May 31st, 2009
10:00 PM ET

Doctor who performed abortions shot to death

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/31/kansas.doctor.killed/art.tiller.kake.jpg caption="Dr. George Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians that performed late-term abortions."]


Dr. George Tiller, whose Kansas women's clinic frequently took center stage in the U.S. debate over abortion, was shot and killed while serving as an usher at his Wichita church Sunday morning, police said.

Wichita police said a 51-year-old man from the Kansas City, Kansas, area was in custody in connection with the slaying of Tiller, who was one of the few U.S. physicians who still performed late-term abortions.

The killing, which came about 16 years after Tiller survived a shooting outside his Wichita clinic, took place shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Church. Officers found the 67-year-old dead in the foyer, police said.

Witnesses provided a description of the car and a license number of the killer's getaway vehicle, Wichita police spokesman Gordon Bassham said. Police stopped a blue Ford Taurus matching the description about three hours later in Gardner, about 30 miles southwest of Kansas City, and took the driver into custody.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. meenas17

    Abortion is a moral evil. A doctor ,performing it, is erring knowingly which is a terrible transgression.An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, are the principles of vengeance, and that has been done perfectly. This is the worst of all evils.

    June 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  2. Beckie in CA

    "No one has the right to kill an already living human being. " Even if they murdered someone else. The death penalty kills another living human being.

    June 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  3. Beckie in CA

    Mike in NYC..because a 'Christian' church should accept EVERYONE as CHRIST did...

    June 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  4. Melissa

    I support abortion, but not late term abortion. As much as I find it despicable that the doctor would perform late term abortions, unless the mothers life is in danger in which case, I'm fine with it, no one has the right to kill an already living human being. I hope they give the murderer the death penalty.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  5. Mike in NYC

    Why would a “Christian” church accept an abortionist as a member in the first place?

    June 1, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  6. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    This is truly a culture of death society we are living in An eye for an eye mentality .Life is to be protected at all stages from concpetion to natural death .I pray that this will stop and the culture of life willl grow to mean more than it does now.When will people care about life and others again?

    June 1, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  7. Elaine

    I do not support late term abortions but I find it equally disturbing that someone can justify killing a human being who is ON the planet because that person is justifying killing a human who ISN'T on the planet. It is the exact same offense. People of faith who value a human life that they can't see more than a human life that they CAN see, themselves, the problem. It's why unwanted children are not cared for in this country. The Church favors the unseen. It is the perversion of faith.

    June 1, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  8. Jasmine in Germany

    I was 26 weeks pregnant when a large malignant tumor in my uterus was confirmed. The fetus did not have a chance of survival, it had already been severly damaged by the growth of the tumor. My life was now in danger. Would the "pro-lifers" have asked me to give birth to a dead baby and die myself? For what? I didn't think twice about choosing to remove the contents of my uterus and continue to be a mother to my living young children. What would you have done?

    June 1, 2009 at 7:07 am |
  9. Rachel

    It's amazing to me that someone "Pro-life" can so easily take a life, maybe they could have adopted a child from the many, many that are wards of our states, is there a census on how many put their money where there mouth is, and have actually taken a homeless or abused child into their homes...from "pro-choice

    May 31, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  10. deb

    I am sorry for his family and sorry someone had to use death rather than discussion. And at church...

    May 31, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  11. Brenda Trevino

    This is a tragic loss. Doctor Tiller was a caring doctor doing work that he believed in. I know. I was a patient. Through my horrific personal decision he was of great council. He spoke with me privately to make sure I knew what I was doing. This was not HIS choice for me. It was MY choice for myself. These terrorists should consider that the next time they are dragging guns around to make their point.

    I pray for his family during this time of loss.

    May 31, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  12. brandon from ft. worth

    I personally do not believe in abortion. But I also believe that is a womens choice. Too many people believe that there stance on this position should be law. This is a very tradgic incident and I hope that those who believe that abortions should be illegal will understand taht their words on this issue where some of the same words that led the guilty party to commit such a hanous crime. This country was founded on freedom of religion and is seeming to turn into the complete opposite. Our founding fathers would be completly ashamed.

    May 31, 2009 at 10:40 pm |