Statement of the American Jewish Congress
Killing of Dr. George Tiller "Criminal Anarchy" and
a Crime Against Democracy
The killing of Dr. George Tiller, because he performed abortions, exemplifies criminal anarchy, not legitimate protest. Dr. Tiller’s murder was not just a terrible crime against an individual. It was also a crime against our democracy. His killer or killers therefore must be punished with the utmost severity.
Differences in our society over abortion are profound. That is perfectly acceptable. As President Obama said last month, our democracy tolerates, even encourages such debate, so long as it is conducted with civility.
Murder is not a debating technique. It is never, and must never be, an accepted way of advancing a point of view. Although some anti-abortion groups have now condemned Dr. Tiller’s murder, others in the movement continue to justify this heinous act.
Meanwhile, as the Justice Department has already done, governments across the country must put in place urgent measures to protect the abortion providers and their clinics, and the women who frequent them. These activities are constitutionally protected. They must be protected against recurring vigilante violence.
The American Jewish Congress is a membership association of Jewish Americans, organized to defend Jewish interests at home and abroad, through public policy advocacy, in the courts, Congress, the executive branch and state and local governments. Since 1958, it has supported the right of women to chose whether to carry a pregnancy to turn.