Online auction planned for K.C. suspect in abortion doctor's killing

Monday, October 26, 2009 | 10:37 a.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — An online auction is being planned to raise money for a Kansas City man charged with killing abortion doctor George Tiller of Wichita, Kan.

An Army of God manual will be among the unusual array of anti-abortion items to be offered for sale on eBay and other Web sites. The underground publication for anti-abortion militants describes dozens of ways to shut down clinics, including bombing.

Also for sale will be a prison cookbook compiled by Shelley Shannon, the Oregon woman who shot and wounded Tiller in 1993 and was later convicted in a series of abortion clinic arsons and bombings.

Scott Roeder, who is charged with first-degree murder in Tiller's May 31 killing, told The Kansas City Star in a phone interview that he was excited about the auction.

"I think it's great," said Roeder who is scheduled to go on trial in January. "I appreciate all of the efforts going into that. I'm all for anything that might bring some donations in."

Supporters of abortion rights strongly oppose the auction.

"The network of extremists promoting and defending the murder of doctors is contributing to escalating threats against clinics and doctors across the country," said Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Dave Leach, an Iowa abortion opponent who is organizing the auction effort, said he was aiming for a Nov. 1 start.

It was unclear if eBay would permit the sale.

EBay "does not allow listings that promote or glorify violence, hate, racial or religious intolerance, or items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity," the company said in a statement.

Public defenders are representing Roeder. But Leach and others would like to help him hire a lawyer to argue that Tiller was killed to prevent a greater harm — killing babies.

"If we are not successful in finding a lawyer we can afford, we will distribute the money to prisoners who have sacrificed their years for the cause of saving lives," Leach said.

Roeder declined to comment about whether he would use such a defense.

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Rev. Frank Pavone October 27, 2009 | 10:22 a.m.

A few thoughts on the Iowa man's plan to raise funds through an online auction for Scott Roeder's defense. Of course it is still true that everyone accused of a crime In this country is innocent until proven gullty and everyone is entitled to the best defense. Even if Roeder is guilty of killing Dr. George Tiller, he is still entitled to that defense. Naturally, abortion advocates are up in arms that anyone would come to Roeder's aid. We at Priests for Life condemn murder of any kind. We also believe that Roeder should be given the opportunity to explain his motives. No defense of his will convince us that the murder of Dr. Tiller was justified. But in every error there is a grain of truth, and the truth in this case is that the unborn are real persons, entitled to real defense. And appropriate means of such defense must be found. At the same time, in providing such defense, whether of the born or the unborn, the end never justifies the means.

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