willendorf5761 (willendorf5761) wrote,

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RIP Dr. Tiller

Yesterday Dr. George Tiller was murdered outside his church in Wichita, KS.  Dr. Tiller was one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions.  As a result, his clinic has been bombed;  his home, office, and church were picketed;  he was shot and wounded in 1993;  anti-abortion groups have searched relentlessly for evidence that could be used to prosecute him; and he actually has been prosecuted (he was acquitted after 45 minutes of deliberations in March).

I am pro-choice, and late-term abortions give me the creeps.  I think they probably give most people the creeps.  A late-term abortion isn't about a zygote -- it's about a baby.  Fingers, toes, kicking, all that jazz.  Um, couldn't you have got around to having this abortion just a little sooner, lady?  What's your problem?

I went searching on the web for information about late-term abortion that came from someone outside the anti-choice movement.  I found this article, which made me cry and helped me feel some empathy for women who choose late-term abortion.  A lot of necessary medical procedures are gruesome.  Sometimes this procedure is necessary.  And someone has to be able to provide it, safely and with compassion. 

I don't know much about Dr. Tiller, but I think he was a drum major for justice.  I can't imagine anything other than moral principle that would motivate someone to put up with all that persecution, all that danger.  There's a reason very few doctors will do this procedure -- they aren't interested in being harassed, or picketed, or shot.  I can't blame them. 

Thank you, Dr. Tiller.  I hope other doctors will take up your difficult, important work -- but I won't be surprised or critical if they don't.

ETA:  Feministe has collected some patients' memories of  Dr. Tiller and how he helped them.
Tags: the ladies
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