Anti-Abortion Group to Host Event Near Site of Tiller’s Murder

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


An anti-abortion rights group leading the effort to prevent Dr. Mila Means from offering abortion services at her Wichita office are planning an event at a public school tonight—right across the street from where Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in his church in May 2009.

Anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder murdered Tiller while Tiller was serving as an usher at the Reformation Lutheran Church, an assassination that came after years of escalating protests aimed at the doctor. Tiller was the last doctor in town performing abortions, but Dr. Mila Means has been training so she can begin offering abortion services at her practice. A judge, however, has blocked her from proceeding at the behest of the landlord that owns Means’ office building. The landlord argues that protestors and demonstrators will create a “nuisance” at the office complex—and this will violate Means’ lease. Anti-choice groups have pledged to hold daily protests at Means’ office, if she begins offering abortions there.

On Friday night, one of these outfits, Kansans for Life, is hosting a prayer meeting at the Coleman Middle School as part of its campaign against Means. An email sent to supporters this week under the subject line “WARNING” exclaims that Means is attempting to open a new “killing center” and calls on residents to stop it. From the email:

So, when grave evil threatens our community, what should we do? Pray! We NEED God’s protection and guidance. Without it, our city will be plagued by those preying on women and killing children, once again.

That the event is being held in a public school so near the site of Tiller’s murder has inflamed some in a community still scarred by the event. Kari Ann Rinker, the state coordinator for the National Organization of Women and the parent of a 6th-grader at the school, argues that the school district should have given the request to use the space from Kansans for Life more consideration before approving it—and allowed the community to weigh in.

Susan Arensman, a spokesperson for the school, says the school facilities are available for community members to rent, and the group went through the usual steps to reserve the space for the evening. “They filed out all the paper work, went through the proper procedures,” Arensman notes.

But Rinker maintains that the school should have turned down the request to rent the space, given the nature of the event and its proximity to the church where Tiller was slain. “This community is in denial, embracing those that should not be embraced,” says Rinker.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate