Remembering Dr. George Tiller
One year ago on May 31st, 2009, Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed while walking into church Sunday morning by extremist anti-abortion advocate Scott Roeder. Over 7 months later Roeder was convicted of murder and sentenced, but his crimes are not forgotten, and have not ended.
Tiller ran a clinic in Wichita, Kansas that was 1 of 3 in the U.S. to provide late term abortions (past 21 weeks) to women who were in great danger of losing their life (and/or the baby’s life) if they carried to full term. Having gone to medical school, Tiller had planned to become a dermatologist when his parents, sister, and brother-in-law were killed in an accident. After hearing of a woman who had died during an illegal abortion procedure, Tiller decided to carry on his father’s clinic which offered abortion and family-planning services for women.
Because of his career in saving women’s lives, Tiller became a target of many extreme pro-life and anti-choice groups. In 1963, his clinic was fire-bombed, and in 1993 he was shot 5 times by a member of an anti-abortion group. Despite this, Tiller continued his work, telling media he was needed by many people and wasn’t going to back down.
One year ago today, Scott Roeder, a member of Operation Rescue, shot Tiller in the eye at close range outside the doctor’s church. He was charged with murder, and given life without parole. As a result, Tiller’s family decided to close the clinic.
Because of this horrendous murder, women must now travel even farther to get a life-saving procedure. Because one man thought that he could decide what’s right and what’s wrong in God’s eyes, a family is without their father and husband. Is this a movement of the pro-life cause? No. This is the work of woman-haters, morality police, and murderers. Killing a person to get what you want doesn’t make you pro-life, it makes you a murderer.
Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, take a moment today to think about what has been lost in this conflict, and appreciate the rights you have to safely and freely believe what you want.
“The women in my father’s practice for whom he did abortions educated me and taught me that abortion is about women’s hopes, dreams, potential, the rest of their lives. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.” -Dr. George Tiller