By: Kevan Coleman Re: MORE Xtian Terrorism Woman Held for Shooting Doctor Associated Press

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By: Kevan Coleman Re: *MORE* Xtian Terrorism Woman Held for Shooting Doctor -------------------------------------------------------------------- Associated Press -- 08/20/93 Rachelle Renae Shannon remains jailed in Wichita, Kan, today on an attempted murder charge after allegedly shooting Dr George Tiller outside his abortion clinic. Tiller, who wasn't seriously wounded in the attack, was just leaving the clinic he runs when Shannon allegedly strode up to his Chevy Suburban and fired through the window, hitting the doctor once in each arm. Witnesses said the attacker had been handing out anti-abortion leaflets outside Tiller's clinic before the attack. Shannon, 37, was taken into custody at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Okla, when she returned a rental car matching the one in which the assailant fled, said Capt Bill Citty, Oklahoma City police spokesman. Tiller, one of the few US doctors who perform late-term abortions, has been a frequent target of protests. His clinic was 1 of 3 picketed by Operation Rescue during protests 2 years ago that led to 2700 arrests. The doctor sometimes wore bulletproof gear during the protests and traveled with a guard dog, but was using neither protective measure Thursday. Tiller, 52, was treated at a hospital and released. "He said he wasn't going to complain about birthdays any more," said Peggy Jarman, his spokeswoman. "He said he was glad to be alive." Witnesses told police the woman who fired the shots had joined a small demonstration outside the Women's Health Care Services Clinic, handing out literature and talking with the protesters. Pat Kraus of Wichita, who frequently pickets outside the clinic, said the woman introduced herself as Ann from the Sacramento, Cal, area, adding that she had flown to Oklahoma City, rented a car and driven to Wichita. Shortly after the shooting, a dozen people stood outside the clinic, carrying candles and signs reading, "Keep Abortion Legal." "I just feel so bad," said Marie Smith, who works in the office. "She wanted him to die. How can they call themselves Christians and then kill people?" Abortion-rights supporters condemned the shooting. "They are 'true believers' who believe they have a direct line to God, and anything is justified," said Patricia Ireland, president of National Organization for Women. "They are very frightening, and they intend to be very frightening." On March 10, Dr David Gunn was killed outside a Pensacola, Fla, clinic. An abortion foe, Michael Griffin, has been charged with Gunn's slaying--the first of its kind in the US. Gunn was shot during an anti-abortion demonstration sponsored by Houston- based Rescue America, whose founder, Don Treshman, helped set up a fund for Griffin's family. "We are sure to see more of these incidents," Treshman said. "This shooting, while unfortunate, will result in babies' lives being saved." Abortion MD Returns To Work Day After Shooting ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Associated Press -- 08/20/93 An abortion doctor returned to work Friday less than 12 hours after being shot, and his alleged attacker--a homemaker active in the anti-abortion movement--is in custody. Wearing bandages on both arms, Dr George Tiller arrived at Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kan, Friday morning, stopping outside to thank those who tended to him after Thursday evening's shooting. About a dozen abortion-rights activists showed up at the clinic and heckled a half dozen anti-abortion protesters. Rachelle Renae "Shelley" Shannon, 37, of Grants Pass, Ore, was arrested early Friday at the Oklahoma City airport in connection with the shooting. The Sedgwick County district attorney's office in Wichita filed an attempted first-degree murder charge late Friday afternoon and faxed a warrant for Shannon's arrest to Oklahoma City authorities, a spokeswoman says. A court hearing is scheduled in Oklahoma City to determine when she will returned to Wichita, about 160 miles north. The White House called the shooting "reprehensible" and says President Clinton will continue to support abortion rights. "We deplore that kind of violence," White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers told reporters Friday. "It's just reprehensible." Tiller, target of 6 weeks of protests in 1991 by Operation Rescue, was the 2d physician to be shot outside an abortion clinic this year. The first, Dr David Gunn, was fatally shot in Florida. Tiller, 52, had said during the 1991 protests that he wouldn't allow anti-abortion forces to intimidate him or drive him out of business. Peggy Jarman, spokeswoman for Tiller and the ProChoice Action League, said: "I knew if there was any way possible for him to be at work he would be. I had hoped he would take a couple of days off, but that was unrealistic of me." Tiller is one of about a half dozen US physicians who do late-term abortions. He has said he performs abortions after the 26th week of pregnancy when there are severe fetal abnormalities or the life of the mother is endangered. Abortion protesters have accused him of performing abortions up until the moment of birth; he denies it. Tiller was leaving his Wichita clinic Thursday evening when a woman who had been mingling with protesters near its driveway approached his vehicle. Witnesses said she fired 4 or 5 shots from a small-caliber, chrome-plated semiautomatic pistol. Not realizing he had been wounded, the doctor drove a short distance down the street following the woman as she fled. Once he felt pain and saw blood, he drove back to the clinic, Jarman said. Clinic employees followed the woman and got a description of her car and a license number, police said. After 45 minutes of surgery under local anesthetic, Tiller was released from HCA Wesley Medical Center. Jarman said 1 wound was superficial, and the other involved muscle but not bone damage. National and local anti-abortion groups distanced themselves from the attack. "This is an act of violence between 1 woman and 1 man," said Mischele Thompson, executive director of LIFE Inc, a Wichita anti-abortion group.


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