Task Force responds to the killing of Dr. George Tiller: 'We cannot and must not yield to fear and intimidation'

June 01, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, June 1 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to the killing of Dr. George Tiller, a physician who was gunned down in a Wichita, Kan., church yesterday. Tiller was one of the only doctors to perform late-term abortions in the United States. The suspect, Scott Roeder, has reportedly espoused a strong anti-government, anti-abortion philosophy over the years.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"The cold and calculated killing of Dr. George Tiller, apparently because he was a provider of abortion services to women utilizing their protected rights to end pregnancies, accomplishes nothing except the harvesting of a bitter crop of fear and intimidation among our American people, and especially reproductive service providers and the women who need them. But we cannot and must not yield to fear and intimidation; instead, we must continue to stand strong with reproductive health service providers.

"The Task Force has always recognized and advocated for the fundamental right of people to control their bodies, whether it be fighting against sodomy laws or pushing back against campaigns to limit women's access to reproductive health care. We reaffirm efforts to work for honest sex education for young people, safe and reliable contraception and education to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and for health care — including reproductive health care — for all.

"Dr. Tiller was cut down while serving as an usher at his local church, while his wife sang in the church choir, in the context of a fundamentalist 'pro-life' movement that engaged in decades of harassment, vandalism and previous incidents of violence against him. We join the majority of clear-thinking and deep-feeling people in this country who raise voices in grief and protest over this senseless killing and this most recent assault on the fundamental freedoms of women. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Tiller's family and friends, the loss of whom is a loss for all of us."

Download a high-resolution photo

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.