01 June 2009

Courage

Dr George Tiller
1941-2009
Courageous doctor

The New York Times reports:

George Tiller, one of only a few doctors in the nation who performed abortions late in pregnancy, was shot to death here Sunday in the foyer of his longtime church as he handed out the church bulletin.

In 1973, following the Roe v. Wade decision, Dr Tiller began performing legal abortions. I presume that he did so moved by the knowledge of the horrific consequences suffered by countless women who turned to unsafe black market abortions when they were still illegal. He came to be one of only three doctors in the US with the courage to perform late-term abortions for women carrying fetuses with fatal birth defects threatening the mothers' health.

I say “courage” because for these efforts, his clinic was bombed in 1986, his clinic faced daily protests and frequent vandalism, he commonly received death threats, and he was repeatedly investigated by legal authorities bending to pressure from anti-abortion groups. Plus three other doctors, and four other abortion clinic workers, have been assassinated by anti-abortion terrorists since Roe. Plus he himself had already been shot once before, in 1993.

Now he's gone, murdered in a church. No doubt because he did his duty as a doctor to work to preserve women's lives and health.

I'll say some other things later; you can guess what's on my mind. In this post, I simply mourn the great loss.

2 comments:

roadriverrail said...

He died a human being.

Oh, but that anyone should have to die for their convictions as a doctor.

China said...

And now there is really only one left and the rate starts at $10k cash and the ability to book a quick flight to Colorado and back. That puts the procedure out of reach for way too many of the vulnerable women I work with. There is a growing movement to get a new, quiet group of trained practioners who are younger and who train others until we never have this kind of "last of their species" moment in such an unfriendly pro-choice environment again.