KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS/AP) Online retailer eBay said it will not allow an auction planned to raise money to defend Scott Roeder, the man charged with killing Kansas abortion provider George Tiller.
(AP / file)
Roeder's supporters had hoped to sell off an unusual array of items to raise money for his defense against murder charges.
One of the proposed items was the "Army of God" manual, an underground publication geared towards anti-abortion "militants" which describes dozens of ways to shut down abortion clinics, including bombing.
Also for sale: a prison cookbook compiled by Shelley Shannon, the Oregon woman who shot and wounded Tiller in 1993, and was later convicted in a series of abortion clinic arsons and bombings.
"Based on the details we know about the anticipated auctions, we believe these listings would violate our policy regarding offensive material," the company said last night in a written statement. "EBay will not permit the auction items in question to be posted to the eBay site, and they will be removed if they are posted."
Photo: Scott Roeder, left, attends his preliminary hearing in court in Wichita, Kan. on Tuesday, July, 28, 2009.
(AP Photo/Jaime Oppenheimer)
If the items were posted, eBay said it would remove them from the online marketplace site because the company says it does not allow listings that "promote or glorify violence, hate, racial or religious intolerance."
"We do not allow items that encourage, promote or instruct others to engage in illegal activity and will not be a platform for those who promote violence toward others," the company statement said.
Roeder said in a phone interview earlier that he was excited about the idea of an auction.
"I think it's great," said Roeder, who is scheduled to go on trial in January for the May 31 killing. "I appreciate it... I'm all for anything that might bring some donations in."
Dave Leach, a Des Moines, Iowa, abortion opponent who was organizing the auction, said Tuesday he had contacted eBay about what the auction would entail, and also to tell the company "that we're not out for glorifying violence. We're wanting to get a man to his right to a trial by jury."
Photo: Dr. George Tiller during his March trial for allegedly performing late-term abortions without properly consulting a second doctor. Tiller was acquitted.
(AP/Mike Hutmacher, Wichita Eagle)
Leach questioned eBay's decision to stop the auction for Roeder, but said that the decision doesn't surprise him. He said other projects are in the works to raise money for Roeder, who has been appointed public defenders, but was considering hiring private lawyers.
"The items that we're thinking of marketing have historical value in the history of freedom of speech in the pro-life movement," Leach said.
Supporters of abortion rights strongly oppose the auction.
"The network of extremists promoting and defending the murder of doctors is contributing to escalating threats against clinics and doctors across the country," said Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Public defenders are representing Roeder. But Leach and others would like to help him hire a lawyer to argue that Tiller was killed to prevent a greater harm, "killing babies."
Tiller, a prominent advocate for abortion rights, who was wounded by a protester more than a decade ago, was shot and killed at his church in Wichita earlier this year. Tiller, 67, is one of the few doctors in the U.S. who performed late-term abortions.
Photo: Dr. George Tiller's body is removed from Reformation Lutheran Church on May 31, 2009.
(AP/Travis Heying, Wichita Eagle)
He was serving as an usher during morning services when he was shot in the foyer of the Reformation Lutheran Church. The gunman allegedly fired one shot at Tiller and threatened two other people who tried to stop him.
Roeder, 51, is charged with first-degree murder in Tiller's death and is being held without bond. His trial has been scheduled for January.
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