George Richard Tiller, MD (August 8, 1941 – May 31, 2009) was an American physician from Wichita, Kansas. He was the medical director of a clinic in Wichita, Women's Health Care Services, one of only three nationwide which provided abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy (known as late-term abortion).
Pro-life group Operation Rescue kept a daily vigil outside Tiller's clinic for many years: first the national group, then later a branch that moved from California to Kansas specifically to focus on Tiller. On August 19, 1993, outside of the Wichita clinic, Tiller was shot in both arms by Shelley Shannon, who received an 11-year prison sentence for the crime of attempted murder.
On May 31, 2009, Tiller was shot through the eye and killed, by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder, as Tiller served as an usher during the Sunday morning service at his church in Wichita.
Jurors deliberated 40 minutes before convicting Roeder of murder on January 29, 2010.
Contents [hide] • 1 Background• 2 1993 shooting• 3 Controversies o 3.1 Late term abortiono 3.2 Christin Gilberto 3.3 The O'Reilly Factor• 4 Trial and acquittal• 5 Assassination• 6 See also• 7 References• 8 External links
George Tiller studied at the University of Kansas School of Medicine from 1963 to 1967. Shortly thereafter, he held a medical internship with United States Navy, and served as flight surgeon in Oakland, California, in 1969 and 1970.
In July 1970, he planned to start a dermatology residency. However on August 21, 1970, his parents, sister and brother-in-law were killed in an aircraft accident.
In her will, his sister had requested that Tiller take care of her one-year-old son. Tiller had intended to go back to Wichita, close up his father's family practice and then go back to become a dermatologist.
However, he quickly felt pressure to take over his father's family practice. Tiller's father had performed abortions at his practice. After hearing about a woman who had died from an illegal abortion, Tiller stayed in Wichita to continue his father's practice.
1993 shootingThroughout his career, Tiller was a frequent target of anti-abortion violence. In June 1986, his clinic was firebombed. While it was being rebuilt, Tiller displayed a sign reading "Hell no, we won't go". On August 19, 1993, Shelley Shannon shot Tiller five times, while he was in his car.
At the time she attacked Tiller, Shannon had been an anti-abortion activist for five years and had written letters of support to the convicted murderer Michael Griffin, who had murdered David Gunn. She called him "a hero."
Tiller in 1997 at his clinic, Women’s Health Care
At her trial in state court, Shelley Shannon testified that there was nothing wrong with trying to kill Tiller. The jury convicted Shannon of attempted murder, and she was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The following year, however, Shannon was sentenced to an additional 20 years in prison on charges of arson, interference with commerce by force and interstate travel in aid of racketeering in connection to her participation in several fires and acid attacks on abortion clinics.
Controversies - Late term abortion
In accordance with Kansas state law Tiller performed late-term abortions, which helped to make him a focal point for anti-abortion protest and violence.
Tiller treated patients who discovered late in pregnancy that their fetuses had severe or fatal birth defects. He also aborted healthy late-term fetuses, in cases where two doctors certified that carrying the fetus to term would cause the woman "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
Christin Gilbert, a 19-year-old woman with Down Syndrome from Keller, Texas, died in January 2005 after a multi-day abortion procedure performed at Tiller's facility. Reports conflict as to whether the abortion was performed by Tiller or by LeRoy Carhart. Gilbert had been 28 weeks pregnant. The autopsy stated that Gilbert died of sepsis following the abortion.
Tiller was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. After a petition from Operation Rescue, a grand jury was convened to probe Gilbert's death, which resulted in no indictments against Tiller.
The O'Reilly Factor
Tiller was first discussed on The O'Reilly Factor on February 25, 2005. Subsequently Tiller was discussed in at least 28 episodes before his death. On the show he was sometimes described as "Tiller the Baby Killer".
Show host Bill O'Reilly did not invent the nickname; previously, Congressman Robert K. Dornan had used it on the floor of Congress. O'Reilly said he would not want to be Tiller, Kathleen Sebelius, and other pro-choice Kansas politicians "if there is a judgment day."
On November 3, 2006, O'Reilly featured an exclusive segment on The O'Reilly Factor, saying that he had an "inside source" with official clinic documentation indicating that Tiller performed late-term abortions to alleviate "temporary depression" in pregnant woman. O'Reilly also interviewed a woman who allegedly got pregnant when she was 13 years old and went to Tiller for her abortion.
Trial and acquittal
Kansas law prohibits abortions after the beginning of fetal viability, which is generally midway through the second trimester, unless two doctors certify that continuing the pregnancy would cause the woman "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
The two consulting doctors must not be "financially affiliated" with the doctor doing the abortion. Tiller went on trial in March 2009, charged with 19 misdemeanors for allegedly consulting a second physician in late-term abortion cases who was not truly "unaffiliated".
