The feds take on Tiller's murder

And promise to investigate whether suspect Scott Roeder had accomplices.


Tracy Clark-Flory
June 6, 2009 1:01AM (UTC)

Finally, as this tragic week comes to a close, we have reason to celebrate: The feds are launching an overdue investigation into Dr. George Tiller's assassination. Many of us have indicted certain characters as having blood on their hands in the Kansas doctor's death, but now the Department of Justice has announced that it's looking into whether suspect Scott Roeder had any bona fide accomplices. Loretta King, head of the DOJ's civil rights division, told the Associated Press:"The Department of Justice will work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime."

I bet the folks at Operation Rescue are shaking in their boots right now.

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The investigation will also consider whether the killing violated the 1994 Federal Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which criminalizes those who use force, threat or "physical obstruction" to intimidate or interfere with women seeking reproductive health services. If you ask me, the murder of one of this country's few late-term abortion providers seems to satisfy all of those categories. It was a violent act of force meant to threaten reproductive health professionals and their patients, and by eliminating one of three providers nationwide, it critically hinders women's access to late-term procedures.

If the Department of Justice doesn't see it that way, what about Roeder's alleged vandalism of a local clinic before Tiller's murder? Repeatedly gluing shut a clinic's doors seems like "physical obstruction" to me. Here's hoping the DOJ will respond to this, and all of the criminal antiabortion activism that is yet to come, as the federal crimes that they are.


Tracy Clark-Flory

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