What editorial writers are saying about the killing of Dr. George Tiller

The Wichita, Kan., ob-gyn who performed late-term abortions was fatally shot May 31. An abortion opponent has been charged with murder.

Posted June 22, 2009.

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People on both sides of the abortion debate have condemned the killing. A sampling of editorials in newspapers across the country shows a call for better protection for doctors and concern over where women will be able to seek late-term abortions.

Activists mount militant assault on abortion rights

In the United States of America, medical professionals should not have to carry guns, wear bulletproof vests, hire bodyguards or live in fear of assassins. But doctors who provide abortions, particularly late-term procedures, often do some or all those things. The lifeline that these physicians provide for women in difficult, sometimes desperate, circumstances grew even thinner on Sunday, when Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in the foyer of his Wichita church. USA Today, June 3

Clinics in the crosshairs

The vast majority of abortions are performed in free-standing clinics like that run by Mr. Tiller. Very few are performed in hospitals -- a sign that mainline medicine is not living up to its responsibility. What has been overlooked since Mr. Tiller's appalling murder is what will happen to women who need his services. Washington Post, June 3

Terror at the clinic

Also victimized by Tiller's murder are the anguished women who have sought late-term abortions because their pregnancies have gone horribly wrong. The sad irony is that these late-term abortions -- performed when a fetus may be developing without a brain, or when continuing a pregnancy to term would crush the mother's cervix or render her infertile -- are not a matter of "choice." Boston Globe, June 2

Abortion providers need more protection

Back in 1990, doctors in at least seven clinics would terminate late-term pregnancies. After a rash of abortion-related murders and other violence, the number had dwindled to three, with clinics in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. If no physician steps forward to replace Tiller, there will now be two clinics, both run by aging doctors. Kansas City Star, June 1

Murder in Kansas

Attorney General Eric Holder says the United States Marshal Service will begin protecting certain abortion clinics and doctors. Mr. Holder should consider taking the additional step of revitalizing the National Task Force on Violence against Health Care Providers that former Attorney General Janet Reno established during the Clinton years. New York Times, June 1

Defending life cannot involve dealing death

Most pro-life groups were quick to condemn Tiller's slaying. They rightly note that vigilantism has no place in American society or in a movement that purports to defend human life. But while whoever fired the gun is responsible for Tiller's death, the fourth slaying of an abortion doctor in the last 16 years should remind activists of any stripe that when they demonize their political opponents, they play with fire. Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 2

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