Dr Tiller’s killer accused of threatening another abortion provider

s-SCOTT-ROEDER-largeOn May 31, 2009, Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita, Kansas was at church, serving as an usher during the Sunday morning service. Anti-choice zealot Scott Roeder shot Tiller through the eye and killed him. Roeder, who publicly confessed to the crime, was convicted of murder. Now Roeder is accused of threatening Julie Burkhart, executive director of the non-profit group Trust Women, which reopened Dr. Tiller’s shuttered clinic in April of this year.

The charge is the result of a recorded phone conversation between Roeder and David Leach, an abortion opponent from Des Moines, Iowa, posted on YouTube last month that as of Wednesday had gotten 629 views. In it, Leach is heard saying that if someone shot Burkhart, like Roeder shot Tiller it would be “a blessing to the babies.” Roeder laughed, agreed and said, “To walk in there and reopen a clinic, a murder mill where a man was stopped, it’s almost like putting a target on your back — saying, “Well, let’s see if you can shoot me.”

Burkhart said early this year her home has been picketed and she has been called a killer in some anti-choice brochures.

If Roeder is found guilty of the charges, he could face disciplinary segregation, loss of privileges and extra uncompensated work.

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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