Kansas senators condemn Tiller shooting but not anti-abortion rhetoric

Kansas's two GOP senators on Tuesday condemned Sunday's murder of controversial abortion doctor George Tiller, but said they do not believe the rhetoric of anti-abortion groups is to blame.

Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback said Tiller's shooting was "a tragedy" and lauded the arrest of a 51-year-old man who is being held on suspicion of the murder in Wichita.

"It's extremely unfortunate, and my thoughts are with the family," said Roberts. "But this was the action of an individual who for some reason decided he wanted to do this, and he's been involved in thefringe elements out there. So I don't think he needed any encouragement in regards to the rhetoric. And there's rhetoric on both sides. But no, I don't think it's reflective of his actions. He was determined to do what he wanted to do."

Brownback said he contacted the U.S. Marshals to ask if they needed any resources or assistance in prosecuting the murder. But he noted that most anti-abortion groups disagree with violence to push their
agenda.

"It's a terrible thing that happened," he said. "But almost every group has condemned what took place. They've said, 'We're opposed to abortion, but we do not agree with this at all.' I think you've got
wide-ranging policy discussions taking place and strong opinions on both sides, but most of the groups have condemned this action."

--J. Taylor Rushing

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