An abortion doctor has been shot and killed Sunday at a Kansas church where he served as an usher.
Dr. George Tiller was a particularly divisive figure given his persistence in conducting late-term abortions which put him in a small minority of practitioners across the country.
In response to the shooting, progressive nonprofit groups and women’s rights organizations have gathered in several towns and cities to protest Tiller’s killing.
"I think we can all stand up and say it’s not okay to murder people because of their beliefs," said Joel Swanson, who works at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, quoted by the Washington Post.
"I can’t believe that someone who considers himself pro-life would do this," he added.
However, Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines has offered a different view.
"To call this a crime is too simplistic," he said, quoted by the New York Times. "There is Christian scripture that would support this."
Police have arrested 51-year-old Scott Roeder of Kansas for the murder and the New York Times has reported his acquaintances mentioned his anti-government and anti-abortion philosophy.
However, the suspect’s brother has said Roeder has had a history of mental illness throughout his life.
Tiller’s abortion clinic has been a target of attacks and pickets for many years, and Tiller himself survived an assassination attempt in 1993.