Today Scott Roeder was convicted of 1st degree murder in the killing of Dr. Tiller in Wichita, Kansas.
Last May Mr. Roeder went to the church of Dr. Tiller, found him inside, pressed the gun to his forehead, and killed him. He pointed the gun at two other churchgoers as he tried to get away, for which he was convicted of aggravated assault.
His defense focused centered around Mr. Roeder's belief that Dr. Tiller was murdering children; that is, the doctor was was an abortion doctor, including legal late term abortions, and that Mr. Roeder felt he was saving lives by murdering Dr. Tiller.
I find it preposterous and sad that this would even be presented as a legal defense. This is a man who planned for years on killing another human being. This is murder, regardless of that other human's actions.
This jury seemed to agree. They took 37 minutes to come back with a guilty verdict, which is just a little longer than it took a jury in this same courtroom last March to acquit Dr. Tiller of 19 misdemeanor violations of Kansas's abortion law.
I don't usually write about things too far outside of my personal life, but I am compelled by this sense I have that we are becoming more and more disengaged with the importance of abortion as a right. It was not always legal, and it could not be legal again. I bet you know at least one person who has had at least one abortion, and I bet that they did not treat it as a frivolity. We have to stay aware of the attacks on it's legality, and attacks on the individuals that risk their safety to provide us the equality that access to safe and legal abortion allows us.