"Pro-Lifer" Murders Doctor

A "pro-lifer" murders Dr. George Tiller.

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“Pro-Lifer” Murders Doctor

Abortion provider Dr. George Tiller is gunned down in church

-Judy McGuire

Dr. George TillerDr. George Tiller faced nearly daily death threats, had to hire a bodyguard, rode around in an armored car, and was called “Tiller the Baby Killer” by Bill O’Reilly. Today he is dead. Murdered during a church service, by a man who claims he is “pro-life.” The grim irony of that claim should not be lost on any of us. The alleged murderer, Scott Roeder, is a middle-aged man who, according to the Washington Post, “is known in anti-abortion circles as a man who believes that killing an abortion doctor is justifiable.”

Tiller has long been a favorite target of the anti-choice movement because he is one of the few doctors in the country that performed late-term abortions. Far from being the whimsical choice of a woman who’s suddenly decided at eight months that she no longer wants to be fat, these abortions are generally performed on women whose pregnancies put them at risk for death or who are carrying fetuses that have been diagnosed with crippling disease or deformity. To have an abortion so late in the game is a highly personal choice that nobody could make easily.

One former patient’s husband wrote a moving account of their dealings with Dr. Tiller after the fetus his wife was carrying was diagnosed with a severe defect “incompatible with life” at 21 weeks (too late to terminate a pregnancy in many states). He shared some of their memories on Metafilter:

I remember he spent over six hours in one-on-one care with my wife when there was concern she had an infection. We’re talking about a physician here. Six hours.

I remember being puzzled about a T-shirt he was wearing, which said “Happy Birthday Jennifer from team Tiller!” or something similar. Turns out it commemorated the birthday of a fifteen-year-old girl who was raped, became pregnant, and came to Tiller for an abortion. As luck would have it, she was in the clinic the same week as her birthday. So the clinic threw her a party.

The walls of the clinic reception and waiting room are literally covered with letters from patients thanking him. Some were heartbreaking – obviously young and/or poorly educated people thanking Dr. Tiller for being there when they had no other options, explaining their family, church etc. had abandoned them.

His murder on Sunday wasn’t Tiller’s first brush with violence. In 1993, the doctor was shot in both arms by a woman named Shelley Shannon. He went back to work the very next day. Anti-choice zealots, Operation Rescue, have been quick to distance themselves from Tiller’s murder, but up until he was killed they had a stalking page on their Web site called “Tiller-Watch,” which they immediately pulled.

Dr. Warren Hern, a Colorado physician who is probably the only other doctor in the country – if not the world – who performs these late-term abortions, is understandably incensed. He told the Colorado Independent, “I’m profoundly sad and I’m furious and I think the American people need to understand that we have a fascist movement in this country. We don’t have to invade Iraq to find terrorists. They’re right here killing abortion doctors.”

Vigils are being held in honor of Dr. Tiller around the nation this evening.

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0 thoughts on “"Pro-Lifer" Murders Doctor

  1. Absolutely sickening. These are indeed right wing Christian Fundamentalists — just as bad as Muslim Fundamentalist terrorists. There’s no difference. And — the real irony here — both factions are a disgrace to their own religions.

  2. I agree, there is NO difference. This tragedy is precisely why I can’t stand religion. “Love thy neighbor?” yeah right, more like “love thy neighbor UNLESS A) B) C)…” (such as they’re homosexual, pro-choice etc.) Christianity is supposed to be about love and compassion, what happened?

  3. I’m still so sad and furious. Having lost a child to a birth defect that was incompatible with life, and knowing many others, including a woman whose baby had died in utero, and she couldn’t get anyone to remove it for more than two weeks. She went into septic shock, because no one would perform a late term abortion on a dead fetus.

    Goddamnit, and they killed him on my birthday.

    They need to read their own handbook: MURDER is ILLEGAL.

  4. The rage in me says his murderer should be tared and feathered and dragged by the ankle behind a pickup truck down gravel roads.

    I also do not appreciate what zealots do for the rest of people of a particular religion.

    Free speech is one thing, Murder is illegal.

    It is a sad thing and a sad day.

  5. so let me start by saying that I absolutely think what happened is inexcusable, horrific and should be punishable to the full extent of the law! I would also put myself in the pro-choice camp.

    BUT there is a part of me that understands (again, i do NOT agree with) someone who believes that the lives of millions of innocent children are being taken, would think that killing one man is the lesser of the evils. If you truly in your heart believe that that murders are being committed, i can see the train of thought that would lead someone feeling so strongly that they need to stop them at any cost, to not stand by and let babies be murdered.

