Nebraska abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart called on the federal government Monday to treat all activities by “anti-choice domestic terrorists” as hate crimes after last week’s fatal shooting of Dr. George Tiller.
“This is the equivalent of Martin Luther King being assassinated,” he said of the killing of one of the nation’s best known late-term abortion doctors. “This is the equivalent of Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the Lusitania and any other major historic event where we’ve tolerated the intolerable for too long.”
Scott P. Roeder, 51, has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action in the Tiller case.
“I think there is absolutely no difference in putting a cross in front of a person’s home because of what race they belong to than there is putting a cross in front of our homes because we do abortions,” he said.
Pro-life protestors had put crosses in front of Dr. Tiller’s Wichita, Kan. clinic, he said, adding that he was one of three physicians who rotated in every three weeks to assist in providing late-term abortions.
In town for a memorial service at National City Christian Church in honor of Dr. Tiller, Dr. Carhart, 67, spoke Monday under the auspices of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which encompasses 40 denominations and religious groups.
“Tonight is the night to honor Dr. Tiller for what he contributed to society,” he said. “We all lost something when Dr. Tiller died.”
Dr. Carhart would not talk about whether he had federal marshal protection, although at least one person accompanying him appeared to be part of a security detail. He said he did not have marshals protecting him before Dr. Tiller’s killing.