The woman who shot an abortion doctor in Kansas moved halfway …
A notorious anti-abortion activist who shot a Kansas doctor and burnt-down clinics in several states was released from federal prison to a halfway house on Tuesday to complete her sentence.
Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Minnesota, has confirmed that Rachelle ‘Shelley’ Shannon, 62, has been released and sent to a halfway house where she will spend the next five months pending her final release date, scheduled for the November 7.
In 1995, Shannon was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to arson and vandalism at abortion clinics in California, Oregon and Nevada. The presiding judge called Shannon a “terrorist”.
Free Woman: Anti-abortion activist Rachelle ‘Shelley’ Shannon (seen in a recent photo, left), 62, pictured right in a 1995 file photo after her arrest for torching abortion clinics in three states, was released from prison halfway home to finish her sentence
The decision to release her earlier than planned has raised concerns among abortion providers across the country.
Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, said she was alerting affiliated abortion clinics that Shannon was now out of prison.
“She is a person who not only committed multiple acts of violence herself, but also encouraged others to murder abortion providers,” Saporta said. “She showed no remorse.”
Shannon had previously served an 11-year prison sentence for the 1993 murder of abortion provider George Tiller in Wichita.
Shannon had already served an 11-year sentence for the 1993 murder of abortion provider George Tiller. The doctor was shot dead by an extremist in 2009
This file photo from June 1, 2009 shows the clinic in Wichita, Kansas, which belonged to Dr. Tiller. The abortion clinic is now run by Trust Women, an abortion rights group
Tiller was the target of relentless protests for most of the 36 years he performed abortions at his Wichita clinic, where he practiced as one of the few providers of late abortions in the country. His clinic was bombed in 1986 and he was shot in both arms by Shannon, then 37, in 1993.
On May 31, 2009, Tiller was shot dead in his church by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion extremist who had admired Shannon. Roeder said during his murder trial that he visited Shannon when she was imprisoned in Topeka.
On the eve of Roeder’s murder trial for Tiller’s murder, Shannon sent a message via the prison’s messaging system to another anti-abortion activist in Iowa in which she wrote that Tiller “must be killed. for reasons of justice “.
The Tiller building was purchased by Trust Women, which now operates a clinic there providing abortion services and other reproductive health care.
Julie Burkhart, founder and managing director of Trust Women, said Shannon’s release raised concerns for the safety of their employees.
In 1995, Shannon was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to firebombing and vandalism at abortion clinics in California, Oregon and Nevada.
“It raises red flags and makes me think more about safety and security,” said Burkhart, adding that she wanted to make sure the people who work there are not in danger.
Burkhart, who previously worked for Tiller, said hearing the news of Shannon’s release from federal prison “brought up a lot of old memories and feelings and it was a lot more moving than I expected.” .
The Reverend Donald Spitz, the leader of Pro-Life Virginia, tells the Kansas City Star that Shannon’s many supporters, including strong supporters of violence against abortion providers, were elated when they learned of her early release.