The Sexist

Scott Roeder: Pro-Life Activist, Murderer, and Cartoon Plagiarist?


This week, anti-abortion activists staged an eBay auction to help raise a legal defense fund for Scott Roeder, who was charged with murdering abortion provider George Tiller back in May. With the auction, anti-abortion activists were hoping to capitalize on Roeder's newfound notoriety by selling off a series of his signed, pro-life memorabilia.

But before the items could hit the virtual auction block, eBay announced that the memorabilia would be removed from the Web site. In a statement, the company said that it would “not allow listings that promote or glorify violence, hate, racial or religious intolerance, or items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.”

St. Louis cartoonist Gary McCoy had a more personal beef with the auction: It totally ripped off his work.

Among the offending items listed for auction: A cartoon presumably penned by one of Roeder's fellow inmates and kindred spirits, Jason Dubrowski. The cartoon depicts a newspaper clipping that reads, "Late-term abortion provider killed. Pres. Obama 'shocked and outraged.'" Beyond the paper is the cartoon's ironic payoff: rows of graves, each marked "Aborted Baby." It's signed: To all you prolifers, thanks for your support. Scott Roeder.

McCoy, a conservative cartoonist who regularly addresses abortion in his work, published that very same image back on June 1—minus the alleged murderer's salutation. Today, Cagle Cartoons, which syndicates McCoy's work, recognized Roeder and Dubrowski's cartoon as a near replica of McCoy's effort, and called the incarcerated duo out for their plagiarism. As the syndicate's blog notes, Roeder "seems to admit" the theft in the cartoon's eBay listing: “His name is Jason Dubrowski and is one of the best artists I’ve seen in here . . . The drawing of the field of babies tombstones with the newspaper headline comments of Obama was done after a Christian newsletter printed this illustration which a lady in Valley Center sent to me.”

McCoy was not impressed with the tribute from "one of the best artists" in prison. "I was extremely upset to learn that my cartoon was being plagiarized in order to defend Scott Roeder," says McCoy, who was alerted to the misappropriation this morning by friends, colleagues, and even Roeder's estranged wife, Lindsey. Lindsey called McCoy to inform him that Roeder had previously sent both her and her son a copy of McCoy's original cartoon from prison. Clearly, Roeder was a fan.

McCoy claims he only intended the cartoon to condemn abortion, not support murder. "It was merely my attempt to comment on the contrast between Obama being outraged over Dr. Tiller’s murder, and his lack of action on abortion," says McCoy. "Look, I’m pro-life. But I don’t condone the killing of abortion doctors. Most legitimate pro-lifers condemn that action. Only the fanatical fringe do that sort of thing, and it really upsets us."

Roeder and Dubrowski aren't the only ones who have insulted McCoy's work this week. eBay's response to the auction "kind of irked me as well," says McCoy. "They say they don’t allow listings that promote or glorify violence, and it kind of bothers me that they thought my cartoon promoted violence. I'm glad they took the cartoon down, of course, but I wish they had made it clear that they removed it because it was a plagiarized cartoon, and not because my cartoon was violent."

  • Francois Tremblay

    "“Look, I’m pro-life. But I don’t condone the killing of abortion doctors. Most legitimate pro-lifers condemn that action. Only the fanatical fringe do that sort of thing, and it really upsets us.”"

    Ooooooh. So being a fanatic against women's rights is not "fringe." It's only when you start killing doctors- in this case a MAN- that it becomes "fringe." I see how it is.

  • mdesus

    well see here's the thing, being against abortion for moral reasons does not necessarily make you a fanatic against womens rights in general. Yes you are infringing one particular choice a woman could make, but if abortion is viewed as the murder of a complete person (as many prolife people do view abortion), then it really isn't any different from killing the son who lives with you. Yes you must live, and care for this child who is unwanted (the hypothetical one anyway), but a prolifer with this mindset would not see a difference. The fact that people are unable to see this intrinsic difference in belief is fairly disturbing. While I happen to be pro choice (and strongly so) a failure to understand a contradictory view point is pure zealotry which is never useful. People really should strive to view things from multiple perspectives especially if they lead to different conclusions than you've reached.

  • Francois Tremblay

    Anyone who fails to see the difference between killing a part of your body and an actual human being is a fanatic, yes. I fail to see why you find such a statement disturbing. It is not a "failure to understand a contradictory view point." I understand it just fine. I just consider it to be absolute nonsense.

  • cminus

    I have more respect for "fringe" anti-choicers like Scott Roeder than I do for their "mainstream" enablers like Gary McCoy. No, wait, that's not right. I have *less disrespect* for them.

    If you believe -- if you really believe -- that abortion is murder, you have an obligation to act accordingly. I'm pro-choice and try to be a pacifist for religious reasons, but if I saw someone try and murder a (real, live) baby, I would resort to violence to stop them and wouldn't rule out using lethal force if necessary. One would expect the anti-choicers, the majority of whom are not pacifists and a smaller majority of whom support the death penalty, to be even more willing to use violence to protect what they would consider an (unborn) baby. But they rarely do. Their behavior is far more consistent with a desire to punish women for having sex than it is with any belief that abortion is murder.

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    This lowlife Roeder is a terrorist. He should be executed.

    The American Christian Taliban is likewise at fault. We should send the Marines & Predator aircraft to the South, the Midwest, & the Mountain West to combat the American Christian Taliban. There's no point in fighting the Afghan Muslem Taliban without fighting the American Christian Taliban.

    All religion is superstition. Religion is used to delude the masses. All religion should be illegal.

  • Cheryl

    I don't want religion outlawed. I want the crap taxed out of it.

  • Anne

    I'm a bit confused - wasn't Amazon's criticism of the auction based on the fact that it was raising money to support a *murderer*? Not the content of the cartoon itself? It just seems like McCoy doesn't quite understand Amazon's position, which actually lines up quite well with his.

    Not that I agree with or support him at all, it just seems like he's got a bug up his ass for a reason that isn't actually a reason. Plagiarism? Sure, be pissed about that. But Amazon wasn't dissing your work. Cry me a river!

  • Francois Tremblay

    "All religion is superstition. Religion is used to delude the masses. All religion should be illegal."

    By that standard, government should be illegal too. As an anarchist, I have no problem with that. ;)

  • anne

    you people are nuts. get your own life instead of condemning those who have the right to choose for themselves.