January 29, 2013 — A small, radical group of antiabortion-rights activists remains steadfast in its support of Scott Roeder, the man convicted and jailed for the 2009 murder of abortion provider George Tiller, the AP/ABC News reports.
Roeder's relationship with activists from his jail cell has come into focus through a Department of Justice lawsuit against Angel Dillard, who is accused of sending a threatening letter in 2011 to a doctor who was training to provide abortions.
According to court documents, Dillard has visited Roeder in jail more than a dozen times and deposited $373 into his inmate fund between April 2010 and March 2012. Dillard claims her relationship with Roeder is protected by "ministerial privilege" and has refused to answer DOJ's questions about the relationship.
Meanwhile, other antiabortion activists have been attempting to aid Roeder in an appeal of his conviction by sending him money, asking to file friend-of-the-court briefs and writing appeals for him to file on his own behalf.
Army of God -- a radical group that supports violence against abortion providers -- reports that Roeder receives more correspondence than any other imprisoned antiabortion activist.
In 2010, a federal grand jury began investigating whether Tiller's death was connected to a larger network of radical antiabortion activists. No public charges have been filed, but the investigation is still open.
Vicki Saporta, executive director of the National Abortion Federation, said, "I don't think any appeal [to release Roeder] is going to be successful." However, she added that "nothing good happens when [extremists] get together and reminisce and figure out how to target other providers" (Hegeman, AP/ABC News, 1/27).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership