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He risked his life for the sake of others; he died for no reason at all. 
1st-Jun-2009 01:44 pm

Yesterday morning, just after 10am local time, Dr George Tiller, a provider of abortions, was shot dead as he walked into his church. I promptly gave the story some space, as I find it better for me to approach news when I can come past anger at an act of terrorism to mourning the death of a man who did a great thing for women he needed it in a very dangerous environment. I read today that Dr.Tiller wore a bulletproof vest to work; he must have thought his church was a safe place.

I'm pro-choice; we know this and I don't need to launch into an anti-terrorism rant here to make any sort of point effectively. So instead I'm going to mostly linkspam and quote here to highlight why I think the work he did was so important.

The quotes and links I provide here are likely to be triggering; that's partly the point.

liz_marcs gives a must-read post on how she came from a Catholic upbringing to a pro-choice view point.

George Tiller was one of the very few doctors in the USA providing late term abortions, which as far as I'm aware are completely illegal over here. In the States, the safest procedure for this has been illegal for two years, following a very successful misinformation campaign by the anti-choice movement.

Late-term abortions are not performed 'as a means of contraception'. Women who have genuinely unwanted pregnancies tend not to wait that long before making the choice. Late term abortions are far more likely to be actual medical procedures following discovery and diagnosis of serious health problems for the mother or the baby. But they're the procedures that are easiest to target in the fight against choice.

JR at Feministe:

I looked at the woman as she cried about the baby she wanted so badly, & looked in horror at the films showing the cancer eating the child alive. The pain this child must be in & the cries of the parents as they don’t want to let go. Then I hear Dr. Tiller say…”You are so amazing…all the pain your baby is in & you are going to selflessly take that away. You are being strong for him. You are giving him peace he will never know.” 2 days later I cleaned & dressed that little boy before the parents viewed him. The ghastly tumor that had grown through his chest & out his spine a horrific parasite, & a stark reminder of the life he could never have. I watched this little angle at peace & I cried. For all of them. And I felt blessed to be a part of such a wonderful man, who could look in the face of utter hopelessness, & give them comfort. That child was taken home & lovingly laid to rest. That day is how I will remember Dr. Tiller. May his family find the peace he gave so openly.
The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion: When the anti-choice choose.

iworktodeath commenting in ontd_political:
I know about one woman whose baby was going to be born without a face and they didn't know until late in the pregnancy. The baby was going to die upon birth. No one would give her an abortion until she went to the clinic.
He was a hero. He gave abortions to women who had no where else to turn.

I'm choking up a little because I had to have an abortion because of health reasons. My normal doctors wouldn't help me, they kept on telling me that I could do the pregnancy and wouldn't suggest the option even though I really thought I had no choice. My blood pressure was up up 90 points. I was daily bleeding and hemmoraging. One day I woke up with blood all over my pillow because I had bled out of my head in my sleep. This was only at 9 weeks and it was getting worse with ER trips every week. My very very pro-life mother was the one who sat me down and said "when are you going to save your life?". I had to drive to the end of the state to get one and there were protesters outside. It had been and sometimes continues to be hell.
Why I am an Abortion Doctor by Garson Romalis

My Late Term Abortion by Gretchen Voss

Dr. Tiller provided a much needed service for women in an environment and atmosphere in which it was dangerous to do so; he gave his life to save lives.

Where to go from Here
Feministing has a post up for anyone who wishes to act in George Tiller's memory, including planned vigils and ideas for donation.
1st-Jun-2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, God. I hate this shit. I hate these freaking murderers who don't know crap about what they're murdering about. Mostly, I hate the people who support them, who will never be punished for their hate simply because they never acted on it, but spread poison and misinformation anyway. Someone trolled Ami's blog, basically saying "STFU grieving family, he was a murderer." It makes me sick.
1st-Jun-2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Disgusting of course. Being pro-life and murdering someone is really, really insane.

One thing - JR's quote about the cancer - do foetuses feel pain? I didn't know that.
1st-Jun-2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
It doesn't say how old the foetus was, and I neither have facts to hand nor am I going to dig them out.

But I see no reason why a foetus of sufficent development wouldn't be able to feel pain; neonates can after all, and pain reaction is one of the very basic drives in an animal's brain, so I bet it appears pretty early in development.
(Deleted comment)
1st-Jun-2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
I could respect the pro-life position if that was the stance that the majority of them took. Instead I all I see is the "all abortion bad" message, but nothing about providing any care for the family after they've convinced the mother to keep the baby. I wouldn't be at all surprised if many of them viewed an American version of the NHS, however watered down as "Socialist" and something to be avoided at all costs.
(Deleted comment)
1st-Jun-2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Don't get me started on the "abstinence only" crap.
2nd-Jun-2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
I don't think saying abortion is bad is helpful. People have abortions for different reasons and assigning morality to different cases just makes the fundies think they've taken a mile.
(Deleted comment)
1st-Jun-2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Very good roundup, thank you.
1st-Jun-2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
In the words of my dad's old Amstrad CCPC6128...

10 PRINT "I despise the people who do this."
20 PRINT "I'd say more, but it wouldn't make any difference."
30 PRINT "Go figure..."
50 GOTO 10
60 END
2nd-Jun-2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for this, forwarding it to my dad who completely believes O'Reilly's craziness and that Dr. Tiller was a murderer who'd gleefully abort an 8-month fetus for a fistful of dollars.
9th-Jun-2009 12:30 am (UTC) - The world is nutty (had an edit :)
The hospital in my hometown provides abortions - At least I think they do, judging from the picketers walking back and forth on occation. I think after hearing about the tragic murder of Dr. Tiller I'll finally have the courage to approach them and ask that question that has been bugging me for years...

"If you are anti-abortion then that means EVERYONE here has adopted once or twice, right? On that note would you adopt a child that is screaming in pain from some unfortunate birth defect that cannot be operated on?

ANTI-abortion...fine, IF you provide positive options for the Mother, recognize an unborn child in distress, and stop suggesting birth control after the fact.
Providing a bullet for the Doctors that try to help...THAT is wrong, among other negative words that don't need to be written on Innerbrat's LiveJournal.

R.I.P Dr. George Tiller.
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