In a recent Gallup poll, 51% of americans now identify as "pro-life". 42% as "pro-choice". Yet 74% also feel abortion is ok under "some", "many" or all circumstances. George Tiller is a late-term abortionist. A late-term abortion refers to an induced abortion procedure that occurs after the 20th week of gestation. Although I am pro-choice, I have considerable reservations about third-term abortions (I'm pro-morning-after pill, which prevents fertilization -- and, in any case, do not necessarily feel a sperm-penetrated egg is immediately a "baby"). ---------- Here's how Time Magazine put it: In the highly charged debate over abortion, nothing so stirs the moral ambiguities as the question of late abortion. As a pregnancy progresses closer and closer to viability -- the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb, generally thought to be around 24 weeks -- even those who consider themselves pro-choice begin to have their qualms. "As much as I would prefer to avert my moral gaze, a late abortion forces me to confront the reality of abortion and my own incompletely suppressed doubts," wrote ethicist Daniel Callahan, co-founder of the Hastings Center, a medical-ethics research institute in New York. "I suspect that for all but a small minority of those who, like myself, count themselves on the pro-choice side in the abortion debate, the matter of late abortions cannot help triggering distress. It stretches our commitment to the breaking point." ---------- George Tiller is a famous abortionist. He specializes in late-term abortions at his medical clinic in Wichita, Kansas, Women's Health Care Services. This clinic has been severely damaged in a bomb blast in the past. In 1991, the clinic was blockaded for six weeks by anti-abortion protesters. Yet, Tiller appears to be a moral, principled man from all indications. He was gunned down this morning during Sunday-morning church services. From the Chicago Sun-Times: "An attorney for Tiller, Dan Monnat, says the doctor was shot Sunday as he served as an usher during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church. Monnat said Tiller's wife, Jeanne, was in the choir at the time of the shooting." ---------- Anti-abortionist activist Randall Terry of "Operation Rescue" made the following statement after the shooting: "George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name, murder." ---------- More from Time: George Tiller had been a target like no other for the anti-abortion movement. Protesters were a constant fixture outside his clinic and his home. In 1993, he had been shot in both arms, but he recovered and continued to practice; more recently, abortion foes had tried--and failed--to shut him down through legal means. In March, he was acquitted on 19 misdemeanor charges of failing to follow state law in getting a second opinion. Within moments of that verdict, Kansas' medical board announced it was investigating allegations viritually identical to the ones the jury had rejected. ---------- From the Los Angeles Times: But Warren Hern, a Colorado physician and close friend of Tiller's who said he is now "the only doctor in the world" who performs late-term abortions, said Tiller's death was predictable. "I think it's the inevitable consequence of more than 35 years of constant anti-abortion terrorism, harassment and violence. George is the fifth American doctor to be assassinated. I get messages from these people saying, 'Don't bother wearing a bulletproof vest, we're going for a head shot.' " When President Obama was elected last fall, Hern predicted that anti-abortion violence would increase, he said. Because Obama supports legalized abortion, said Hern, its foes "have lost ground. . . . They want the doctors dead, and they invite people to assassinate us. No wonder that this happens. . . . I am next on the list." A suspect is in custody.