Pro-life Groups Denounce Murder of Abortionist

Condemn Attack as Contrary to Goals of Promoting Human Dignity

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WICHITA, Kansas, JUNE 1, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Pro-life groups are denouncing the murder of abortionist George Tiller, as an act contrary to the cause of promoting respect for human life.



Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, issued a statement expressing sadness over Sunday's killing.

"At this point, we do not know the motives of this act," he said, and "we should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment."

The director affirmed, "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," he added, "without regard to their age or views or actions."

Tiller, 67, was the owner and operator of Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, one of three clinics in the country that provide late-term abortion after 21 weeks of pregnancy.

He was shot outside his church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

CatholicVote.org also issued a statement condemning the murder, expressing the hope that "his killer will be brought to justice for this heinous crime."

Antithesis

Brian Burch, president of the organization, affirmed: "We cannot create a Civilization of Love with such violence. We call upon all people of good will to pray this week for the soul of Mr. Tiller and to pray that our society will abandon every form of hatred and violence."

He noted that this "senseless act of violence represents the utter antithesis of a people of life."

"The tens of millions of Americans who peacefully pray and work every day for the protection of all human life are rightfully grieved by this news," Burch affirmed.

Quoting the late Cardinal John O'Connor of New York, he said: "It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder. It's madness. You cannot prevent killing by killing."

A court case in which Tiller was accused of 19 misdemeanor charges surrounding abortions he performed was concluded last Wednesday, and he was judged not guilty of all charges.

However, despite the acquittal from criminal charges, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts took up the case to investigate alleged ethical violations.

Scott Roeder, 51, was arrested today as a suspect for the murder.

Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, condemned the murder and affirmed that the "foundational right to life that our work is dedicated to extends to everyone."

David O'Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, extended sympathies to Tiller's family for the loss, and affirmed that his group "unequivocally condemns any such acts of violence regardless of motivation."

He added: "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."

President Barack Obama said in a press statement Sunday night that he is "shocked and outraged" by the murder: "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."