When news broke of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, Frank Pavone of Priests for Life was quick to declare that people should not “rush to judgment” over who might have been responsible:
“I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.
While that sort of statement is obviously somewhat self-serving, it seems pretty reasonable in comparison to this other quote from Pavone in this piece by The Washington Independent’s David Weigel in which he seems to suggest that Tiller’s murder was due to the fact that anti-choice activists “feel helpless” under President Obama and the Democratic Congress and that efforts to protect the right-to-choose and those who provide services to women will inevitably lead to more violence:
Anti-abortion leaders quickly got out front to denounce the idea of a large-scale response to Tiller. Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, the head of the Christian Defense Coalition, staged a protest outside of the Supreme Court asking Barack Obama and Democrats “not to repeat the mistakes of the Clinton administration in the mid-’90s and use this tragedy for political gain.” One of the chief worries among activists — whether Obama will revisit a pledge he made to Planned Parenthood during the 2008 campaign and push for the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would roll back Bush-era federal restrictions on abortion.
“I wouldn’t put it past abortion advocates in Congress to use this tragedy to put more protections in place for the so-called right to choose,” said Frank Pavone. “That would just feed into the problem. There’s a lot of disappointment and frustration out there as a result of 2008 elections. People feel desperate. I’m not justifying what happened to Tiller at all when I say that it’s not surprising that a pattern begins to develop — the administration is hostile to the anti-abortion movement, there are acts of violence from people who feel helpless.”
Weigel also quotes Joseph Scheidler of the the Pro-Life Action League claiming that efforts by the Obama administration to protect clinic workers is all a scam designed to distract the American public from the nation’s economic problems:
Joseph M. Scheidler, the national director of the Pro-Life Action League, argued that the reaction to Tiller — including the federal marshals — was “just a show,” and no different from how “the abortionists blame the pro-life movement for everything, anyway.”
“It’s like the swine flu,” said Scheidler. “It’s something for the press to get people to focus on so they don’t obsess over the declining economic conditions.”