Page last updated at 01:05 GMT, Friday, 2 April 2010 02:05 UK

Killer of US abortion doctor George Tiller gets life

Scott Roeder in Sedgwick County court, 1 April 2010
Scott Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder in January

A US court has sentenced an anti-abortion activist to life in prison for murdering the prominent abortion doctor, George Tiller, last year.

Scott Roeder, 52, said he shot Dr Tiller at a church in Wichita, Kansas, to save the lives of unborn babies.

George Tiller was one of the few doctors to offer late-term abortions. The case highlighted the bitter debate over abortion in the US.

The judge said Roeder would not be eligible for parole for 50 years.

Warren Wilbert, the judge at Sedgwick County court, said he gave Roeder the maximum sentence because he admitted stalking Dr Tiller for months.

A life sentence was mandatory, but the judge had the option of making Roeder ineligible for parole for 25 or 50 years.

Judge Wilbert also sentenced Roeder to serve an additional two years in prison for threatening two ushers at the church last May.

No remorse

In a statement to the court, Roeder said he did not regret killing Dr Tiller.

George Tiller

"I stopped him so he could not dismember another innocent baby," Roeder said. "Wichita is a far safer place for unborn babies without George Tiller."

The Tiller family's lawyer, Lee Thompson, called the murder an act of "domestic terrorism" against a devoted family man who believed strongly in women's rights.

"He respected and trusted the right of women to make their own decisions," said Thompson. "He gave his life to the rights of women."

Dr Tiller's clinic was one of only three in the US that offered late-term abortions - performed after 21 weeks - which are legal in Kansas.

His clinic was heavily fortified after a bomb attack in 1986. Dr Tiller also survived an attempt on his life in 1993.

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