LA Times: eBay Blocks Roeder Auction


The LA Times reports this morning that eBay said Tuesday it would block the auction planned by anti-choice groups to raise money for Scott Roeder, the accused assassin of Kansas Dr. George Tiller. Roeder, charged with first-degree murder and being held without bond is scheduled to go to trial in January.

"Supporters had said they wanted to raise money to pay for Scott
Roeder’s defense," states the Times.

They planned to auction off items including an Army
of God manual, an underground publication for antiabortion militants
that describes ways to shut down clinics, including with bombings.

Also on the auction list was 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.

The initial report on the auction, by Judy Thomas of the Wichita Eagle, generated widespread criticism among pro-choice advocates and providers of essential reproductive and sexual health services who are the primary targets of clinic violence.

An eBay statement quoted by the LA Times said:

Based on the details we know about the anticipated listings, we
believe these would violate our policy regarding offensive material.

If the items are posted, EBay said, it will remove them from the
online marketplace site because the company "does not allow listings
that promote or glorify violence, hate, racial or religious
intolerance."

Dave Leach, a Des Moines abortion opponent who was organizing the
auction, told the Times Tuesday that 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 by a trial
by jury."  Leach questioned EBay’s decision to stop the auction, but he said
it didn’t surprise him, but also said other projects are in the works to
raise money for Roeder, who has been appointed public defenders but is
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.

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  • carolyn-marie-fugit

    Judy Thomas is of the Kansas City Star. The Star and the Wichita Eagle have the same owner so works are published freely between the two.