George Tiller was killed on Sunday morning in the foyer of his church. A suspect is in custody, and motive will be divined through the investigations that are a fundamental part of American due process. Fortunately, since I am a pundit and not a news journalist, I am free to opine.
I believe that the primacy of life starts in the womb and ends in the tomb, to use an old pro-life saw. I do not advocate killing, certainly not the type of vigilante killing absent due process, that resulted in the death of George Tiller.
By the same token, to even call Tiller a "doctor" seems to me a perversion in itself. For almost 26 years, Tiller made a career out of repeatedly violating the hippocratic oath, which reads in part:
Pretty plain language, no?
"I will not give a lethal drug if asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion."
The hippocratic oath presupposes an inherent value in human life. Oddly enough, Tiller's death mirrors exactly what is wrong with pro-abortion philosophy. Whoever shot Tiller, regardless of the noble-mindedness of the act, placed some lives above others. That person made a conscious choice to play God in deciding that Tiller should die.
I'm sure there are those among my listeners who would ask how an anti-abortion stance could be reconciled with the traditionally-conservative pro-death penalty stance. I would remind those people that the issue is moot, as Tiller was not afforded the due process of a trial-by-jury of his peers. Tiller may not have been an innocent, but we have a system for deciding such issues. George Tiller and his opponents were all denied the use of that system.
Tiller's shooter has harmed the cause he claimed to care so much about. The harm will continue, and may intensify. For my part, I distance myself from those who claim to be "pro-life" while in reality being "pro-fetus." The distinction is profound, and it is worth thinking about for all pro-life activists.