The case became a cause célèbre for both supporters and opponents of abortion. Columnist Jack Cashill compared the trial to the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals, while New York University Professor Jacob Appel described Tiller as "a genuine hero who ranks alongside Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. in the pantheon of defenders of human liberty."
On March 27, 2009, the jury found Tiller not guilty on all charges. However, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts continued to investigate charges of ethical violations that mirrored the prosecutors' criminal allegations.
In February 2012, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts determined that Dr. Ann Kristen Neuhaus did not meet accepted standards of care when she referred patients to Dr. Tiller. The Board reported that in some cases, she used a software package make mental health determinations without making direct examinations of the patient, as the software manufacturer required. The Board revoked Neuhaus' license.
Stephen Maxwell, one of top assistants in both the Kansas attorney general's office and later the Johnson County District Attorney's office, was later accused of mishandling the case. The complaints against him include: allowing his underling to commit perjury, copying patients' records and failing to report their location to the court, and failure to report a court opinion that didn't support contention for a subpoena.
Assassination of George Tiller
Wikinews has related news: Controversial U.S. abortion doctor shot dead in Kansas church
A June 1, 2009, candlelight vigil in Boston, Massachusetts for George Tiller
Tiller was shot through the eye at close range and killed on May 31, 2009, during worship services at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, where he was serving as an usher and handing out church bulletins. The gunman, after threatening to shoot two people who initially pursued him, fled then escaped in a car.
Three hours after the shooting, the anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder was arrested about 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City. On June 2, 2009, Roeder was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the shooting, subsequently convicted in January 2010 on those charges, and sentenced on April 1, 2010 to life imprisonment without parole for 50 years, the maximum sentence available in Kansas.
Tiller's killing was largely condemned by groups and individuals on both sides of the abortion issue. US President Barack Obama said he was "shocked and outraged" by the murder. David N. O'Steen, director of the National Right to Life Committee, said the group "unequivocally condemns any such acts of violence regardless of motivation."
Some others who spoke publicly were more confrontational. Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry described Tiller as a mass murderer and said of other abortion providers, "We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches," and Southern Baptist minister and radio host Wiley Drake said, "I am glad that he is dead."
After the shooting, Tiller's colleague, Leroy Carhart of Nebraska, stated that Tiller's clinic, Women's Health Care Services, would reopen after being closed for one week to mourn his death. The following week, Tiller's family announced that the clinic would be closed permanently.
In October 2010, it was reported that a federal grand jury is investigating whether Tiller's murder was connected to a broader case involving radical anti-abortion activists, according to a federal law enforcement official familiar with the case.See also
Criminal justice portal
Human rights portal
United States portal
• Abortion in the United States
• Anti-abortion violence
• Barnett Slepian
• David Gunn
1. ^ Profile[dead link] at drtiller.com
2. ^ Tumulty, Karen (31 May 2009). "George Tiller Murdered". Time. Retrieved 1 June 2009. "[...]specialist in late-term [abortion] procedures"
3. ^ "George Tiller shot to death at Wichita church". Kansas City Star. 31 May 2009.
4. ^ Stumpe, Joe. "Jurors Acquit Kansas Doctor in a Late-Term Abortion Case", The New York Times, 27 March 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
5. ^ Phillips, Don (1993-08-22). "Violence Hardly Ruffled Protest Ritual". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
6. ^ a b "Clinic violence and intimidation" (PDF). NARAL
Pro-Choice America Foundation. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-13.
7. ^ a b Crow, Karen (2005-08-19). "A Violent Week in August". Choice! Magazine. Retrieved 2006-04-13.
8. ^ Robin, Abcarian (2009-05-31). "Abortion doctor George Tiller is killed; suspect in custody". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
9. ^ a b c Pilkington, Ed. "For years anti-abortionists tried to stop Doctor Tiller. Finally a bullet did", The Guardian, 1 June 2009.
10. ^ a b Finger, Stan (31 May 2009). "George Tiller Shot to Death at Wichita Church". The Wichita Eagle (The McClatchy Company).
11. ^ "Our Medical Director". Women's Health Care Services. Retrieved 2006-06-10.[dead link]
12. ^ "George R. Tiller, MD". Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
13. ^ Phillips, Don (1993-08-22). "Violence Hardly Ruffled Protest Ritual". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
14. ^ Johnson, Dirk (28 August 1993). "Abortions, Bibles and Bullets, And the Making of a Militant". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
15. ^ Ryan, Harriet (2003-03-11). "Kopp fifth clinic shooter to face trial". Court TV. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
16. ^ "The Week March 20–26". Time. 1994-04-04. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
17. ^ "Antiabortion Extremist Indicted in Attacks on Clinics in West". The Washington Post. 1994-10-25. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
18. ^ "Guilty Plea Expected In Fires at Clinics". The New York Times. 1995-06-04. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
19. ^ "Woman Gets 20-Year Sentence In Attacks on Abortion Clinics". The New York Times. 9 September 1995. Retrieved
20. ^ a b Simon, Stephanie; Bustillo, Miguel. "Abortion Provider Is Shot Dead; George Tiller, Attacked at His Church, Had Long Been a Focal Point of Protests", Wall Street Journal, 1 June 2009.
