Commentary: Let's Get our Facts Straight about Tiller and Anti-Abortion Violence

Brian Clowes
June 2009
Reproduced with Permission

Along with everyone else at Human Life International and throughout the legitimate pro-life movement, I strongly condemn the murder of abortionist George Tiller in Kansas."The Fifth Commandment does not read "Thou shalt not kill, except for abortionists."

Not only is it wrong to respond to people like Tiller with the ultimate anti-life act of murder, it also sets the entire pro-life movement back as good, committed leaders have to scramble to distance themselves from an act that they never called for and which is obviously antithetical to their philosophy and work.

Pro-abortion legislators seize on the opportunity to call for laws restricting legitimate pro-life activities such as sidewalk counseling and picketing, knowing the whole time that such legislation will do nothing to hinder a maniac with a gun. And, worst of all, thousands of people who would otherwise have joined the pro-life movement will continue to sit on the sidelines, believing the media lie that we are violent.

Pro-lifers should indeed condemn the murder of George Tiller. But we should not play permanent defense as the nonsense snowballs and the unfair attacks against the pro-life movement multiply. Here are some facts that should be taken into consideration by all people of good will, especially those whose responsibility it is to report on this story.

  1. George Tiller is the first abortionist to be killed in eleven years. If you think that's a "trend," or an "epidemic" as some have said, you're just not a serious person.
  2. All of the posturing going on in the pro-abortion movement over the safety of abortionists is a ruse. There are four times as many hairdressers and 150 times as many convenience store clerks murdered as there are abortionists. Where is the "pro-choice" grieving over them?
  3. George Tiller made his money performing late-term abortions, which often involves the killing of a viable human being. According to Kansas state statistics, he killed 395 viable third-trimester babies in one year - 2001 - all for "mental health" reasons (which, as we know, is the category for all elective abortions). Not one of those abortions was for a mother's physical health or for a medical emergency. Americans overwhelmingly believe this disgusting practice should not be legal. If any objective journalist were to look into his practice they would see that most people, and all sane people, are appalled by what happened in his clinic every day.
  4. Tiller has been tried on criminal indictments for multiple abuses of his practice, including breaking state laws requiring another medical doctor to verify that certain patients' lives were at risk before performing late-term abortions. This man was no hero or saint, and his being held up as a martyr says more about pro-abortionists than it does about those they are trying to condemn.
  5. Abortionists are not only widely considered an embarrassment to the medical profession, but they are much more likely to commit violence than to suffer violence. You may be surprised to learn that more than a dozen abortionists have been convicted of murder and manslaughter - of their wives, of their patients, and even of other abortionists.╩Yet you never hear about these killings in the press (see for documentation). Abortionists are more likely to kill than to be killed.
  6. Whenever an abortionist mutilates, kills or molests a woman, the "pro-choice" movement always rushes to his defense, as they did for Brian Finkel, the Arizona abortionist who was sent to prison for 35 years for 22 counts of sexual abuse.╩So much for caring for women!
  7. The pro-life movement is the most peaceful social movement in the history of this country. Most other social movements, including the unionization movement, the pro-abortion movement, the homosexualist movement, the animal rights movement, and the environmental movement have all demonstrated much greater violence. So where is the outcry over the violence committed by these movements?

During the predictable surge of publicity over Tiller's murder, we must remember that abortion itself is the most cowardly form of murder, committed against the most helpless and innocent of all of God's people, the unborn. We must also remember those who have died, but who are ignored by the media and the pro-abortionists - the hundreds of women who have died of so-called "safe and legal" abortion, and the hundreds of other women who have been murdered by their boyfriends or husbands because they would not abort their children (see for documentation).

Let's not be bullied or silenced by those who are trying to tar the whole pro-life movement by cynically exploiting the murder of George Tiller. Let's instead reply with facts which add context to the "abortionists are heroes, pro-lifers are violent" narrative that the "mainstream" media seems too willing to parrot.

Not that I expect the media to suddenly start reporting the truth of abortion. If they did that, there would be no legal abortion in the first place. But we can try, and the facts are on our side. Let's pray, too, for the soul of George Tiller, his family, and his murderer, as well as for the conversion of all pro-aborts that they see how destructive abortion is for all human life, not just the child who is killed and the mother who is wounded.

One thing you can do is forward this information and the address of the abortion violence Web site to your friends so that we can reach those of good will - those who aren't just mindlessly screaming bloody murder but who can actually think and listen to reason - and show them that the story they've been told about supposedly "violent" pro-life activists is just that - a story.