UPDATE- NARAL Responds to Michigan shooting: “Today’s shootings in Michigan are tragic and our thoughts are with the families so deeply affected by this senseless violence. Although law-enforcement officials still have not commented on the shooter’s motivation, we understand that one of those murdered today was an anti-choice activist. NARAL Pro-Choice America emphatically condemns violence as a political weapon to silence opposition. We know all too well the chilling effect that shootings and other forms of violent intimidation have on people who have strongly held beliefs about this most personal issue.” -
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
UPDATE: Man charged in 2 deaths (updated below)
Following the murder of Doctor George Tiller, a Wichita abortionist, NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement that was not only heavily political but also attacked pro-life activists as well. Today in Owosso, Michigan, pro-life activist James Pouillon, 63, was shot several times in front of Owosso High School and died. A second man, Mike Fuoss,63, was also allegedly killed by the same man, the AP is reporting. Harland James Drake, 33, was charged Friday with first degree murder in the deaths of both Mr. Puillon and Mr.Fouss.
The National Right to Life Committee’s (NRLC) response did not attack their opponents on the issue of abortion but rather emphasized their mission to protect innocent life.
NARAL’s response to Dr. Tiller’s murder this past Spring:
Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, today issued the following statement on the murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan.
“On behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America, our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Tiller’s family and friends at this moment, a moment that fills us with immeasurable shock and deep sadness.
“For almost two decades, Dr. Tiller and those individuals who helped provide care to his patients have lived under intense harassment tinged with persistent threats of violence. Even under these adverse circumstances, Dr. Tiller never wavered in his commitment to providing abortion services and other reproductive health care to women and their families, often in the most difficult and heart-breaking circumstances.
“Dr. Tiller’s murder will send a chill down the spines of the brave and courageous providers and other professionals who are part of reproductive-health centers that serve women across this country. We want them to know that they have our support as they move forward in providing these essential services in the aftermath of the shocking news from Wichita.
“We understand that the investigation is ongoing and that law-enforcement officials are pursuing a suspect. If it proves to be an act of anti-abortion violence, as we suspect it is, then the full weight of the law must be used to send a clear message that these types of attacks will be prosecuted fully and swiftly.
“We also call on opponents of a woman’s right to choose to condemn this action completely and absolutely. What happened today in Wichita cannot become the beginning of a more aggressive wave of violence targeting abortion providers and the women for whom they provide care. Women accessing their legal right to abortion—and the providers who make this possible—should never be targets of violence.”
Compare NARAL’s press release after Dr. Tiller’s murder to today’s press release from NRLC regarding the murder of a pro-life activist:
Unlike NARAL with Dr. Tiller’s murder, the NRLC did not use the violence against Mr. Pouillon to score cheap political points. The Washington Times contacted NARAL and other pro-choice organizations for a response to the shooting, and we are waiting to hear back from them.
WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation’s largest pro-life group, today responded to the shooting death of James Pouillon in Owosso, Michigan. Mr. Pouillon was reportedly shot while standing outside Owosso High School holding a sign with a picture of a baby and the word “LIFE.” Police believe a second homicide nearby may be linked and a suspect is in custody. The following statement may be attributed to NRLC Executive Director David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.:
We are saddened to learn of this tragic taking of innocent human life. National Right to Life extends its sympathies to Mr. Pouillon’s family over his death. While the motive behind the shooting is unknown, we know that Mr. Pouillon was known for his stand against abortion.
The National Right to Life Committee unequivocally condemns acts of violence. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. Any unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.
NRLC has always been involved in peaceful, legal activities to protect human lives threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. We always have and will continue to oppose any form of violence to fight the violence of abortion. NRLC has had a policy of forbidding violence or illegal activity by its staff, directors, officers, affiliated state organizations and chapters. NRLC’s sole purpose is to protect innocent human life.
NRLC will continue to work through educational and legislative activities to ensure the right to life for unborn children, people with disabilities and older people. NRLC will continue to work for peaceful solutions to aid pregnant women and their unborn children. These solutions involve helping women and their children and do not involve violence against anyone.