Special Reports

Statements about George Tiller's death

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

Sen. Sam Brownback

We are all shocked and saddened by what happened in Wichita. I offer my prayers to his family and to his congregation. I condemn this murder as well as the use of violence and the culprit should be brought to justice. Our office is reaching out to federal officials to ensure all possible resources are available to investigate and prosecute this crime.

Heartland Transformation Ministry Network

The Lord calls us to love justice and show mercy, and this act of violence in taking the life of Dr. Tiller is a violation of both commands. Such hostility and loss of life should lead us all to confession, repentance, and prayers for healing of all that is broken in our hearts and in our relationships with one another.

We are praying for God’s peace and comfort especially for Dr. Tiller’s family and friends, the people of his church at Reformation Lutheran, and for our community. May the Lord forgive us and lead us all to be better than we have been in keeping with the Lord’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself. “

It is our hope that we might all pray together at a gathering soon for the Lord’s presence, mercy, and love, in order that His Light might shine through the darkness, and that He might arise with healing in His wings.

— David Griffis, president, Heartland Transformation Ministry Network; board members Mary Freeman, Russ Jones, Cindy Kardatzke, Mark Oelze; and Pastor Ben Staley, Northridge Friends Church

Medical Society of Sedgwick County

The Medical Society of Sedgwick County condemns the violent action that claimed the life of Dr. George Tiller. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and friends. Regardless of one’s religious, political or ethical position the use of violence to achieve an end is contrary to our hope for a peaceful society. As the debate surrounding this senseless act continues let us each take time to reflect on our own words and actions so that we can heal and not harm our fellow citizens.

The Board of Inter-Faith Ministries

The Board of Inter-Faith Ministries (IFM) of Wichita, Kansas, expresses today its deep sadness over the murder of Dr. George Tiller this morning at his place of worship, Reformation Lutheran Church. We condemn this kind of violence anywhere, but especially in a place of worship. Our prayers are with the Tiller family, Reformation Lutheran, and this community as a whole. We also pray for the shooter.

IFM is made up of people of faith in various religions who seek to carry out our common human mission to build inter-religious understanding, promote justice, relieve misery, and reconcile the estranged. We work together for peace and constructive dialogue, and so our hearts break today that disagreement over an issue has led someone to this act. We call all persons to let this horrible incident cause us all to reflect on how we can live together as the people of God, even though we may disagree on various issues, and work together to prevent such incidents in the future. We will continue to work towards religious understanding, and we pray that all of Wichita will join us in this effort.

The Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas

The Peace Center mourns the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. As people who have dedicated our lives to resolving social and political problems without resort to violence or intimidation, we condemn anyone who, for any reason or political persuasion, no matter how fervently held, would take the law into their own hands to harm, much less kill, someone who disagrees with them. Ever since 1993 ad hoc groups, including former Attorney General Phil Kline, have sought to vilify and harass Dr. Tiller, proclaiming him their enemy, characterizing him as a murderer. Even those not responsible for pulling the trigger should reflect on their incivility and how much their hatred has contributed to this tragic crime.

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.

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.

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.

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

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