The son of slain Owosso anti-abortion rights protester James Pouillon told the Flint Journal that abortion foes have selected the wrong man to lionize as a martyr for their cause.
Grand Rapids podiatrist James M. Pouillon has not had contact with
his father since 2001. But he isn’t staying silent about the way his
father is being called a martyr by some in the anti-abortion rights
“I don’t think he really cared about the unborn,” said
Dr. James M. Pouillon, a Grand Rapids podiatrist, who had not spoken to
his father since 2001. “I don’t think he was really pro-life.”
Pouillon’s sister disagreed with the doctor, saying her father was a Christian acting on his beliefs.
“He died out there doing what he believed in,” 26-year-old Mary Jo Pouillon of Owosso said at a memorial service Wednesday.
But the son argues that the actions of his father, who would
regularly protest, carry signs and yell at passers-by, was all part of
a larger plan. The younger Pouillon called his father a “sociopath who
terrorized a small town while hiding behind his First Amendment.”
“You could speak with a couple of hundred people who
don’t agree with me, so who is right? I’m not going to try to yell
louder than my dad’s friends,” he said.
The son also said his father used his abortion stance to terrorize
women and said his father abused his mother, Mary Lou Kadera. The two
divorced in 1987 and she died in a 2001 car accident.
In a 1992 interview with The Flint Journal, the activist
acknowledged years of marital problems, including a fight where he
pushed his wife into a piano. Three days after the fight, he told the
Journal that “the Holy Ghost came on me.”
The senior Pouillon has been hailed as a martyr by Cal Zastrow of Kawkawlin, chairman of the Michigan Citizens for Life.
Pouillon was gunned down last week Friday while standing in front of
Owosso High School, something he would do regularly. Officials have
said the alleged shooter, Harlan Drake, told them he was offended by
Pouillon’s graphic signs and felt children should not have to view
An attorney representing the Drake family put out a statement saying
Drake was suffering from depression and that they did not believe the
shooting had anything to do with abortion.
Drake is also accused of shooting the 61-year-old owner of a gravel
pit in Owosso Township. Drake is in jail without bond awaiting trial on
charges of first degree murder and weapons violations.