George Richard Tiller, MD (August 8, 1941 – May 31, 2009) was an American physician from Wichita, Kansas. He was the medical director of a clinic in Wichita, Women's Health Care Services, one of only three nationwide which provided abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy (known as late-term abortion).
Pro-life group Operation Rescue kept a daily vigil outside Tiller's clinic for many years: first the national group, then later a branch that moved from California to Kansas specifically to focus on Tiller. On August 19, 1993, outside of the Wichita clinic, Tiller was shot in both arms by Shelley Shannon, who received an 11-year prison sentence for the crime of attempted murder. On May 31, 2009, Tiller was shot through the eye and killed, by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder, as Tiller served as an usher during the Sunday morning service at his church in Wichita. Jurors deliberated 40 minutes before convicting Roeder of murder on January 29, 2010.
George Tiller studied at the University of Kansas School of Medicine from 1963 to 1967. Shortly thereafter, he held a medical internship with United States Navy, and served as flight surgeon in Oakland, California, in 1969 and 1970. In July 1970, he planned to start a dermatology residency. However on August 21, 1970, his parents, sister and brother-in-law were killed in an aircraft accident. In her will, his sister had requested that Tiller take care of her one-year-old son. Tiller had intended to go back to Wichita, close up his father's family practice and then go back to become a dermatologist. However, he quickly felt pressure to take over his father's family practice. Tiller's father had performed abortions at his practice. After hearing about a woman who had died from an illegal abortion, Tiller stayed in Wichita to continue his father's practice.