Sick at Heart

I am grieving today for a man I’ve never met.  Until this day, I was only vaguely aware of him.  Who is this man?  Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who performed late-term abortions.  He was one of only three doctors in the country to handle such abortions.  Read the section called Jesus’s Jihadis.  And today, he was shot and killed in his house of worship as he was doing his ushering duties.  Read here, here, here, and here for a little more background.  In the first link, read the section called George Tiller Assassinated. In the last link, there are links to the Freepers, the loony rightwingnutters who read freerepublic online.  I am not linking to them.  You can get there from the last link I gave you.  There replies are repulsive, disgusting, and devoid of any humanity.

Dr. Tiller was shot in the nineties, and he continued to do his work.  Late-term abortion?  That’s the particularly grotesque kind, right?  Uh, not exactly.  Dr. Tiller treated women whose lives were in danger if they continued their pregnancies, who found out that they were further along than they thought they were, and women who were pregnant because of rape and couldn’t get help in time.

First, let me emphasize that his practice was legal.  Second, his community has tried to get him indicted on performing illegal abortions before and has failed.  Third, Bill O’Reilly focused on Dr. Tiller as did Operation Rescue in their war for forced pregnancies.  Operation Rescue considered Wichita to be some kind of ground zero for their cause.

The right is already spin, spin, spinning.  They are bleating that it would be such a shame if anybody on the left used this as a political weapon–which is exactly what the rightwing shills are doing.  They are going on the offensive as they like to do, but will it work?

I am afraid, yes, it will.  See, Dr. Tiller is already being called an abortion doctor, as if that’s the sole purpose of his practice.  Many of the rightwingnutters don’t even bother to try to understand what exactly Dr. Tiller did.  It didn’t matter.  In that way, he was the symbol of everything they hated, loathed, and feared.

I am trying not to devolve into a rant against misogynist rightwingers who want to control women’s sexualities and bodies, but it’s very hard for me not to go there.  I am tired of this shit.  I really am.  I will post more later, maybe.  For now, I’m just going to grieve.

This shit needs to stop.

P.S.   I just donated to Planned Parenthood.  You can, too.

8 Responses to Sick at Heart

  1. I grieve with you Minna …. the part of the argument that justifies murder (illegal) by equating it with abortion (legal) never ceases to amaze me! Women the world over have lost a caring and understanding advocate.

  2. I lived in Wichita during the 1991 anti abortion protests against Tiller’s clinic…it was horrific….women who needed abortions had to cover their heads with blankets and be escorted from their cars into the clinic by marshalls. To this day the protesters line up along the sidewalk outside of the clinic hurling insults at the women as they drive into the parking lot (many of these women have severely deformed fetuses and are already grieving for the child that cannot be)
    Dr. Tiller was compassionate and caring.
    The man arrested for the murder of Dr. Tiller is Scott Roeder, a member of Operation Rescue which is run by Randall Terry. Operation Rescue has shut down their website today (probably because it does show that Scott Roeder was an active member of their group)…here is a quote made by Scott Roeder on the Operation Rescue website back in May of 2007:
    Scott Roeder says:
    May 19th, 2007 @ 4:34 pm
    Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp. Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders, and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.
    Guess he couldn’t organize anyone, so took it upon himself to go to Tiller’s church and kill him. Really sad.
    I know that Randall Terry is scrambling like crazy to distance himself from this man, but he can’t.
    Religious zealots who want to keep women barefoot and pregnant!
    To top it off….Bill O’Reilly supports Operation Rescue!
    Personally, I’m so angry I can’t see straight! (and so sad..sending loving energy to Dr. Tiller’s wife, 4 children, and 10 grandchildren.)


  3. snowhawk, thank you for your personal story about the anti-abortion activities in Wichita and for commenting on my blog. It’s doesn’t shock me, but it saddens me how little regard the people of Operation Rescue and such places have for living people, as opposed to fetuses. Randall Terry, sadly, is still using this as a platform to spout his hate. I am more sad than angry right now, but I have a hunch the anger will bubble up. I thought we were past this particular brand of violence, but I suppose I should have expected it. The rightwingers come out in full bloom during a Democratic presidency.

  4. This is truly domestic terrorism. Plain and simple. Dr. Tiller was a courageous human being, and it deeply saddens me as well to hear of this. These groups have attacked and murdered doctors before. And unless Americans stand up to these extremists, they will continue to commit these acts of terror.

  5. No kidding, Julie. One of the aims is to make other caregivers afraid to provide abortions. I don’t know for sure, but I am willing to bet the guy (and it will be a guy) who did it is a white male anti-abortion Christian. Pro-life, my ass.

  6. You say “Many of the rightwingnutters don’t even bother to try to understand what exactly Dr. Tiller did.”

    Trying to understand anything they have formed opinions for or against is just not their way. If they ever sat down and tried to understand or reason through any of their ideology (for example, sanctioning murder in the name of pro-life) then they would fall apart, have nothing left. They are blind, they are bigoted, they are often full of hate for anyone not exactly like them. I am constantly horrified by the stupidity, hate, selfishness of other people. How, in such an enlightened world, can so many be so unenlightened?

    Strength be with you. Wonderful to have donated to Planned Parenthood. Your next step is to go into politics.

  7. Jamie, you nailed it right on the head. Despite how assured I sound on these issues, I have thought long and hard about them. You are right, though, that if all you have is one set of beliefs, you’re not likely to change them any time soon. It’s the difference between folk religion and true spirituality, too.

    Me in politics? It would have to be behind-the-scenes as I am not a viable candidate.