Abortionist George Tiller shot dead at church

How should Christians react?

By Zac Sarco : June 1, 2009

Late-term abortionist George Tiller

When late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, 67, was shot dead at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, on May 31, 2009, groups who have tried to close down his clinic joined with Tiller's supporters in condemning the killer.

Pro-life group Operation Rescue — one of the strongest fighters for the rights of unborn babies — joined with other anti-abortion groups in pointing out that they had used only peaceful and legal means to try to stop Tiller. They rightly denounced the vigilante-style killing, just as they had denounced Tiller's taking away the right to life of countless unborn babies.

They are right, of course. It is not up to anyone to snuff out the life of someone else without the strongest of reasons, such as in self-defence or in an accident. And this is where Christians must not lose sight of what Tiller himself had been guilty of. Not only was he willing to kill unborn babies, but he was one of the few physicians in the U.S. who would kill babies past 21 weeks of pregnancy — an age at which most babies can survive outside the womb.

With eerily coincidental timing, Tiller's death came in the same week that medical researchers announced in the Journal of the American Medical Association that about 70% of babies born alive between 22 and 26 weeks gestation in Sweden now survive past the age of 1 (the researchers did not track the babies longer than 1 year). So while doctors in Sweden were successfully helping these defenseless little babies survive, Tiller was mercilessly slaughtering babies of the same age in the U.S.

Evangelical Christians generally see a huge problem with killing someone like Tiller. Killing him deprived him of ever coming to a saving knowledge of and commitment to Jesus Christ (if he was unsaved), and it took away the possibility of his ever changing his mind about the horrors of which he had been guilty.

Such a turnaround in his life may never have happened of course, but it has happened with many other abortionists and supporters of abortion.

For example, Norma McCorvey, who fought for abortion rights in the landmark legal case Roe v. Wade in 1973, has completely abandoned her view that abortion is OK. She is now a solid fighter against abortion.

Carol Everett is another former abortionist who now totally opposes abortion. She owned two abortion clinics in Dallas, Texas, in the 1980s. She was on her way to becoming an abortion millionaire in 1983 when she found Jesus Christ — just before a local television station broadcast a story exposing her for trying to sell abortions to non-pregnant women. The incidents had led her to quit the abortion industry and become a pro-life crusader.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson admitted with regret that he was personally responsible for more than 75,000 abortions. He did it for the money, knowing he was actually destroying a human life each time he aborted a fetus. The weight of all the killing finally got too much for him and he turned into a strong anti-abortion advocate. In his testimony he said:

“A favourite pro-abortion tactic is to insist that the definition of when life begins is impossible; that the question is a theological or moral or philosophical one, anything but a scientific one. Foetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy.”

But if doctors know that life begins at conception, why do some carry out abortions?

“Why, you may well ask, do some American doctors who are privy to the findings of foetology, discredit themselves by carrying out abortions? Simple arithmetic at $300 a time, 1.55 million abortions means an industry generating $500,000,000 annually, of which most goes into the pocket of the physician doing the abortion. It is clear that permissive abortion is purposeful destruction of what is undeniably human life. It is an impermissible act of deadly violence.”

The human fetus is human from the moment of conception. It is never an animal or some useless tissue. Right from the time it is conceived, the child has a full complement of genes and chromosomes, with all the genetic information that will guide its future development.

Could something or someone have got George Tiller to do an about-face on his abortion stance? We will never know. And while we sympathize with his family over their loss, we must never harden our hearts to the tragic loss of countless people that he and other abortionists have prevented from coming into the world.


On Friday January 29, 2010, the man who said he killed Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in order to save the lives of unborn children was convicted of murder. The jury deliberated for only 37 minutes before finding Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Missouri, guilty of premeditated, first-degree murder in Tiller's shooting death. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

In a later video interview posted on YouTube, Roeder said he had little sympathy for the abortion doctor's family, comparing them to the relatives of a hit man.

See also:

End of section. New section starts