That is, according to the Kansas judge presiding over the trial of Dr. George Tiller’s murder. Apparently, murdering someone in cold-blood for performing a lawful medical procedure for women who seek it might be a form of “deadly force [that] was justified in self-defense.” Watch out women of Kansas who want an abortion — you could be the next victim of voluntary manslaughter (not murder). After all, if stopping the doctor from performing the abortion is justified, then so would stopping the woman who is seeking it, right?
Emily Bazelon at Slate has an excellent reaction to this ruling which you can read here. Here’s her conclusion:
Surely the Kansas appeals courts will set the judge straight if he doesn’t fix this himself by the trial’s end. But by then, harm will have been done. Scott Roeder will get to put on testimony about why he thought he was justified in killing Tiller. He will have a show trial in which he can present himself as a martyr to the cause of the unborn. Judge Wilbert has repeatedly insisted that he won’t let this trial become a trial about abortion. But that’s exactly where his ruling is taking us.
– David S. Cohen