved of or even thought of as being necessary to cover because it wasn't thought of in their days as necessary to think of it. Without ultrasound how would they even know where the fetus was in the body. It could have been in one's head for all they knew. Unless someone knows something about medical knowledge of those days that I don't know. One out of two women died in childbirth anyway and by 40 years old only one of two Sisters would have maybe survived until 40 yrs old. Life was bad for women back then, we are very lucky in childbirth today. It's assumend that every baby will survive nowadays with it's Mother alive to raise it.

Anna, Please answer this question: Why does the Bible never mention or condemn abortion? It was practiced in ancient times, we know that. (I'd imagine that those poor girls who had to work as temple prostitutes used it, but maybe they were expected to be superfertile, too, and give birth, I don't know.)
I've never read a law, a prophetic denunciation or a NT mention of abortion. On the other hand, slave traders are listed as evildoers in
I Tim.
Would you answer that Murder is condemned and that's enough? Sorry, God told the Israelites to kill the babies along with the adults who occupied the Promised Land so that the Israelites could occupy it. Did you know that? There are several accounts of this the OT.
And yet aborting a FETUS is never covered, except for the accidental case covered in Ex. 21, in which the men are made to pay the husband a fine.
In this scriptural vacuum, we must be reasonable and remain calm. We should not try to be more righteous than God. I'm sure his silence on abortion was not an oversight.