  6. Talon–I’m sorry that you can’t see how abortion is murder just as killing this doctor was. I can’t possibly understand how a parent with a baby who will have a birth defect feels and I can see how a late-term abortion would be necessary for the mother’s health in the case of a dead fetus, so maybe there are some exceptions to the late-term abortions but mostly, no, it’s murder and to say that someone performing an abortion procedure is not breaking a commandment is just truly dillusional–do you think that God doesn’t consider all the abortions that go on in this country murder of innocent lives?

    A dead fetus needing to be removed from a mother’s body for her health is one of the only understandable circumstances for this horrendous procedure–the baby is already dead so it’s not being murdered, and it’s being removed to protect the health of the mother…terrible any woman should have to go through this but understandable, as unfortunate as it is, that is medically necessary in that situation, but outside of that, it is breaking God’s commandment, thou shalt not kill/murder.

  7. So, thluvs2sing – you believe the man who killed Mr. Tiller is justified? Hmmmmmm. If you do your research, the Bible was translated from ancient Hebrew (old testament) and then from Greek (new testament)and it was written and translated by, oh my goodness, MEN!!!! The commandment “thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), is better understood to mean “you shall not murder.” Most modern translations of the Bible render it this way. According to the Bible not all killing, the taking of a life, is murder. Murder is the unlawfully taking of human life. What Dr. Tiller was doing was not unlawful — however, what Mr. Roeder did was. The Bible also says, Matthew 7:1-3 – Do not judge, or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” It is not for you or Scott Roeder to decide. Each person will meet the maker him or herself and face the consequences for his/her actions. So many Christians I know do not do enough research on the book they believe to be the outright word of God. Mr. Scott Roeder was obviously a self-righteous idiot who was chose to try and turn his attention away from his own sins by judging another. I suppose the next thing you are going to tell me is that God himself told Scott Roeder to kill Dr. Tiller. I tell ya, the Christian image just gets better and better. The way to salvation is love, not hate. Maybe more Christians should practice that!!!!

  8. I wish everyone, especially news media, would stop referring to these zealots as “pro life.” The horrendous murder noted above exemplifies the double standard by which they operate. These right-wing crazies oppose any sort of restriction on guns, support the continuation of the senseless wars we’ve embarked upon, and advocate the continued use of the death penalty. Pro Life??? Give me a break. We need a moniker for this group that accurately describes what they stand for, which certainly is NOT life.

  9. The murder of Dr. Tiller is indeed a tragedy. Another tragedy is the 60,000 human lives that Dr. Tiller killed through abortion. This is not a made-up number but rather a matter of record. Even more tragic is that most of his abortions were elective and not driven at all by imminent death or injury to the mother. These were human beings who would have been perfectly viable outside of the womb. Killing another human life is always wrong, except in instances where you are defending yourself. So, we have 60,001 deaths here. Instead of everyone playing politics with this tragedy, we should take steps to stop the killing.

  10. Hmmm, while I disagree with murdering a doctor who performs abortions I am a Christian and I am against abortions. I was a teen pregnancy statistic and I did very well in life for my children. My take is this, if you don’t want to get pregnant, use protection. Abortion should not be birth control. However, in cases of rape, and medical issues (be it the mothers or the child) that is something that needs to be decided by the couple and their doctor. So, in terms of “Should anyone at anytime and for any reason be permitted to murder the life they created” I would say NO. We do not live in a time of ignorance where 14 year olds don’t know how to get free condoms. Heck kids now know more about protection and how to get it than they do about Algebra. A woman in any city or on any back country road has access to family planning and pregnancy prevention. However, when medical complications, sever mental illness, or rape are involved, the parents need the option. Obviously, that would eliminate the need for abortion clinics, as reputable doctors in hospitals would be performing the procedure. You make the choice when you spread your legs. After that, it’s a life.

  11. this story is not present in the news enough, and it needs to be. what a devastating act of violence… more doctors need to be strong and stand up for what they believe in and take more acts to provide clinical services to those women in need who have been abandoned

  12. I do not agree with killer the abortionist doctor. but he has killed thousands of unborn babies because women have the right to choose. You chose when you layed down and had unprotected sex. Women murder everyday when they take a childs life. Come on people, we must stop killing children born or unborn they are still babies. God is not pleased with this right of choice. Let us as women make right decisions before having sex and we can end abortion all together.

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