This past weekend, abortion providers from across the country gathered in Wichita, Kan. to attend the funeral the of Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered last month. On the same weekend, the man accused of murdering Tiller told the AP that “similar violence was planned around the nation for as long as the procedure remained legal”:
Scott Roeder called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail, where he’s being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller one week ago.
“I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal,” Roeder said. When asked by the AP what he meant and if he was referring to another shooting, he refused to elaborate further.
It wasn’t clear whether Roeder knew of any impending violence or whether he was simply seeking publicity for his cause. Law enforcement authorities including the Justice Department said they didn’t know whether the threat was credible.
The Justice Department told the AP that Roeder’s “threat was being taken seriously and additional protection had been ordered for abortion clinics.” Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder dispatched U.S. Marshalls to protect “appropriate people and facilities around the nation” in the wake of Tiller’s murder.
Roeder also complained about the “deplorable conditions” in his jail cell, complaining that it was freezing. “I started having a bad cough. I thought I was going to have pneumonia,” he said.