In a syndicated column appearing in my local fishwrap today, Amy Goodman laments “The price of lax enforcement”:
George Tiller did not have to die. He was assassinated at his church Sunday in Wichita, Kan., targeted for legally performing abortions. His death may have been prevented simply through enforcement of existing laws.
His alleged killer was seen vandalizing a Kansas City clinic, Aid for Women, both the week before and the day before the killing, putting glue into the door locks. The manager of that clinic, who calls himself “Jeff Pederson” to protect his identity, told me he called the FBI and local police both times, but the vandal, Scott Roeder, was not arrested. Pederson had his first name and his license-plate number. He had him recorded on the security video. He recognized him from previous protests.
Pederson called Colburn, reporting the second vandalism and letting him know he had better video. Pederson said Colburn told him, “The Johnson County prosecutor won’t do anything until the grand jury convenes.” The next day, Tiller was killed, allegedly by Roeder.
But Dr. Susan Robinson was adamant. She flies to Wichita every month to perform abortions in Tiller’s clinic. She said, “It is generally regarded amongst those who do clinic security, if local authorities are not responsive, if they don’t show up or they don’t vigilantly enforce the law, that it encourages the anti-abortion people to push it further and further.”
She said: “In Wichita, Dr. Tiller was constantly dealing with the same lack of enforcement. Wichita prohibits placing signs on city property. But they allow the anti-abortion protesters to set up dozens of crosses and leave them all day. Dr. Tiller went to the city attorney over the crosses, and complained that people block the clinic driveway. He told me that the city attorney said, ‘I ”would rather be sued by George Tiller than the anti-abortion folks.’
The 1994 federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act makes it a crime to block or damage a reproductive health service facility.
Enforcing the act saves lives. George Tiller will be buried on Saturday.
So, actions of this so called doctor and those who advocate for no restrictions of any sort on abortion had absolutely nothing to do with his death? Don’t get me wrong – – Tiller’s killing was an act of murder; it was not a justifiable homicide. The fact remains that Tiller pushed the legality of abortion to its extreme limits (and probably beyond). Those who supported him rose up at every turn against even the most logical and reasonable restriction on the practice of abortion. Given their extremism, a collision with an extremist in opposition to them was inevitable. Tiller’s killer has blood on his hands. So do those who support wholesale access to abortion without any restriction.