Special Reports

Statements on George Tiller's death

Various organizations and individuals have issued statements following the shooting death of George Tiller. Here are some of those statements:

Kansans for Life

Kansans for Life deplores the murder of Dr. George Tiller, and we wish to express our deep and sincere sympathy to his family and friends.

Our organization has a board of directors, and a 35 year history of bringing citizens together to achieve thoughtful education and legislation on the life issues here in Kansas.

We value life, completely deplore violence, and are shocked and very upset by what happened in Wichita today.

--Mary Kay Culp, state executive director, Kansans for Life

Kansas NOW

The Kansas National Organization for Women is deeply saddened at the cowardly act of violence committed against Dr. George Tiller, a champion for women's reproductive freedom -- an act that ultimately took his life.

Dr. Tiller, although previously surviving many acts of terrorism and violence directed at him and his clinic, did not allow it to stop him from standing up for the rights of all women.

Kansas NOW grieves not only the loss of Dr. Tiller, but also the loss that all women needing access to safe abortion have suffered due to this act of violence.

Kansas NOW is keeping Dr. Tiller's family and staff in our thoughts during this difficult time.

Mayor Carl Brewer

The Wichita City Council and I want to express our deep sorrow to Dr. Tiller and his family. They are in our prayers. Sunday morning's shooting inside a local church is a tragic and callous act. This incident does not reflect the values of this caring and compassionate community. I want to assure the public that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been working together to apprehend the suspect, and we will continue to work together during the investigation.

Operation Rescue

We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller's family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Center for Reproductive Rights

I am deeply saddened by the tragic news of Dr. Tiller's murder. Dr. Tiller has long been a stalwart and fearless defender of women's fundamental health and rights, providing abortions despite decades of relentless and vicious attacks on his clinic, family and private life. His death is a devastating loss to the reproductive rights movement and to women across this country. We send our condolences to his family and friends.

--Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights

Kansas Coalition for Life

The Kansas Coalition for Life Unequivocally Condemns the Shooting of Abortionist George Tiller.

Although at the time of this writing, it is not known who killed Abortionist Tiller, we do know for certain that this crime was NOT the work of any true proLife person. A true proLife person respects human life as a gift from God, and leaves all life and death decisions to God Himself.

This killing -- if it is in any way connected to a genuine proLife group, has the potential to set back the proLife movement by 20 years or more.

The Kansas Coalition for Life asks all reporters and commentators to make a clear distinction between lawless thugs who act on their own accord, and the good proLife people who obey the law, seeking a change in abortion laws via peaceful means and the legislative process.

It is completely misleading, for the media to imply, in any way that this is the work of the proLife movement. We urge the media to report responsibly and truthfully in this regard.

KCFL would have much preferred that Abortionist Tiller follow the footsteps of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist who is now one of America's most prominent and effective proLife leaders.

In 1993 Shelly Shannon, who had no connection whatsoever to any proLife organization, brought shame on all proLife groups by her stupid action, when she attempted to kill abortionist Tiller as he entered his abortion facility on East Kellogg Drive at Bleckley Street in Wichita.

Tiller's death comes at a time when all recent polling data shows that the peaceful proLife message has the support of a majority of American voters. We hope this terrible news does not hurt the steady progress that the proLife movement has made by peaceful legal means over the years.

Phill Kline

I am stunned by this lawless and violent act which must be condemned and should be met with the full force of law. We join in lifting prayer that God's grace and presence rest with Dr. Tiller's family and friends.

--Phill Kline, former attorney general

NARAL Pro-Choice America

On behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America, our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Tiller's family and friends at this moment, a moment that fills us with immeasurable shock and deep sadness.

For almost two decades, Dr. Tiller and those individuals who helped provide care to his patients have lived under intense harassment tinged with persistent threats of violence. Even under these adverse circumstances, Dr. Tiller never wavered in his commitment to providing abortion services and other reproductive health care to women and their families, often in the most difficult and heart-breaking circumstances.

