By Gina Liggett
You may remember the vicious murder of Wichita, Kansas abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, in May 2009. He was shot by long-time anti-abortion crusader, Scott Roeder, as Dr. Tiller was ushering at church.
Roeder was charged with first-degree murder and also admitted to the media and in a court filing that he did indeed kill Dr. Tiller, one of the few abortion providers to perform late-term legal abortions.
Roeder argued that killing Dr. Tiller was justifiable because
... the fact preborn children's lives were in imminent danger this was the action I chose. ... I want to make sure that the focus is, of course, obviously on the preborn children and the necessity to defend them… Defending innocent life — that is what prompted me. I mean, it is pretty simple.Sympathy for the Anti-Abortion Terrorist
Now the judge in this case has added to the broader maniacal mission to destroy the right to abortion. Sedgwick Country Judge Warren Wilbert is going to allow Roeder to present a defense for a charge of voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is considered: “Justifiable homicide - That which is committed with the intention to kill or to do a grievous bodily injury, under circumstances which the law holds sufficient to exculpate the person who commits it.”
A Case of Violating Rights
What is more egregious than the potential conviction of a terrorist on a charge that would mean little more than going to bed without supper, is two immoral underlying assumptions of the judge.
The first is a belief (primarily a religious one) that women do not have a right to their own bodies in choosing an abortion. Roeder doesn’t gun down doctors who perform appendectomies, because he probably thinks that people have the right to choose such an operation. The judge would certainly agree with this, and would not allow a ruling of voluntary manslaughter on a premeditated murder of a general surgeon who "kills" appendixes.
The second immoral assumption is that fetuses have rights. There would be no justifiable defense of an entity that does not have rights. And fetuses are only potential beings, and therefore have no rights at all. If Roeder killed someone in cold blood to defend an appendix that had been removed, it would be ludicrous to call that justifiable voluntary manslaughter. Just as an appendix is the bodily property of a person, so a fetus is the bodily property of a woman.
In this country, we still have the constitutional protection of a woman’s right to have an abortion. And all the efforts by religious lunatics and politicians alike to eviscerate that right don't change facts: individual rights apply only to living human beings. Hopefully the jury will care about the rights of Dr. Tiller and send Roeder to bed without supper for a very, very long time.