Several pro-life groups in Wichita have received death threats after last month’s killing of abortionist George Tiller.
Operation Rescue says they have received various threats over the years, but that number has increased drastically since Tiller’s shooting.
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, told The Wichita Eagle that some of the threats have mentioned the pro-life prayer vigil and memorial scheduled for this each day this weekend. Off-duty officers have been hired to help with security at the weekend’s events.
Of the messages received, some have threatened “vengeance” against the pro-life movement, while others specifically targeted Newman and his family.
Although leaders of the pro-life movement have spoken out against the shooting, some abortion supporters have accused the pro-life movement of encouraging the attack on Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country who provided late-term abortions.
Scott Roeder, 51, has been charged with first-degree murder in Tiller's death and was found to have ties to anti-government groups.
The Kansas Coalition for Life has also received a number of threats since the shooting, one of which was in the form of a text message saying, "One of you is going to die for what you did to Tiller."
Another group, Kansans for Life, told The Wichita Eagle that it has also received threats. Mary Wilkinson explained that she answered the phone, only to hear a loud, angry caller saying, “You’ve killed him. Now I hope somebody comes and kills you all.”
The call led the group’s state development director, David Gittrich, to report the threat to the police.
However, Wilkinson says she feels optimistic now.
"I think things are settling down now," she told The Wichita Eagle. "I just think the community needs some healing time."
CNA attempted to contact several Wichita-area pro-life groups but didn't receive responses.