Dr Tiller was gunned down yesterday, as he attended his church, and a man has since been arrested to answer police questions, and face possible charges. A motive for the killing has not so far, been made public, yet blame is already being apportioned. Blame, guilt, culpability, are being heaped upon pro-life organisations. Dr Tiller was an abortionist, and one who specialised in late-term abortions.
Here's the Guardian newspaper on the bandwagon:
"Not surprisingly, his killer is strongly suspected to be affiliated with the "pro-life" movement. If that's the case, it makes Tiller the 10th person in the United States to be murdered by anti-choice terrorists.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Since 1977, there have been at least 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery and three kidnappings committed against abortion providers in North America. Tiller himself survived an assassination attempt in 1993.
Some pro-life groups are issuing statements of condemnation and attempting to paint this murder as the work of an extremist. But this latest act of terrorism is, sadly, not an anomaly. It is part of a clearly-established pattern of harassment, intimidation and violence against abortion providers and pro-choice individuals. And mainstream pro-life groups shoulder much of the blame."
The Guardian seems to be implying that a propensity to harass, intimidate or do violence against abortion providers to the point of killing them, is part of the pro-life ethic.It's a bit like claiming, on the back of 9/11, that all Muslims are terrorists (but they wouldn't try that, I think).
Pro-life is about respecting, protecting and valuing all human lives from their natural beginning to their natural end, and at every stage inbetween. That means all people, including those who are vulnerable, including those whose views or actions we deplore. Pro-life is not, and has never been about killing people.
There could be some other fallout from the tragic killing of Dr. Tiller:
Is 'harassment' going to be redefined to include the kind of peaceful, prayerful witness that takes place outside abortion clinics?
Will telling people the truth about abortion be construed as 'intimidation'?