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June 3, 2009
Column #1,449
Tiller: Martyr or Killer?
By Mike McManus

    Dr. George Tiller, a physician who performed late term abortions, was murdered while serving as an usher at church on Sunday. To Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, president of Harvard's Episcopal Divinity School, "This is about the loss of a man who was a saint and a martyr.  He was a prayerful man who put his life at risk to protect others and died for it."

    She said Tiller "has provided critical abortion and reproductive health care at great personal risk. In doing so, he saved the lives and futures of countless women and girls across the country."

The pro-life community was unanimous in condemning Tiller's murder, calling it "horrific," "disturbing," and a "cowardly act."

For example, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, said "As much as we detest and condemn the work of abortionists like George Tiller, we also detest and condemn this act of vigilante violence. George Tiller was a man whom we publicly sought to stop through legal and peaceful means.

"We are a nation that is governed by the rule of law, not by individual acts of `justice.' The words of scripture could not be clearer - for someone to intentionally murder another human being is wrong."

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, called him a "mass murderer" and "one of the most evil men on the planet, every bit as vile as the Nazi war criminals who were hunted down, tried and sentenced after they participated in the `legal' murder of the Jews…He reaped what he sowed.

       "But even Mr. Tiller - like other murderers - deserved a trial of his peers, and a legal execution, not vigilante justice," said Terry.

       So was Tiller a martyr or a murderer?

       He bragged that his abortion clinic performed 60,000 abortions.  That is more than all the deaths in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars combined.  Tiller was a mass murderer.

       However, The New York Times described him as a hero: "For his principled devotion to women's health and constitutionally protected rights, Dr. Tiller was the target of protests at his clinic, his house and his church. Indeed, Tiller has once seen his clinic bombed and in 1993 was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent.

       MSNBC Host Keith Olbermann went much further, flatly blaming Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly for inciting the murder of Tiller.  Olbermann noted that O'Reilly aired 28 stories on Tiller, with such statements as: "Killing babies in America. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

       "For $5,000, `Tiller the Baby Killer' - as some call him - will perform late-term abortion for just about any reason…No question, Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands…  "There's got to be a special place in hell for this guy."

       Olbermann called such comments "propaganda without conscience." adding that when "hate speech turns into murder, when phrases like `Dr. Tiller the Baby Killer' become network slogans; when there is a straight line between what was said on that network and that Kansas church, the time has come to quarantine Fox News."

       Specifically, he requested viewers who see Fox News in restaurants or bars to ask that the channel be changed, or leave the place "and say calmly why you are taking your business elsewhere…The goal here is to get that blindly irresponsible man and his ilk off the air."

       However, Olbermann is being as vindictive, destructive and as irresponsible as he claims O'Reilly to be.  I have watched Olbermann several nights a week for years, and he attacks O'Reilly regularly.

       Both men have poured poison into the national psyche, fueling a growing bitter divide between the political left and right. 

       The more fundamental issue, however, is the destructiveness of men like Dr. George Tiller.  He was no martyr.  After all, as a physician he took the Hippocratic Oath pledging to "do no harm." How could he rationalize aborting 60,000 babies?

       Money.  Tiller admitted in a trial he charged $6,000 each, and he recently charged $13,000 for a 33 week abortion. Even at $6,000, 60,000 abortions earned him $360 million! 

       Interestingly, few doctors perform abortions. None will do so in North Dakota, for example. And there were only three abortion clinics which would perform "late term abortions" on babies who could live outside the womb.

       Tiller was recently acquitted of performing abortions that violated Kansas law, in part because the Attorney General who filed the charges was defeated in an election by an opponent funded generously by Tiller.

       Ironically, however, the Kansas Healing Arts Board, was about to yank his medical license for illegal abortions!

       Due process would have likely "aborted" his career.

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