Posts Tagged Dr. Tiller’s Murder

Blood On Their Hands

images (8)                                     images (9)
The Victim                                                 The Suspected Killer
Dr. George Tiller                                        Scott Roeder

Well, we’ve had an act of domestic terrorism.  Al-Qaeda sympathizers?  No, it was committed by somebody who is the prototype of what was described in a recent justice department memo as a right-wing extremist, lone wolf, dedicated to one single issue, in his case his opposition to abortion.

Scott Roeder assassinated Dr. George Tiller, who had been living with threats for many years, and had been the target of right-wing outrage again and again.  To top it, not only was he assassinated in cold blood, but it happened in the sanctity of his church!  What prompted all these targeted attacks, culminating now in his murder?  Dr. Tiller was a women’s health care provider, and as part of that, he performed abortions on women who sought them, including late-term abortions. Something, I want to emphasize, is legal in this country.  So his  ‘crime’  was not doing something illegal, but providing services to women who often are in dire straits when seeking an abortion.

It never fails to amaze me that the most ardent opponents to abortions seem to be older white males.  Here are my thoughts on that:  Unless they find themselves in a situation a lot of women find themselves in at some point in their lives, where they have to make a very personal and painful decision to have an abortion, usually after consulting with a doctor and her family, they have no right to tell women what they can and cannot do.  It is a myth that women take that decision lightly.  Very often, there are extreme circumstances leading a woman to have that procedure done.

We can certainly disagree on that issue, and there are good arguments on both sides of it, and I think President Obama said it best when stating, that we should do everything we possibly can to reduce the number of abortions, including better education about birth control, increasing the possibility of adoption, etc.  But what we cannot do, is trying to make our points using violence.  These extremists have already succeeded with their constant intimidation and violent behavior, that the vast majority of counties in the US has nobody who will perform these legal procedures.  So, a woman, who often doesn’t have a lot of means to begin with, faces the additional burden of having to travel to another location to have that procedure performed.

As a woman, I find it the height of insult when listening to these extremists, decrying especially the procedure referred to as  ‘late-term abortion.’  This procedure is only performed in very rare instances, usually for medical reasons or when the life of the mother is on the line.  As someone who knows a woman who had to go through the ordeal of making that decision, then having it performed, and afterwards having to live with it, it deeply insults me to listen to these zealots. My friend faced the reality of very possibly not surviving the pregnancy because of a medical condition, if carrying the child to term.  So, before people pass judgment on others, there’s some food for thought…

Special mention belongs to the prominent public figures of that movement who have over many years incited violence with their hateful diatribes, and this includes radio and TV personalities and right-wing Republicans.  The entire  FOX  “News” channel, especially the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, have helped lay the foundation for violent acts by crazies like this guy, by constantly harping on that particular issue in hate filled speech, mentioning Dr Tiller by name, and dubbing him  ‘Dr. Tiller, the Baby Killer.’


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