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NRL News
Page 22
June 2009
Volume 36
Issue 6

NRLC Unequivocally Condemns Slaying of
Abortionist Dr. George Tiller

BY Dave Andrusko

“Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said the assailant apparently acted alone. The FBI and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are trying to determine whether others were part of the attack and whether the suspect had any connection to antiabortion groups.”
     From June 1 Washington Post, “Suspect Held in Kansas Abortion Doctor’s Slaying”

“Late-Term Abortion Doctor Killed in Church”
     Headline in June 1 USA Today

“A Timeline of Related Attacks”
     Headline over a USA Today chronology of violence against abortionists, abortion clinic personnel, and abortion clinics since 1993

“National Right to Life extends its sympathies to Dr. Tiller’s family over this loss of life. Further, the National Right to Life Committee unequivocally condemns any such acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.”
     From a statement issued May 31 by NRLC

My entire family was upstairs that Sunday afternoon, enjoying a casual conversation around our kitchen table. Our kids had feted us after church, the day after my wife and I had celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. Sentimentalist that I am, this time together is something I will long remember and always treasure.

After a while our youngest went downstairs to check her e-mail. Within a minute I heard her voice. “You didn’t kill an abortion doctor in Kansas.”

This was her insightful way of communicating a truism that was largely muted in the immediate aftermath of the death of abortionist Dr. George Tiller but then reared its demagogic head. No matter how much we abhor this act of violence; no matter if we were hundreds or even thousands of miles away from Wichita; no matter how antipathetic to everything we stand for this action was, the temptation  proved irresistible to those in the media who hate us to sooner or later tar all pro-lifers with the same extremist brush.

NRLC responded in the way you would expect from the preeminent single-issue pro-life organization in the world. First, we extended our sympathy to Dr. Tiller’s family. I cannot even begin to imagine what his wife is going through, her husband gunned down in church. Then—with no ifs, ands, or buts about it—NRLC unequivocally condemned the slaying of Dr. Tiller.

However, there will be an array of people—cynics, and those who simply don’t know pro-lifers—who will dismiss the universal condemnation by all responsible pro-life organizations as a mere pro forma response. They will find it difficult to believe that we are sincere.

They shouldn’t. They should look at the record.

Over the years NRLC has taken more than a few hits for its by-the-book, use-the-law-to-change-the-law “incremental” approach. That has never deterred us for a single moment. NRLC’s approach is grounded in an abiding commitment to the principle of non-violent change, knowing that America is a representative democracy, which gives us the right to petition and persuade freely.

And those patient, unglamorous efforts are paying off. In the final analysis, we will carry the day for unborn babies when the scales fall from enough eyes. What is every recent piece of polling data telling us? That ears are being unstopped and hearts softened. (See pages two and three.)

There is nothing more upsetting to pro-abortionists than the growing success of this clarion call to conscience. For 40 years, their counter-strategy has not changed: change the subject.

Talk about anything—anything—but what has happened to over 50 million unborn children. At the heart of that diversionary strategy is to switch the subject, often by smearing the character of those who believe there has to be a better solution to a crisis pregnancy than death.

When some deranged person talks him- or herself into believing that an act of violence is justifiable, it not only plays into the hands of abortion advocates, it also does untold damage to the cause of life to which so many of us have dedicated our lives.

First and foremost, it does so because they have taken a human life. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. That Dr. Tiller was killed in a church while his wife sang in the choir only makes a horrific act even more outrageous.

It has been said by people I respect that the flurry of violence against abortion clinic personnel and abortionists in the 1990s set our Movement back the better part of a decade. In much of the media coverage, the image of pro-lifers as crazed militants was at the expense of much of the work that 99.999999% of us were doing in the legislatures, in the courts, and in crisis pregnancy centers.

Will this abhorrent act deflect any of us from our appointed tasks? No. The cause of defenseless unborn children is the social justice issue of our day. Like you, I will roll up my sleeves and get to work today, as I have for 30+ years.

But I will also be praying for Dr. Tiller’s family, praying that they might be given strength to endure this terrible time of sadness and grief.