The extends our deepest sympathy and our prayers to the family of Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated this morning in the lobby of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, where he was a member of the congregation. Dr. Tiller was a person of conscience and faith, who provided abortion services for women in the greatest medical need despite frequent threats, lawsuits and violence. He was one of the very few doctors providing medically indicated late-term abortion services and he did not waver from the provision of this service, although he was well aware he was never far from danger.
While we do not know at this time if the murder of Dr. Tiller was religiously motivated, the fact that the murder took place in his church reminds us that some people use religion as an excuse for acts of hatred. Let us remember that violence and murder are perversions of religion, and let us-- as people of faith - speak out forcefully and unambiguously against those who foment hatred by their words.
As people of faith, the RCRC family condemns both words and acts of hatred.
Tragically, there were many warning signs that this cruel act could take place. Dr. Tiller's clinic was severely vandalized earlier this month and it was reported that Dr. Tiller had asked the FBI to investigate the incident. Today, as we mourn the loss of Dr. Tiller, we urge the federal government to take swift action against the person or persons who committed this act.
The is the nation's interfaith coalition of religious and religiously affiliated organizations from 15 denominations and faith traditions that support reproductive choice on religious grounds.