The news from America reports the trial of the man accused of fatally shooting US late-term abortionist George Tiller which began on Friday – the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to legalise abortion in the country. Lawyers were expected to begin making their cases to the jury of eight men and six women that will be deciding the fate of 51-year-old Scott Roeder. He has not denied shooting Tiller on May 31, 2009, as the abortion doctor was attending service at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita.
The defence will be trying to build a case for a conviction on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Roeder's lawyers want to argue that Roeder believed Tiller's killing was necessary to save unborn children.
As one of the few late-term abortion practitioners in the country, Tiller was regarded as among the most notorious figures in the pro-abortion movement and, at the time of his death, was under investigation by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts for 11 petition allegations against him.
In a 30-minute phone interview last November, Roeder told The Associated Press that "defending innocent life" was what prompted him to shoot Tiller. "It is pretty simple," he said.
As a pro-lifer myself who considers any but the most necessary of abortions as nothing short of murder I have some sympathy for the strength of feeling exhibited by Scott Roeder but I cannot identify with what I see as a contradiction between his convictions and his actions. Why declare that life is precious and needs to be protected on the one hand and feel driven to take a life on the other? Life - any life -is precious whether it is the life of a child or an adult. Sure you can argue, as he is trying to, that he is attempting to protect an innocent life but the cold blooded and pre-meditated murder of a man on the way to church can never, in my mind, be justified. Murder is murder. Besides he is in effect saving no one as it is the system and the Law that needs changing. "Taking out" one individual involved in what could be called a crime against humanity is not going to achieve anything apart from satisfying one man's sense of justice.