'Pro-choice terrorist' sentenced for death threats against pro-lifers

Preet Bharara US Attorney for the Southern District of New York CNA US Catholic News 10 4 12 Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

A self-described "pro-choice terrorist" on Wednesday was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for his 2010 internet death threats against pro-life leaders like Fr. Frank Pavone and Princeton University law professor Robert P. George.

Theodore Shulman, 51, was sentenced to 41 months in prison in Manhattan federal court. He will also face three years of supervised release, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

"I have already publicly forgiven Mr. Shulman and pray for him every day," Fr. Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, said Oct. 4.

The priest renewed his previous joint statement with Bill Baird, a proponent of legal abortion, that Fr. Pavone said rejected "hatred and violence in word and deed between those on opposite sides of the abortion issue."

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York said the sentencing shows that advocating one's point of view through threats of violence is illegal and "will be punished."

"The vibrant exchange of ideas that is a hallmark of our society does not include threats," he said Oct. 3.

In May, Shulman pled guilty to one count of transmitting a threat to injure another person.

In January 2010 he left a message on the FirstThings.com blog "Second Hand Smoke" which referred to the trial of Scott Roeder, the murderer of Kansas abortionist George Tiller.

Shulman said that if Roeder were acquitted, "someone will respond by killing" Prof. George and Fr. Pavone, the head of the pro-life group Priests for Life.

He allegedly left a threatening voice mail message with the Calif.-based Life Legal Defense Foundation's legal director Catherine Short. Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek has said Shulman has made threats against her. He also reportedly threatened Troy Newman, president of the Kansas-based Operation Rescue.
At the time of Shulman's February 2011 arrest, he had cyanide, castor peas and rosary peas in his possession. Both types of peas contain deadly toxins that are capable of killing humans.

He is the son of feminist activist and author Alix Kates Shulman. He started a blog called "Operation Counterstrike" whose mission statement said "Right-to-lifism is murder, and ALL right-to-lifers are bloody-handed accessories. Swear it, believe it, proclaim it, and act on it."

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