L&O, Episode 5.12
Production number: 69416
First aired: 25 January 1995
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Van Buren Progeny
Written By
Morgan Gendel

Directed By
Don Scardino

The investigation into an abortion doctor's murder leads to an activist group led by a former priest.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Pro-life? You notice how some people's concerns for life ends at birth? They want those babies to come out. After that, they don't give a damn what happens to them.

–Anita van Buren

Well-meaning people can disagree, especially about the most socially divisive issue to face our country this century. Drew Seeley has an opinion about abortion. He thinks that his opinion entitles him to kill people. Here's what he did. He hunted down a woman named Eileen Reid, he gave Randall Jenkins a gun and told him to shoot Eileen Reid. And he did. Drew Seeley is a self-appointed executioner. If you let him go, you better just pray that one day, someone like him doesn't find some fault with you.

–McCoy's opening statement

150 years ago, you weren't considered a person. Or you. Or you. A man named John Brown thought that was wrong so he took violent action to liberate black American slaves. Well, he was caught and brought to trial and hanged because slavery was legal and the law said that slaves were not people deserving of protection. But you know what? John Brown was right. And the law was wrong. Now John Brown is considered a hero. Today, abortion is legal but I tell you, that law is wrong. Like John Brown, I follow a higher law. I ask you to do the same.

–Seeley's opening statement

Moran: I was, in effect, committing murder.
McCoy: In effect?
Moran: I was committing murder.
McCoy: Fine. Would you please stand up? Officer, arrest this woman.
Scarletti: Mr. McCoy!
McCoy: We've just heard a confession of murder, your honor. Officer?
Scarletti: I'm not amused, Mr. McCoy!
McCoy: How many counts of murder shall we charge you with, Dr. Moran?
Scarletti: MR. MCCOY! May I remind you that abortion is legal?
McCoy: Thank you your honor!

McCoy: God calls you to organize murders. God calls you to take credit for murders. But God never calls on you to pull the trigger?
Seeley: Each of us has a role.
McCoy: You can't do it, can you? You can't bring yourself to shoot someone, even though you think God is telling you to do it, you can't do it.
Seeley: I put the gun in Randall's hand! I told him where to point it!
McCoy: You can't point a gun at another human being, even an abortion doctor, and pull the trigger, because in your soul, you know it's wrong!
Seeley: God says it's right!
McCoy: You don't believe that!
Seeley: I believe in the Lord, my God...!
McCoy: Your defense is a lie!
Seeley: No! What is a lie is the arrogant belief that what you're doing here furthers justice!
McCoy: Answer my question, Mr. Seeley! You are unable to shoot doctors yourself, because in your soul, you know it's wrong.

Background information and notes

  • This episode is based on the Paul Jennings Hill case. In 1994, Hill shot and killed abortion doctor Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort James H. Barrett. Hill, a former minister, maintained that he did nothing wrong throughout his entire time on death row. He was executed on September 3, 2003, being the only person in the U.S. to be executed for the murder of an abortion doctor. (Paul Jennings Hill at Wikipedia)

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Apartment Of
Dr. Eileen & Simon Reed
123 West 75th Street
Tuesday, November 14

Women's Reproductive
Health Clinic
708 West 23rd Street
Thursday, November 16

Office Of
Dr. Eileen Reed
803 3rd Avenue
Monday, November 20

4 5 6

Office Of
Drew Seeley
1102 Columbus Avenue
Wednesday, November 29

Sherman's Shoe Repair
431 East 96th Street
Monday, December 4

Zanzinger Vending
407 West 48th Street
Friday, December 8

7 8

Supreme Court
Motion Hearing
Thursday, January 4

The Women's Health Center
Long Island, New York
Thursday, February 1

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