When late-term abortionist George Tiller was murdered in the lobby of his Lutheran church on May 31, prominent pro-life organizations and leaders were quick to condemn the act of violence and to call for Tiller's murderer to be brought to justice. And rightly so: As I wrote at the time,
the murder of Tiller cannot—must not—be excused. Murder is murder, and those who would weigh the 60,000 lives that Tiller took (and those he might have taken in the future) against his own make a fundamental moral error. We cannot do evil that good may come of it, and God is the proper judge of Tiller's soul. Our duty as Christians remains the same after Tiller's murder as before: to pray for his soul.
Pro-abortion organizations made hay out of remarks by certain pro-lifers, such as Randall Terry, who seemed insufficiently concerned about the murder of Tiller. But the broad consensus among pro-lifers was that Tiller's actions and that of his murderer were of a piece: Both belonged to the Culture of Death, rather than the Culture of Life.
Now the tables have been turned, and in Owosso, Michigan, long-time pro-life activist James Pouillon has been shot and killed by a 33-year-old man who supports abortion. Harlan Drake, a truck driver, gunned down Pouillon, a 63-year-old Vietnam vet who walked with the aid of braces and used oxygen tanks to help him breathe. The murder took place across the street from the Owosso public high school, where Pouillon had just dropped off his granddaughter.
The silence from abortion "providers," activists, and pro-abortion organizations has been deafening. Some of the very same people who claimed that Tiller's murder was the result of pro-life beliefs rather than the work of a deranged man have said nothing about the clear connection between Drake's pro-abortion views and his murder of Pouillon. Unlike Tiller, Pouillon's hands were free of the blood of (by Tiller's own estimation) 60,000 unborn children; yet the silence of the pro-abortion crowd seems to imply that his murder was less important than that of Tiller.
One of the slanders often thrown at pro-lifers is that their concern for human life ends when the child is born. Measured by their respective responses to the murders of Tiller and Pouisson, the opposite seems true: Pro-lifers respect all human life, from conception to natural death (indeed, Spero News reports that at a vigil in honor of James Pouillon on September 13, pro-lifers "called for prayers for Drake, who over the weekend attempted suicide and was hospitalized"). The pro-abortion crowd, on the other hand, seems to value only lives such as that of George Tiller—lives that leave a trail of bodies in their wake.