‘Tiller Killer’ Scott Roeder Threatens New Abortion Clinic Owner In Shocking Prison Conversation [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on June 7, 2013 11:22 AM EDT

tiller killer
Scott Roeder, the “Tiller Killer,” charged with killing 67-year-old George Tiller, a Kansas doctor reviled by anti-abortion groups for his work providing "late-term" abortions, appears via video in Sedgwick County District Court in Wichita, Kansas, June 2, 2009. Tiller was shot while serving as an usher for Sunday services in the foyer at Reformation Lutheran Church. (Photo: Reuters)

The Tiller Killer is making headlines again for recent threats he made during a prison telephone call about a woman who reopened an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kan. Scott Roeder, who is currently serving a life sentence for shooting Wichita late-term abortion doctor George Tiller during a church service back in 2009, said that the woman who reopened an abortion clinic in Tiller's former space is basically asking to get shot.

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AP reports that in a phone conversation with fellow anti-abortion advocate Dave Leach back in April, Roeder said that Julie Burkhart, director of the nonprofit women's group Trust Women Foundation, which owns the new clinic in Wichita, is taking a huge risk by continuing Tiller's efforts.

"To walk in there and reopen a clinic, a murder mill where a man was stopped, is almost like putting a target on your back saying, 'Well, let's see if you can shoot me,'" Roeder said in the telephone interview from April, which was posted to YouTube.


Leach commented in the phone interview: "If someone would shoot the new abortionist like Scott shot George Tiller ... hardly anyone will appreciate it but the babies. It will be a blessing to the babies. Everyone else will panic."

In an email to AP, Roeder said Monday that reopening the clinic, now called the South Wind Women's Center, was like directly asking God to pass judgment on the country. He made no comment about the administrative charge against him.

After a closed disciplinary hearing, authorities decided the call qualified as intimidation and that Roeder could be punished with 45 days in solitary confinement. He will also get 60 days of loss of privileges and a $20 fine. According to Reuters, the Tiller Killer will spend 23 hours a day alone in his cell, and one hour a day in the prison yard for exercise.

Since the 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller, Wichita, the largest city in Kansas with a population of over 380,000, has been without an abortion clinic of any kind. It is about a three-hour drive to the nearest clinics in Kansas City and Tulsa.

According to The Daily Beast, there are 724 clinics across the U.S. In the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, states have enacted hundreds of restrictions and requirements to limit women's access to abortion services. Things like mandatory wait times, parental consent and mandated counseling (12 states, for example, require women to receive information on fetal pain), have made it difficult for women to seek abortion services.

Forty-one states prohibit abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, usually after fetal viability, defined as the ability of a fetus to survive outside the uterus, unless the mother's life is in danger. According to some studies, a fetus can survive outside of the womb at 23 weeks of pregnancy. Still, only 20 to 35 percent of babies born then survive.

Late-term abortion usually refers to a procedure done after the 20th week of pregnancy. Human pregnancy is roughly divided into three trimesters, each about three months. The period from conception to the 13th week is considered the first trimester; the 14th to 27th week is the second; and the 28th to 42nd week is the third trimester.

Before the seminal 1973 Roe v. Wade, abortion was illegal in 30 states and legal only in cases of danger to a woman's health, rape and incest in 20 others. Laws against abortion started in 1900.

Currently, the geography of abortion laws is as varied as the U.S. landscape itself. For a complete guide to abortion laws in the U.S., visit the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization that advances reproductive health.

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