This morning, Dr. George Tiller of the Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, was gunned down in his place of worship. A suspect was later detained in Kansas City some 170 miles away.
Dr. Tiller was one of a handful of physicians who provided late-term abortions. His most memorable phrase was: "Prenatal testing without Prenatal choice is medical fraud." His clinic had been picketed, blockaded, vandalized and attacked; bullet-proof glass had to be installed around it after he had been shot and wounded. In the late 1990's, he courageously invited several political and religious leaders to visit his clinic -- walking them through as though they were patients facing crisis pregnancies.
It is no surprise that the leader of Operation Rescue condemned the attack. I can only hope that those who oppose abortion will do some serious soul-searching about how their rhetoric and tactics contribute to such senseless and cowardly acts.
In the meantime, let's all pray for Dr. Tiller's family, for his colleagues and staff, and for all those who provide reproductive health services for women around the country.