21. ^ "Gallery Two". Justice for Christin.
22. ^ "Grand jury to probe abortion clinic". KTEN News. 2006.
23. ^ Phillips, Rachel (2006-05-22). "Abortion Doctor Subject of Grand Jury Investigation". KAKE News. Retrieved 2006-06-10.
24. ^ "O'Reilly's campaign against murdered doctor". salon.com. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
25. ^ O'Reilly, Bill (6 November 2006). "Talking Points". The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
26. ^ "Dr. Tiller Abortion Patient Speaks Out!". FoxNews.com. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
27. ^ Tiller Jury Selection, Kansas City Star, 18 March 2009.
28. ^ "Jury set in trial of Wichita late-term abortionist", Kansas Liberty, 18 March 2009.
29. ^ "Why George Tiller is on trial in Wichita", World Net Daily, 19 March 2009.
30. ^ Los Angeles Times, 21 March 2009.
31. ^ "Kan. doctor acquitted in abortion case - Crime & courts- msnbc.com". Retrieved 2009-04-23.
32. ^ "Loss of license ordered in Kansas abortion case". Retrieved 2012-03-01.
33. ^ Article[dead link], Midwest Voices forum at KansasCity.com
34. ^ "AP Names Suspect in Tiller Shooting". KWCH.com. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
35. ^ "Criminal Complaint/Information (Kansas v. Scott P. Roeder)". FindLaw. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
36. ^ Sylvester, Ron (1 April 2010). "Scott Roeder gets Hard 50 in murder of abortion provider George Tiller". The Wichita
Eagle. Retrieved 1 April 2010.37. ^ a b "Barack Obama shocked by abortion doctor shooting". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-03..
38. ^ a b "National Right to Life condemns the killing of Dr. George Tiller". National Right to Life. 2009-05-31.
39. ^ "KS NOW Mourns the Murder of Dr. George Tiller". Kansas Now. 2009-05-31.40. ^ "Jewish groups speak out on Tiller killing", Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), 2 June 2009.
41. ^ "Operation Rescue Denounces The Killing of Abortionist Tiller". Operation Rescue. 2009-05-31.
42. ^ "Pro-life groups condemn slaying of late-term abortionist". CatholicCutlure.org. 2009-06-01.
43. ^ "Murder Not Justified, Pro-Life Leaders Say". 2009-06-01.
44. ^ Veritas, Sandy. "George Tiller was a Mass-Murderer, says Randall Terry -- We Grieve That he Did Not Have Time to Properly Prepare his Soul to Face God". Christian News Wire..
45. ^ Koppelman, Alex. "Keyes' running mate: Tiller murder "answer to prayer"". Salon.com. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
46. ^ Allen, Bob (2009-06-02). "Former SBC officer says Tiller murder answer to prayer". Associated Baptist Press.
47. ^ Finger, Stan (2009-06-01). "Nebraska physician vows to keep Tiller's abortion clinic open". Wichita Eagle.
48. ^ Abcarian, Robin (2009-06-10). "'Abortion fatigue' on both sides as Kansas clinic closes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
49. ^ "AP source: Grand jury probing anti-abortion murder", Wichita Eagle, 8 October 2010.
Quotations related to: George Tiller
• George R. Tiller M.D. Memorial Fund
• Are Some Anti-Abortion Attacks Domestic Terrorism? NOW on PBS Piece aired following Dr. Tiller's death
• "George Tiller speaks about the history of violence against him and his medical practice," Kansas City The Pitch
• "Remembered for Lifelong Dedication to Women's Reproductive Health" Five women (two of them doctors) who worked with Dr. Tiller; Democracy Now!, June 1, 2009 (video, audio, and print transcript)
• Criminal Complaint (Kansas v. Roeder) FindLaw, June 2, 2009
• Letters of condolence sent to the editors of The New York Times
Contributions from the best scholars in numerous fields are added to Ministers-Best-Friend.com website daily. Such research papers and articles:
* Cambridge Theological Seminary USA & Global has no connection or relationship to Cambridge University in England, EXCEPT . . . we in the USA are carrying on their "Christian Values of Hundreds of Years" . . . as they have long since become secular humanists, agnostics and atheists: "Anti-Christ" in almost every way and contrary to every Scripture.