Man accused of shooting George Tiller tells AP he killed the abortion provider, has no regrets
Associated Press/Roxana Hegeman—Defiant and unapologetic, a man accused of shooting a Kansas abortion provider confessed to the slaying Monday, telling The Associated Press that he killed the doctor to protect unborn children.
In this July 28, 2009 file photo, Scott Roeder attends his preliminary hearing in court in Wichita, Kansas
Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., spoke to the AP in a telephone call from jail, saying he plans to argue at his trial that he was justified in shooting Dr. George Tiller at the abortion provider’s Wichita church in May.
“Because of the fact preborn children’s lives were in imminent danger this was the action I chose. … I want to make sure that the focus is, of course, obviously on the preborn children and the necessity to defend them,” Roeder said.
“Defending innocent life — that is what prompted me. It is pretty simple,” he said.
Roeder is charged with one count of first-degree murder in Tiller’s death and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening two ushers who tried to stop him during the May 31 melee in the foyer of the doctor’s church. Roeder has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in January.
In a more than 30-minute interview with the AP, Roeder did not apologize for the slaying.
“No, I don’t have any regrets because I have been told so far at least four women have changed their minds, that I know of, and have chosen to have the baby,” Roeder said. “So even if one changed her mind it would be worth it. No, I don’t have any regrets.”
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Huffington Post/Nancy Northup—It’s never a good idea to look to primetime television for a fair and accurate depiction of the abortion debate. Without fail, TV writers stretch the facts for dramatic effect, oversimplifying choices. Last Friday’s Law & Order episode was no exception. The show’s “balanced and thought-provoking” take on abortion — based on the murder of Dr. George Tiller this past spring — was both damagingly trite and dangerously wrong.
Salon writer Kate Harding got it right when she pointed out earlier this week, that the issue of abortion is not nearly as simple as the NBC show portrayed. The show’s character, Dr. Benning, provides abortions later in pregnancy, like Dr. Tiller, and was shot in his church after surviving a prior shooting, also like Dr. Tiller. With that, the similarities end.
Enter instead a parade of caricatures: the pro-life character whose his own mother didn’t want him and attempted to self-induce. The pro-choice female character who suddenly tosses out her lifelong beliefs and leans pro-life. And another doctor who provides abortions and ultimately reveals on the stand that he’s a raving extremist. None of these narratives have anything to do with the lives of women. Nor do they remotely penetrate the everyday experiences of the doctors and clinic staff who provide abortion.
We recently conducted research investigating the challenges abortion providers face merely to do their jobs, chronicling the appalling circumstances in which providers operate, including regular death threats, dead animals being left at their front doors, break-ins at their homes and offices, and physical assaults by protesters. They live in fear of violence.
The Rachel Maddow Show discovers friends of Scott Roeder, the man who allegedly murdered women’s health doctor George Tiller, is planning to auction off anti-abortion materials to raise money for his defense. Rachel Maddow is joined by Lee Thompson, the lawyer for George Tiller’s estate.
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Chicago Tribune/ Hal Dardick—Anti-abortion activists would have to respect the personal space of people entering medical facilities in Chicago or risk a $500 fine under an ordinance a City Council committee approved Wednesday.
The measure drew criticism from abortion opponents and praise from agencies that provide abortions.
Sponsoring Ald. Vi Daley, 43rd, said workers and patients going to Near North Health Center — a Planned Parenthood facility that provides women’s health services, including abortions — have complained of conditions outside the building.
“Women seeking any kind of medical service are routinely harassed,” Daley said. “They are photographed, and they are followed.”
The ordinance would establish a 50-foot buffer outside the entrances of all health care facilities. Within that zone, no one could come within 8 feet of another person without consent to pass out fliers, display signs, vocally protest, educate or counsel.
Many cities and states have established “bubble zones” around patients approaching clinics since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Colorado law in 2000. Chicago’s ordinance would be less restrictive than the Colorado one, where the 8-foot bubble zone encompasses 100 feet from clinic doors.
But Beth Kanter of Planned Parenthood of Illinois said her group’s clinics “have seen a significant surge in the size and viciousness of the protesters” since the May 31 fatal shooting of a doctor who provided late-term abortions in Wichita, Kansas.