Yes, I'm a month behind again, but I must say that I'm horrified by the murder of Witchita, Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller at his church on Sunday, May 31, 2009. It's another in a long line of violence, murders and attempted murders against abortion providers and clinic staff.
The list is actually sickening to read: Wikipedia link on violence against abortion providers
Tiller was murdered on the 31st by an anti-abortion activist named Scott Roeder, who told Associated Press reporters from prison that more violence is coming:
"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal."
Tiller's clinic was bombed in 1986, and in 1993, Tiller was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent. Coincidentally (or not), it was 1993 when a radical anti-abortion organization moved to town.
"That year Operation Rescue, the largest organizer of anti-abortion mobs, moved its national headquarters to Wichita to target Tiller; more than 2,000 people were arrested as they besieged his clinic that summer. They then started stalking clinic employees."
This information is from an article at The Internationalist about Obama/the Democrat's conciliatory tone regarding anti-abortion groups.
Tiller's clinic and staff were the target of countless acts of vandalism and harassment over the years. And Roeder was known by police.
"The assassin, Scott Roeder, was no stranger to the anti-abortion protests, or to the police. A 2007 posting by a Scott Roeder on the Operation Rescue web site stated: “Tiller is the concentration camp ‘Mengele’ of our day and needs to be stopped...” (Washington Post, 2 June). The local office of the FBI was well aware of Roeder’s activities, having warned him in 2000 about gluing shut the doors of a Kansas City clinic, a federal crime. On May 23, he was seen on a security camera gluing the doors at the same clinic, and he was chased away by a clinic worker on May 29, the day before the murder. The FBI was informed about both instances but said it could do nothing until a federal grand jury was convened. Police around the country proclaim “zero tolerance” of petty crimes, arresting people on the slightest violation, yet here they did nothing about blatant violations of federal law as the “perp” went from “vandalism” to murder."
From an L.A. Times article on the subject: "The National Abortion Federation, which supports abortion rights, has documented more than 6,100 acts of violence against abortion providers in the United States and Canada since 1977. The group classifies as "violent" not only the acts of murder, attempted murder, bombing and arson, but also vandalism, burglary and stalking, among others."
It's an all-out assault against a woman's right to choose what goes on with her own body. These are just the recent murders and attempted murders (not including arson, bombing, vandalism, stalking, harassment, etc.):
March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of 1992. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Dr. Gunn's murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside of another facility in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings, received a death sentence, and was executed September 3, 2003.
December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi, who prior to his arrest was distributing pamphlets from Human Life International, was arrested and confessed to the killings. He died in prison and guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.
January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Robert Rudolph, who was also responsible for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, was charged with the crime and received two life sentences as a result.
October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death at his home in Amherst, New York. His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers in Canada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Dr. Slepian's murder after finally being apprehended in France in 2001.
July 16, 2001: Steven Rogers, a security guard at a clinic in Melbourne, Australia was shot in the face and killed by Peter James Knight. Knight was charged and was sentenced to life in prison on November 19, 2002.
May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed as he served as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas.
August 19, 1993: Dr. George Tiller was shot outside of an abortion facility in Wichita, Kansas. Shelley Shannon was charged with the crime and received an 31-year prison sentence.
July 29, 1994: June Barret was shot in the same attack which claimed the lives of James Barrett, her husband, and Dr. John Britton.
December 30, 1994: Five individuals were wounded in the same-day shootings which killed Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols.
December 18, 1996: Dr. Calvin Jackson of New Orleans, Louisiana was stabbed 15 times, losing 4 pints of blood. Donald Cooper was charged with second-degree attempted murder and sentenced to 20 years.
October 28, 1997: Dr. David Gandell of Rochester, New York was injured by flying glass when a shot was fired through the window of his home.
January 29, 1998: Emily Lyons, a nurse, was severely injured in the bombing which also killed Robert Sanderson.
There is speculation that the timing of the shootings is related to the Canadian observance of Remembrance Day. The physicians were part of pattern of attacks, which targeted providers in Canada and upstate New York, including Dr. Barnett Slepian. All victims were shot in their homes with a rifle, at dusk, in late October or early November. James Kopp was charged with the murder of Dr. Slepian and the attempted murder of Dr. Short; he is suspected of having committed the other shootings as well.
November 8, 1994: Dr. Garson Romalis of Vancouver, British Columbia was shot.
November 10, 1995: Dr. Hugh Short of Ancaster, Ontario was shot.
November 11, 1997: Dr. Jack Fainman of Winnipeg, Manitoba was shot.
July 11, 2000: Dr. Garson Romalis was stabbed by an unindentified assailant in the lobby of his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The sick part is that some anti-abortion activists will cheer this list. They've compiled hit lists on the Internet and cross names off as people are killed.
And let's not kid ourselves - many abortion opponents will feel that these tactics are at least in some part justified. They'll keep quiet about it.
Keep abortion safe, legal and accessible is what I say. I don't want to live in a society where women are forced to carry children against their will. That's a version of hell.
We need to do better protecting abortion doctors, clinic staff and the women receiving services. This is abysmal.
I would say this all ties in to the Cancer New Moons and the Cancer-Capricorn/Pluto in Capricorn emphasis going on these days...
State control of female reproduction...and the erosion of women's right to choose whether to give birth by the institutionalized power structures. Use of violence (Pluto) to intimidate and shut down clinics, making the services go underground, decreasing accessibility.
Devolution, it is. Backalley abortions. Do we really want to go back there? Ask yourselves.