Dr. Tiller's murder will send a chill down the spines of the brave and courageous providers and other professionals who are part of reproductive-health centers that serve women across this country. We want them to know that they have our support as they move forward in providing these essential services in the aftermath of the shocking news from Wichita.

We understand that the investigation is ongoing and that law-enforcement officials are pursuing a suspect. If it proves to be an act of anti-abortion violence, as we suspect it is, then the full weight of the law must be used to send a clear message that these types of attacks will be prosecuted fully and swiftly.

We also call on opponents of a woman's right to choose to condemn this action completely and absolutely. What happened today in Wichita cannot become the beginning of a more aggressive wave of violence targeting abortion providers and the women for whom they provide care. Women accessing their legal right to abortion -- and the providers who make this possible -- should never be targets of violence.

--Nancy Keenan, president, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Priests for Life

I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions.

--Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life

National Abortion Federation

We are shocked and deeply saddened at what has happened today. This is a devastating loss. Our thoughts right now are with his family and friends.

It is abhorrent that once again, individuals who oppose the right to choose have used violence to try to advance their extreme anti-choice agenda.

--Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation

Bishop Michael O. Jackels

The Catholic community extends sympathy to the family of Dr. George Tiller, a victim of violent crime made even more heinous, if that is possible, by being committed in a church as he was preparing for worship.

Many Catholics have over the years engaged in peaceful protest outside of Dr. Tiller's clinic, praying for an end to abortion, and especially late-term abortions; I have on occasion joined them for this purpose. This position and hope cannot however serve as a justification for committing other sins and crimes, like the willful destruction of property and, even worse, murder.

It is my prayer that the Tiller family find consolation, that Dr. George Tiller find mercy and the fulfillment of the great hope of Christians, and that all will find peaceful and legal means to resolve differences.

Attorney General Steve Six

This is a deplorable criminal act and a tragedy for Dr. Tiller's family. Violence of this kind has no place in our society. I am confident law enforcement will bring the perpetrator to justice.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

The entire Planned Parenthood family is deeply saddened by the murder of Dr. George Tiller. While he was not a Planned Parenthood provider, he was an integral part of our community and his loss is felt by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those close to him who are suffering a personal tragedy.

Dr. Tiller was the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. He provided critical reproductive health care services, including abortion services to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances. He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career... None of this stopped George Tiller from his commitment to providing women and their families with compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer.

His death is an enormous loss for the patients who relied on him, his dedicated staff, the medical community and for women and their families across America.

--Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Kansas Family Policy Council

The Kansas Family Policy is grieved and shocked at the murder of George Tiller. Violence is never condoned by KFPC or any pro-life organization. We grieve not only for George Tiller but for all those who have prayed for him over the years. Our prayers are with his family and his church.

People For the American Way

I am deeply saddened by the killing of Dr. Tiller. He was a man who was dedicated to the belief that all women deserve access to safe reproductive health services including abortion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and his community.

People have a right to disagree about abortion, but it's impossible to separate today's tragedy from the violent language that has been directed for years at doctors like George Tiller. Those who have inflamed emotions and dehumanized their opponents around the issue of abortion should take pause before they continue such dangerous rhetoric.

--Michael B. Keegan, president of People for the American Way

Sedgwick County Democratic Party

We at the Sedgwick County Democratic Party are deeply saddened and shocked at the murder of Dr. George Tiller this morning.

Dr. Tiller was a brave voice and advocate for the rights of women everywhere. The Sedgwick County Democrats are proud and lucky to have counted him as a friend and ally.

It would be easy to assign motive and political agendas to what has happened today, but the simple truth is that a man has been senselessly taken from his family and it is an unspeakable tragedy.

This horrifying act of violence is a stain on the Wichita community and a complete affront to who we are as neighbors.

We grieve for the friends and family of Dr. Tiller as well as the countless women and families who have sought his compassionate care throughout the years.

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