News Columns & Blogs

January 27, 2010

The signs show up at the courthouse for Roeder trial

(Photo by Mike Hutmacher/The Wichita Eagle)

After three days of a relatively quiet trial, Randall Terry and three of his supporters showed up with signs in front of the courthouse this morning, as prosecutors prepared to wrap up their case for murder against Scott Roeder.

Signs reading “Tiller killed 60,000 children, Roeder’s reason, The Babies” and “Give Roeder a fair trial” greeted people arriving to the Sedgwick County Courthouse this morning.

Terry, a main figure in the Summer of Mercy at George Tiller’s Wichita clinic in 1991, has seen his influence wane in recent years. The organization he founded, Operation Rescue, has gone on without him and with a new leader. Terry even sued the current leader, Troy Newman, over the use of the name.

The present leadership of Operation Rescue, which has not been present at the Roeder trial, denounced Terry’s visit this week.

"Sadly, Randall Terry has chosen to abandon the Christ-centered principles contained in the historic Operation Rescue Pledge of Non-violence,” the group said on its website. “By refusing to condemn the actions of Scott Roeder, Mr. Terry has completely abandoned the core principles of Operation Rescue.”

The anti-abortion rights factions aren’t the majority in the courtroom, however.

Also sitting in the trial are people who supported Tiller during his career, including members of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

“We are here to see justice done,” said Kat Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Terry has schedule a press conference for noon.

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