Abortion Doctor on MSNBC Compares Pro-Lifers to Taliban

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=ydqGeuqG4z&amp;c1=0x2B8F9E&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=ydqGeuqG4z&amp;c1=0x2B8F9E&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>During live MSNBC coverage in the 9AM EST hour on Monday about the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller, guest Dr. Warren Hern, a fellow abortionist and friend of Tiller, declared: &quot;Dr. Tiller's crime was that he helped women and the man who killed him tried to kill an idea. The idea is freedom. <b>So we don't have to invade other countries to find the terrorists. They’re here killing doctors who do abortions. The difference between – the main difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.&quot;</b> Instead of challenging such an incendiary statement, correspondent Monica Novotny simply concluded the segment: &quot;Dr. Warren Hern, thank you for joining us today. We appreciate it.&quot; [audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/06/2009-06-01-MSNBC-He... target="_blank">available here</a>]<p>&nbsp;</p><p>Earlier in the interview, Novotny asked Hern: &quot;You were quoted as saying that Dr. Tiller's death was ‘predictable.’ What was your reaction when you heard and why do you say that?&quot; Hern explained his statement: &quot;This was not the act of a lone deranged gunman. <b>This is a result of 35 years of relentless and merciless anti-abortion harassment, violence, and intimidation, hate speech and violent rhetoric, and this is the absolutely predictable consequence of that kind of mindless harassment and fanaticism.&quot; </b></p><!--break--><p>Novotny followed that tirade by asking Hern: &quot;Doctor, you’re facing similar threats, I know. Do you fear for your own life?&quot; Hern replied: &quot;Well, we’ve lived with these kind of problems for 35 years or more...And the – the anti-abortion people have made attempts on my life, threatened my life thousands of times. Every doctor who does...abortions in this country is – is under this kind of threat.&quot; Novotny continued: &quot;But do you find yourself more fearful today in light of what's happened to your friend?&quot; Hern exclaimed: &quot;Well, I think that – clearly the anti-abortion people will stop at nothing, including assassination, to impose their will on other people.&quot; Novotny’s response: &quot;Yeah.&quot; </p><p>Hern appeared later on MSNBC via telephone during the 3PM EST hour, talking with co-anchor David Schuster. The doctor offered a similar rant, referring to pro-life advocates as &quot;terrorists&quot; and &quot;Fascists.&quot; He also spoke of the Republican Party &quot;exploiting&quot; the abortion issue. </p><p>Here is the full transcript of the exchange:</p><blockquote><p>9:37AM SEGMENT: </p><p>CONTESSA BREWER: The murder of Dr. George Tiller is the first of a so-called abortion doctor in more than a decade. Now U.S. Marshals are stepping up security for others who may be targets. Let's go Monica Novotny following this for us, Monica.</p><p>MONICA NOVOTNY: Contessa, the U.S. Marshals wouldn't say who was the subject of that increased security. But Dr. Tiller was one of only handful of doctors who performed controversial later-term abortions. Dr. Warren Hern now says that he is the last doctor in the U.S. who -- who also does -- who also perform the same procedures. He is the founder and director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic, he was also a close friend of Dr. George Tiller. Dr. Hern, we appreciate you joining us, as I said, you were close friends, we’re sorry for your loss today. You were quoted as saying that Dr. Tiller's death was ‘predictable.’ What was your reaction when you heard and why do you say that?</p><p>WARREN HERN: Thank you for inviting me, Monica. Dr. Tiller’s death is a profound tragedy for his family and his friends and his medical colleagues. He's very much a beloved person and among us, those who work in this field and provide these services, he was a dedicated and conscientious physician and very courageous because he survived other assassination – another assassination attempt in 1993. </p><p>NOVOTNY: That’s right, he was shot – he was shot in both arms.</p><p>HERN: This was not the act of a lone deranged gunman. This is a result of 35 years of relentless and merciless anti-abortion harassment, violence, and intimidation, hate speech and violent rhetoric, and this is the absolutely predictable consequence of that kind of mindless harassment and fanaticism. </p><p>NOVOTNY: Doctor, you’re facing similar threats, I know. Do you fear for your own life?</p><p>HERN: Well, we’ve lived with these kind of problems for 35 years or more. The – when I first started doing abortions in Boulder, Colorado, at a non-profit clinic, I started getting obscene death threats in the middle of the night within two weeks after we started. And the – the anti-abortion people have made attempts on my life, threatened my life thousands of times. Every doctor who does-</p><p>NOVOTNY: But are you – but are you more fearful-</p><p>HERN: -abortions in this country is – is under this kind of threat.</p><p>NOVOTNY: But do you find yourself more fearful today in light of what's happened to your friend?</p><p>HERN: Well, I think that – clearly the anti-abortion people will stop at nothing, including assassination, to impose their will on other people.</p><p>NOVOTNY: Yeah.</p><p>HERN: And clearly-</p><p>NOVOTNY: Was this something Doctor, that the two of you had discussed?</p><p>HERN: -I'm alarmed and my family is alarmed.</p><p>NOVOTNY: Was this something that the – that the two of you as doctors, given the threats that you were facing, was it something that the two of you discussed? </p><p>HERN: Oh, we talked about it all the time, sure.</p><p>NOVOTNY: Yeah, and was there anything that Dr. Tiller said that remains with you today? Was he fearful that this would happen? </p><p>HERN: What can I say? We’re good friends. We call each other all the time to talk about cases, about patients. About our families. And about things of common interest. We had a good relationship. He invited me to his daughter's wedding. We skied together. This was a tremendous loss for his family and for our society. He was a – a wonderful person who was very dedicated and – this shouldn't happen. Dr. Tiller's crime was that he helped women and the man who killed him tried to kill an idea. The idea is freedom. So we don't have to invade other countries to find the terrorists. They’re here killing doctors who do abortions. The difference between – the main difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.</p><p>NOVOTNY: Dr. Warren Hern, thank you for joining us today. We appreciate it. </p><p>HERN: Thank you.</p><p>NOVOTNY: And police have been slow to release details about the man soon to be charged in Dr. Tiller's murder. We will get more on the suspect from former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt. That’s just a few minutes away.</p></blockquote>

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC