As the country's best-known provider of late-term abortions, Dr. George Tiller was not unused to being attacked, both verbally and physically. His clinic was bombed in 1986. In 1993 he was shot in both arms. He received death threats regularly, wore body armor and traveled with a guard dog. But on May 31, while serving as an usher at his Lutheran church in Wichita, Kans., Tiller was shot in the head and killed, allegedly by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist. After the murder, both sides of the abortion debate braced for battle. Supporters called Tiller a martyr; critics called him a murderer. Both groups deplored his killing: abortion-rights activists warned that it could signal a fresh wave of clinic violence; abortion opponents warned that it would lead to the demonizing of their movement. Roeder has pleaded not guilty and will not change that plea even though he reportedly told the Los Angeles Times that he did kill Tiller.
Next The Tacoma Massacre