An anti-abortion activist in Iowa with ties to Scott Roeder, the man who murdered abortion provider George Tiller, is under fire for calling for the shooting of the people who reopened Tiller’s abortion clinic. “If someone would shoot the new abortionists, like Scott shot George Tiller ... It will be a blessing to the babies,” Dave Leach says on a YouTube video. The video includes a recorded conversation between Leach and a man Leach identifies as Roeder, who is currently serving life in prison for Tiller’s 2009 assassination.
In an interview with The Des Moines Register, Leach said he would not personally harm any abortion providers.
"I'm 67 years old. I don't know anything about guns," he said. "I think I could accomplish more with words." He denied that his comments were meant to encourage anyone to kill abortion providers. "That's not exactly a call for that to happen," he said. "Any reasonable person looking at that statement would not equate that with a call for action."
In the YouTube video, the man Leach identifies as Roeder laughs as Leach talks about the prospect of someone shooting the new leaders of the Wichita clinic. Then the second man wonders aloud about the clinic director's motives. "To walk in there and reopen a clinic, a murder mill where a man was stopped, it's almost like putting a target on your back -- saying, 'Well, let's see if you can shoot me,'" he says.
Then the man quotes a fellow activist, who predicted that the abortion industry would end if 100 abortionists were shot. "I think eight have been shot, so we've got 92 to go," the man whom Leach identified as Roeder says. "Maybe (the Wichita clinic director) will be number nine. I don't really know. I'm not sure about that. But she's kind of painting a target on her."
Prison officials are investigating whether the man on the recording was indeed Roeder, and, if it was, how he was able to participate in such a phone call.
A spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections said inmates may speak on the phone only with people who are on a list approved by prison administrators.