Like most people, I was very sad to hear about the cold-blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday when he was at church. He performed the procedures many doctors were afraid to do – late-term abortions that were deemed medically necessary to save the life of the mothers or where doctors had confirmed that the fetus would not live outside the womb. Dr. Tiller had been shot before, had many death threats and was forced to wear a bullet-proof vest on a regular basis, but he refused to give into the fear that gripped so many of his colleagues because, as he reportedly told a woman recently, he feared that the women he helped would have no place else to turn.
Candlelight vigils are still being held all over the country, but as Gloria Feldt wrote in Salon, George Tiller needs more than candlelight vigils. As always, write and lobby your representatives. Donate in Dr. Tiller’s name to Planned Parenthood and to the women’s health clinics in your area. Make your voice heard.
(Fellow UCFer Janiece at Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men and Mike at Man About Murfreesboro each have excellent posts regarding this tragedy and the cowardice of the anti-abortion faction. Go there.)
A little something about my own views on abortion: I am of the opinion that they should be safe, legal and rare. I’ve always known that it was something I could never personally go through, but I am of the firm belief that women should have that choice. The women I’ve known that have had abortions never considered it a decision made lightly and I respect their decisions.
Of the people I’ve known that are anti-abortion, only one could be considered pro-life in the true sense of the term: fellow UCFer Michelle is a pacifist who is against abortion and the death penalty. Unlike so many anti-abortion people who mistakenly call themselves “pro-life,” she actually believes that every child that is born should be provided for and not left to fend for himself/herself in dangerous home situations. She doesn’t self-identify as Christian, but she embodies the teachings of Jesus far more completely than any religious anti-abortion nut protesting outside women’s health clinics. I highly respect that.
As for my thoughts on late-term abortion, I sincerely hope that they would never be necessary, but I understand that in some cases they may be. It’s truly sad that women in need have lost one of their champions – one of the few doctors left that they could turn to.
My thoughts go out to Dr. Tiller’s family, to all the women that he helped and to all the women he could’ve helped.
Updated: 6/2/09 – 3:45pm
There is some discussion about who, besides the assassin who committed this foul deed, should be blamed for Dr. Tiller’s death. There is definitely an argument to to be made that Bill O’Reilly and his ilk have blood on their hands:
H/T to bstewart23 at This. That. No Other. for the Keith Olbermann clip.