Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 13:06 UK

US abortion doctor's clinic shut

Jeanna Tiller
Jeanna Tiller said she was proud of the service her husband had provided

The clinic where an American doctor carried out late-term abortions before he was murdered will close permanently, his relatives say.

Dr George Tiller's clinic, in Wichita, Kansas, was one of only a few to offer such late abortions in the US.

His family said they were proud of the "service and courage" shown by Dr Tiller, who was shot dead on 31 May while serving as a church usher.

Scott Roeder, 51, has been charged with shooting dead Dr Tiller.

He had attended services at Dr Tiller's church two months before the attack.

The physician had been a regular target of anti-abortion activists and he had survived an attempt on his life in 1993.

Action pending

The motive for his killing is not clear. Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral.

"We are proud of the service and courage shown by our husband and father and know that women's health care needs have been met because of his dedication and service," the Tiller family said in a statement.

The statement added that relatives were "ceasing operation of the clinic and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic".

Dr Tiller's Women's Health Care Services clinic, which offered abortions to women in the third trimester of their pregnancies, had often been the site of anti-abortion demonstrations.

Kansas state law allows abortions after the 21st week only if continuing the pregnancy would endanger the mother's life or health.

Anti-abortionists groups, who have condemned the killing, said a petition to the state's medical board, if successful, would have revoked Dr Tiller's medical licence within the next two months.

They alleged he had violated a state law that required him to obtain a second opinion from an independent physician.

Following Dr Tiller's murder, US Attorney General Eric Holder pledged protection for "appropriate people and facilities".

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