Anti-Abortion Groups Split On Reaction To Tiller's Murder

The leaders of several prominent anti-abortion organizations have released statements on the murder of Dr. George Tiller. While some leaders have denounced the killing, others have taken the opportunity to continue to condemn Tiller's work.

Randall Terry, founder of the controversial anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue, released a horrifying, yet not surprising, statement on Tiller's murder earlier this morning.

"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God," Terry says, "I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder. Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."

The current director of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, released a statement this morning showing a clear break from Terry, denouncing the murder: "We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller's family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ."

Brian Kamper of the anti-abortion organization Stand True has also denounced the killing, claiming that "we cannot kill people in the name of pro-life. Answering the violence of abortion with more violence will not serve the babies or help the pro-life movement in any way."

Update: In case you were wondering how terrible some of these reactions have been, commenters over at Free Republic have already started posting comments such as "Why is the death of a satanic worshipper tragic?" and "May he rot in hell alongside the mothers who aided him in his "business."

Tiller's family has also released a statement:

Today we mourn the loss of our husband, father and grandfather. Today's event is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us and for George's friends and patients. This is particularly heart wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace.

We would like to express the family's thanks for the many messages of sympathy from our friends and from all across the nation. We also want to thank the law enforcement officers who are investigating this crime.

Our loss is also a loss for the City of Wichita and women across America. George dedicated his life to providing women with high-quality heath care despite frequent threats and violence. We ask that he be remembered as a good husband, father and grandfather and a dedicated servant on behalf of the rights of women everywhere."

Statement From Dr. Tiller's Family [KWCH]
George Tiller Shot To Death At Wichita Church [Free Republic]
Operation Rescue Denounces The Killing Of Abortionist Doctor [ChristianNewsWire]
George Tiller Was A Mass Murderer, Says Randall Terry [ChristianNewsWire]
You Cannot Murder People And Call It Pro-Life [ChristianNewsWire]

Earlier: George Tiller, Late-Term Abortion Provider, Shot & Killed At Church