Convicted Anti-Abortion Criminal Released After 30 Years in Prison

Rachelle “Shelley” Shannon, an anti-abortion criminal convicted of clinic blockades, arsons, butyric acid attacks, aggravated assault with a gun, and the attempted murder of Dr. George Tiller has been released after nearly 30 years in prison.

“Her release is very concerning,” said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). “This is someone who not only committed multiple acts of extreme violence herself, but also encouraged others to murder abortion providers.”

Before and during her time in prison, Shannon inspired other anti-abortion extremists—including her own daughter—to take the law into their own hands. Paul Hill, who murdered Dr. John Bayard Britton and his volunteer security escort, and Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. Tiller at his church, both visited and corresponded with Shannon before they murdered abortion providers. Shannon even produced a prison cookbook to be auctioned off to pay for Roeder’s defense. EBay pulled the auction because they do not allow listings that “promote or glorify violence, hate, racial or religious intolerance.”

After her arrest in 1993, law enforcement found a copy of the Army of God Manual buried in Shannon’s backyard. This manual advocates for the murder of abortion providers as the only way to really stop abortion. It is essentially a “how to” for anti-abortion violence.

“Law enforcement must remain vigilant and hold anti-abortion extremists accountable for their criminal activities so we don’t see another spike in extreme violence against abortion providers,” said Saporta.


Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)

To learn more about Shelley Shannon.

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.

To read NAF’s 2017 Violence and Disruption Statistics.

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