Activist Admits Sniper Shooting of Abortionist, Says Paper

Pro-lifers Reiterate Condemnation of 1998 Murder

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BUFFALO, New York, NOV. 20, 2002 ( A man charged in the 1998 sniper slaying of an abortionist has admitted to the killing, the Buffalo News reported.

James C. Kopp admitted he shot and killed Dr. Barnett Slepian, the newspaper said today. It said Kopp confessed in a jailhouse interview that he planned the sniper shooting for a year, hid in the woods behind Slepian’s suburban Buffalo home and fired the shot that killed the abortionist.

Kopp said his outrage over abortion moved him to shoot Slepian, the News said. He insists, however, that he intended to wound, not kill, the abortionist.

A regional pro-life group, Western New York Lawyers for Life, condemned the 1998 murder.

In a statement, its president Laurence D. Behr, said: “We categorically denounce, and wholeheartedly deplore, acts of violence against abortion providers.”

“We were deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Slepian, whom we had come to know and respect as a man, even while disagreeing strongly with his views about abortion,” Behr said. “That one who professes pro-life convictions has admitted responsibility for his death we greatly regret.”

He added: “Whatever Mr. Kopp’s motives may have been, and however noble in his own estimation, his conduct is not representative of the many millions of responsible pro-lifers who comprise the overwhelming majority of this civil rights movement.”

Kopp, who was captured in France last year, has pleaded innocent to charges of second-degree murder and interfering with the legal right to an abortion. His trial is scheduled for February.

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