Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, today issued the following statement on the conviction of Scott Roeder for first-degree murder in the death of reproductive health care provider Dr. George Tiller in
"Today, a jury of Scott Roeder’s peers sent a clear and resounding message to him and all anti-choice extremists: violence and murder cannot be justified by personal beliefs about abortion and will not be tolerated in this country.
“Doctors who perform abortions deserve and must receive the full protection of the law. To that end, we are gratified that Judge Warren Wilbert prohibited the argument that Scott Roeder’s deeply felt anti-abortion beliefs made him less culpable for Dr. Tiller’s murder, therefore not allowing the jury to consider the lesser charge of manslaughter.
“While today’s ruling ensures the person responsible for Dr. Tiller’s murder is held accountable, the tremendous loss of Dr. Tiller will continue to be felt for years to come. For countless women facing dire medical circumstances as a result of complicated life-threatening pregnancies, Dr. Tiller was an invaluable medical provider. His death was an enormous loss for his family and for members of his church, where he was shot to death, as well as for the patients across America who relied on him, his dedicated staff, and the medical community.
“In the face of continual harassment and intimidation by abortion opponents through much of his career, Dr. Tiller showed unparalleled courage and remained steadfastly committed to providing compassionate care to women and families. Our thoughts are with the Tiller family during this difficult time, and we hope that they are comforted by the fact that his legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
May 14, 2014