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By Randy Sly

6/2/2009 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The pro-life movement was rocked by the actions of an individual who ended the life of late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Dr. George Tiller pictured. Pro-life leaders from groups across the country were quick to denounce the murder and offer their condolences to the Tiller family.

Dr. George Tiller pictured. Pro-life leaders from groups across the country were quick to denounce the murder and offer their condolences to the Tiller family.


By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (

6/2/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - Just after a recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans were pro-life, the actions of an individual, who was associated with the pro-life community, have given abortion proponents a media heyday.

Very soon after the unconscionable murder of late-term abortionist, Dr, George Tiller, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered increased U.S. Marshals to provide increased security for an undisclosed list of other pro-abortion individuals.

"I have directed the United States Marshals Service to offer protection to other appropriate people and facilities around the nation. The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring."

Pro-life leaders from groups across the country were quick to denounce the murder and offer their condolences to the Tiller family. Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Rev. Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, and Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, and Randall Terry were among the first to respond. Other groups were quick to join in.

Pro-abortion voices, however, used the event to venerate the work of the Wichita abortionist, while portraying those who stand for life as an extremist and violent group.

Unfortunately, these detractors had a lot they could use in their assaults. For example, many news outlets were quick to report the antics of the extremist group out of Topeka Kansas, led by Fred Phelps, who showed up at a vigil in Tiller's honor with signs praising his murder and mocking the mourners.

The Huffington Post, in fact, took sections out of Randall Terry's press release to portray the pro-life movement as lacking remorse.

The Wichita Eagle reminded readers that Tiller was the eighth person and fourth doctor involved in an abortion-related attack. A Kansas blogger wrote, "Violence has been a natural part of the 'pro-life' movement. Just earlier this month, there were major acts of vandalism and renewed threats against Tiller's Wichita clinic."

The Kansas City Star, in profiling the suspect, focused a lot of attention on his involvement in local pro-life activities, his interaction with other pro-life supporters, and his postings on the Operation Rescue website.

Culture has changed a great deal since the last violent murder of abortionist Barnett Slepian more than a decade ago. In the world since 9-11 and particularly with a government that has moved more strongly pro-abortion than any time in history, the killing of George Tiller will have a stronger impact than the other previous events combined.

The pro-life movement is immediately experiencing a shift in the terrain regarding the work for life in America. In blogs and comment sections of newspapers across the country, the remarks were spiteful, using terms like "terrorists," "hate talk," as well as calling for "redefining the scope of domestic terrorism."

On her blog, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin writes:

"Unfortunately, it's too much to ask the cable news networks and hyper-partisan snipers on the Internet to have the decency to restrain themselves.

"Prepare for a wall-to-wall onslaught of gleeful finger-pointing on the Left and heated responses on the Right.

"Prepare for whitewashed hagiographies of Tiller's career as an abortionist.

"Prepare for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's defenders to gloat about vindication.

"Prepare for collective demonization of pro-lifers and Christians -- and more gratuitous attempts to tar talk radio, Fox News, and the Tea Party movement as responsible for the heinous crime.

"Prepare for the continuing redefinition of any and all sharp political disagreement as "hate" -- a ruinous trend that inevitably comes back to haunt the hysterical accusers decrying "hate" the loudest.

The knee-jerk reaction of many would be to go silent and wait for the anger to pass. This is an opportunity, however to truly express the fact that those who stand for life, do so from conception to natural death.

This is a time for the pro-life movement to clearly communicate that this indiscriminate death is a true horror. We cannot say who lives and who dies depending on circumstance. We cannot call for a Terri Schiavo to live and at the same time call for an abortion doctor to die.

This is a defining moment for all those who stand for life. We must make our words plain and our intentions unmistakable. Our tone and our rhetoric must be crafted carefully as we are being watched and measured more carefully than ever before.

Our convictions and commentary regarding life, however, must never waiver. We do not set aside the killing of the unborn for a season and wait for calmer seas. Children in the womb are still dieing. In fact, we may see an increase in abortions in response to this murder.

Finally, we must pray as never before. As the Scripture says, we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in heavenly realms. This is a spiritual war that must be fought with spiritual weapons.

The killer of Tiller didn't do the pro-life cause any favors nor provide the world with a solution. This evil act will not end abortion in Wichita or in the world. In fact, it may catalyze an even greater onslaught by raising the adrenaline in pro-abortion doctors everywhere. He will be seen as a martyr.

As journalist Ed Morrissey states, "Those who value life know that murder is the antithesis of the pro-life movement." To kill an abortionist is a pro-choice mentality.

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


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