a prayer…

Posted on Sunday 31 May 2009

Kansas Abortion Doctor Slain at Church
By Scott Butterworth
Washington Post
May 31, 2009

George Tiller, perhaps the most prominent of the handful of doctors in the United States who perform late-term abortions, was shot and killed at his Wichita, Kan., church this morning, authorities said.

Police arrested a suspect in the slaying several hours later, about 160 miles away from Wichita on Interstate 35, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said at a news conference…

Tiller was shot in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church, where Sunday morning services were being held, Stolz said. The gunman then pointed a gun at two men who tried to stop him before driving away in a 1993 blue Ford Taurus, authorities said…
Washington Monthly
May 31, 2009

As Amanda Marcotte recently noted, "[Tiller] is one of the two doctors in the country that specializes in the very small percentage of abortions performed late in pregnancy [but before viability] done for health reasons, usually because the pregnancy is a danger to a woman’s health or life, or because the fetus is dead or dying…. He’s been shot in both arms, stalked by the attorney general’s office under Phill Kline … and charged with the crime of performing a bunch of illegal abortions, for which he was acquitted."

I emphasize this because it’s a point that may go overlooked in much of the media coverage — Tiller performed therapeutic abortions for women who wanted children. Tiller, in other words, worked past the constant threats of violence to provide a service to women that few would. Today, he was apparently murdered for his efforts.
Witchita Abortion Doctor Murdered
the left coaster
by Mary… May 31, 2009

… as this murder shows, in the United States, domestic terrorism is alive and well.
    All told, according to statistics provided by the National Abortion Federation and not including this morning’s murder, since 1977, there have been seven murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 175 arsons, 96 attempted bombings or arsons, 390 invasions, 1400 cases of vandalism, 1993 cases of trespassing, 100 butyric acid attacks, 659 anthrax threats, 179 cases of assault and battery, 406 death threats, four kidnappings, 151 burglaries, and 525 cases of stalking specifically directed at clinics, their workers, or their volunteers in the US and Canada. That’s over 6,100 cases of terrorist activity by the "pro-life" movement. And that’s just what was reported — the actual numbers are probably much higher.
The George Tiller I Knew
by loree920
Sun May 31, 2009

Like many in this community, my heart is heavy today.  There have been many great diaries that talk about Dr. Tiller’s years of service to women, and the threats he has endured throughout the last years of his life.  My story is a bit more personal and I want to share it with all of you to give you more insight into the man.

In 1975 my Mom noticed an indention in her left breast.  She called and made an appointment with her OB/GYN, Dr. George Tiller.  After his initial examination, he ordered a biopsy.  While performing the biopsy he immediately knew that the lump was cancerous. Instead of just closing and scheduling surgery, he "grabbed a handful", his words not mine. Her cancer Dr. credited this quick thinking by Dr. Tiller with saving her life, and due to this she didn’t even have to undergo chemotherapy.

Several years later my Mother and I were driving by his clinic in Wichita.  Mom started complaining of chest pains, so I drove into his parking lot and ran in to get help.  Dr. Tiller was by Mom’s side immediately, and stabilized her, before the heart attack could cause severe damage.

In 1980 I was pregnant with my first child.  I had no insurance and couldn’t afford a doctors appointment until I was approved for a medical card..  Mom told Dr. Tiller and he brought me into his office where he examined me, free of charge.  I can credit him with the very first picture taken of my son.

The last story I have to share is about my friends who could not have children.  Dr. Tiller’s office worked with several attorneys in the Wichita area to provide adoption services for his patients who wanted this option.  My friends have a 10 yr. old boy now, who is loved and adored.

I’m not a great writer, so I apologize that this isn’t nearly as eloquent as some of the diaries on Daily Kos.  I just wanted to get this story out to you, so you could hear how this man wasn’t just a tremendous fighter for women’s rights. he was a brilliant physician, and a kind and compassionate human being.  RIP Dr. Tiller and thank you for all you did for my friends and my family.
"an eye for an eye," the "blood oath," the "Talion Law," "jihad," "the "Torture Memos"- all ways of justifying such things, otherwise known as murder. They say that abortion is murder, ergo… It’s not a great moral argument to say, "Since you do bad things, I can do bad things back." It’s the argument of a lot of murderers.

Says Scott Roeder [the man who was apparently the shooter] on the Operation Rescue site:

  1. Scott Roeder Says:
    May 19th, 2007 at 4:34 pm
    Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp. Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tiller’s church [inside, not just outside] to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.

I never know what I feel when something like this happens. As a physician I had several situations where I helped someone get out of an abusive relationship, and worried about being the target of the ensuing rage. But I never recall being the focus of anyone who targetted me in an impersonal vendetta.  From what I read about Dr. Tiller, it was his willingness to help women whose health was genuinely threatened that placed him in harms way. That’s a particularly poignant tragedy.

The Unspeakable: We all worry that assassinations come in waves – like JFK, MLK, RFK. And we all worry about our President, particularly with all the hate-mongering coming from Fox News, Talk Radio, and the former Administration Officials. I’m not a person who prays. Whatever my religious beliefs, I just don’t think a creator needs any input from me – if anything, it goes the other way. But I can’t help it sometimes. I do pray for the safety of our President in this un-necessarily divisive climate. Dr. Tiller is tragedy enough…
    May 31, 2009 | 9:09 PM

    Thank you for sharing the doctor’s story. I hope the media gives his life story the coverage it deserves. This senseless killing is so very sad.

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