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Late-Term Abortion Provider George Tiller Killed in Wichita Church
The church held a special memorial service for Tiller on Sunday evening. Reporters were not allowed to attend.
Tiller's clinic was bombed in 1985, then rebuilt and fortified with bulletproof glass. A private security firm protected it, and Tiller at times wore a bulletproof vest, drove an armored car and was accompanied by a bodyguard.
Tiller, a former Navy flight surgeon, assumed his father's family practice in Wichita. He had said he learned that his father had performed abortions when one of his patients asked if he would continue the practice. Tiller said he was surprised his father had risked his medical license by performing the procedure.
He began performing abortions after the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade permitted the practice.
"Prenatal testing without prenatal choices is medical fraud," Tiller once said.
Tiller was closely aligned with former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, now Obama's secretary of health and human services. Her strong stand on abortion rights and association with Tiller held up her confirmation.
Upon questioning, she told the Senate Finance Committee that Tiller had contributed $12,450 to her campaigns from 1994 to 2001 and $23,000 to a political action committee Sebelius controlled.
"This is sad and shocking news," Sebelius said after Tiller's shooting. "My prayers go out to the Tiller family and to the members of his church who witnessed this terrible crime."