President Obama Waits Two Days to Release Statement on Shooting of Pro-Lifer

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 13, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Obama Waits Two Days to Release Statement on Shooting of Pro-Lifer

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 13
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama waited over 48 hours before finally releasing a very short statement condemning the Friday shooting of pro-life advocate James Pouillon. Within hours of the shooting of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, Obama had a statement, but he dragged his feet on this incident.

As reported, Pouillon, 63, was shot Friday morning as he protested abortion outside a local high school in Owosso, Michigan.

Local officials have detained 33-year-old Harlan Drake, who told police he killed Jim Pouillon because he didn’t like how he would protest abortion in front of the school.

Obama’s brief statement is just half the size of his statement after the Tiller shooting and makes no mention of Pouillon’s pro-life stance or that he was shot because he opposed abortion.

"The shooting last week in Michigan was deplorable. Whichever side of a public debate you’re on, violence is never the right answer," Obama said.

This is compared to his statement in reaction to the Tiller shooting:

"I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence," he said then.

While Obama was slow to finally condemn the shooting of the pro-life advocate, some pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List have made no public comment on the killing of Pouillon despite aggressively attacking pro-life advocates after Tiller’s death.

When it came to the Tiller murder, Obama released a statement and the Justice Department announced an investigation.

"The Department of Justice will work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime, and to ensure that anyone who played a role in the offense is prosecuted to the full extent of federal law," said Loretta King, head of the department’s civil rights division.

Obama also directed the U.S. Marshals Service to offer protection to abortion practitioners.

Representatives of Operation Rescue, Concerned Women for America, the National Clergy Council, and the Christian Defense Coalition participated in an afternoon press conference on Friday and called on Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama to condemn the killing as they did when Tiller was shot.

Troy Newman of Operation Rescue said the pro-life movement has been vigorously attacked since Obama was elected and since Tiller was shot.

“There has been an uptick in the amount of death threats we have received," he said. "There seems to be a stonewalling on the investigation."

Judy Zabik, who is the spokesman for Flint Area Right to Life is calling on tougher protections for pregnancy centers and pro-life advocates.

"I would publicly insist that all crisis pregnancy centers be afforded the same protection that Eric Holder gave to all the abortion clinics around the country after Tiller was murdered," she said.

Former Republican presidential candidate and American Values leader Gary Bauer said he has seen a different approach from the mainstream media in its reporting on the Pouillon shooting.

"Regrettably, there have been incidents of violence at abortion centers in recent years. We, and virtually every pro-life group, have condemned those acts," he told "At the same time, Big Media never missed an opportunity to use each example to condemn the entire pro-life movement as if it consisted entirely of hate-filled people."

"Today, a pro-life activist was shot and killed outside of a Michigan high school. The victim has been described in press reports as a 63-year old man, who wore leg braces, occasionally used a walker and a portable oxygen tank," he continued.

"Will reporters and journalists offer commentary on the extremism of the pro-abortion movement and the culture of death that it perpetuates? Will this story even make the evening news?"

Thus far, the media reporting has been light compared with the blow-by-blow details given to the Tiller shooting.

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