Extremist shot man to 'save lives of unborn'
Published 29/01/2010 | 05:00
A PRO-LIFE extremist accused of the execution-style killing of a prominent American abortion doctor told a court yesterday he did it to save the lives of unborn children.
Scott Roeder has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder but made no attempt to deny shooting Dr George Tiller, one of America's few late-term abortion doctors, at his church in Wichita, Kansas, in May last year.
The case, in which Dr Tiller was shot in the head at close range as he served as an usher at a Sunday service, has highlighted the vehemence of feeling in the US abortion debate and the lengths to which some protesters will go.
Asked by defence lawyers about his views on abortion, Mr Roeder (51) said it amounted to murder. "From conception forward it is murder. It is not a man's job to take life. It is our heavenly Father's. He is our creator," he told the trial in Wichita.
He said he opposed abortion in all instances except to save the life of the mother. Rape and incest were not proper reasons for abortion because this amounted to "punishing the sins of the father", he said.
Members of Dr Tiller's family sat listening in tears as defence lawyers asked Mr Roeder to describe abortion procedures with which he was familiar. He listed several but his description of one procedure as a foetus being "torn limb from limb" drew condemnation from the judge. (© Daily Telegraph, London)