Save the Fetus - Kill the Doctor

Dr. George Tiller, age 67, was shot and killed today IN HIS CHURCH in Wichita. Dr. Tiller performs late term abortions and his clinic was the site of many anti-abortion protesters over the years. He was shot in both arm in 1993 and recovered. His clinic has been severely vandalized with protesters cutting through the roof and inflicting water damage. He has been sued and harassed. Now he is dead.

Dr. Tiller's website states "Women and families are intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and ethically competent to struggle with complex health inssues--including abortion--and come to decisions that are appropriate for themselves".

Will someone please explain to me why it is wrong to abort a fetus but it is OK to kill someone in cold blood? Here are some hateful comments made by those who celebrate his murder:
"Don't ask God to have mercy on this man. His soul belongs in Hell", "Sorry but it's a little hard to work up a lot of sympathy for him. Maybe a few more babies will see the light of day now." "Payback is a bitch".

I'm really scratching my head over this one. I just don't get it at all.


aser said…
Kansas doctor George Tiller killed today!
WICHITA, Kansas - Media reports say that abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has been shot and killed at his Wichita church. Tiller has been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortion. His clinic has repeatedly been the site of protests for about two decades. He was acquitted in March of misdemeanor charges stemming from procedures he performed, but moments after the verdict the state’s medical board announced it was investigating allegations against him that are nearly identical to those the jury had rejected.
The video from the scene:Dr. George Tiller-video
ERP said…
This story INFURITATED me. I have a fiery post for tomorrow about it. I hope the perpetrator is keelhauled.
Kolla said…
Absolutely infuriating. Hard to see the good in any religion that inspires and compels it's followers to horrendous acts such as this one :(
CountryMidwife said…
What pisses me off (pardon) is that the ignoramuses think he's doing these late term abortions on women who are just _too lazy_ to get abortions in a timely manner. Let me tell you about a patient I'm caring for right now. Mom is caring a fetus that has multiple anomalies and is incompatible with life. One of them is hydrocephalus, meaning water on the brain. The head may become so big it is potentially impossible to deliver vaginally, and sometimes even difficult to deliver via c/section. Some of these moms need a J or T incision in the uterus, which puts future childbearing at extremely increased risk. This is a 20 year old Amish woman who will likely have 12 or more pregnancies. That type of surgery could well cost her her life in the future. THIS is the kind of client Dr. Tiller would provide termination services for. Women carrying babies with severe anomalies, women with new cancer diagnosises, women who are so sick with hypertension or cardiac disease that their life is in the balance... etc. The haters honestly don't have a clue how complex an issue it is.
Religions , the elixir of the masses .......Let the woman decide what she wants to do with her body . All those "fanatic's" that scream "You should not kill " do not mind sending our folks over to get killed and do the killing well as demanding the "death penalty"....bunch of ignorant idiots .
Toni Brayer MD said…
For all commenters: I am so glad you agree and are outraged. CountryMidwife: you really said it well. These are always such complex and sad cases and the parents agonize over the loss of the child.
Anonymous said…
"Will someone please explain to me why it is wrong to abort a fetus but it is OK to kill someone in cold blood?"

I am not in any way condoning what was done, but it seems to me that the above statement is a little obtuse. Opponents of abortion believe abortion is murder and that those who perform abortions are murderers. Murderers deserve to be punished. We might have arguments about capital punishment and vigilantism, but accepting that there are arguments that might be made in favor of capital punishment, and putting oneself in the position of someone who believes (rightly or wrongly) that the government is doing nothing to stop a serial murderer, I think it is pretty clear "why it is wrong to abort a fetus but it is OK to kill someone in cold blood?" in the eyes of those opposed to abortion.

Again, that doesn't excuse Dr. Tiller's murderers, nor do I condone their beliefs, but surely pretending that their motives are a complete mystery when they follow pretty easily from certain premises doesn't get us anywhere.
CountryMidwife said…
The error in your argument is that abortion is not murder: it is legal in our country. "Thinking" it's murder in your own value system does not make it so. It's like saying child abuse, to you, is perfectly acceptable because you want it to be.
I always wondered if all those loud mouth that want to save the fetus are ready to 'pony up" and pay for the raising of the child , education etc .... of course not . But in most cases the child will be raised in misery and most likely end up in jail .
Birth in itself is a sentence of death , the minute that you are born you start dying .I watch all those commercial about saving a child in some distant country for a few dollars a day ......its always in a far away places that those things happen . Its happening here and it is past time to wake up and take care of our own , save what is already born and walking around first.
Anonymous said…
I don't get why there is even any questionn that there is something trementously WRONG with killing a doctor who is providing a necessary procedure where it is leagal and in the US we women have freedom of choice as welll as Dr. Tiller using his freedom of choice to practice the kind of medicine that is legall to practice. It should absolutely NEVER have cost him his life, injuries or vandalisim, that is a crime. I agee with CountryMidWife pointing out what vallid medical reasons where it can very much be needed. There are also reasons such as teenage victims of incist or being a rape victim by strangers. Someone on the outside may not know the emotional impact of trauma faced coming to this decision that the doctor and other health care workers are told confidentilay. Sometimes it can be a choice of not letting two die. if the fetus will not surrive with a deformaty or illness and the mother's life can be saved, isn't it better to save one life then lose two, when the fetus won't live outside the womb anyway? These people who are so hateful are extremely way to much one sided. Where is the human respect for the life of the doctor and his family, not to mention the safety and sacredness there should be in any kind of church? I feel very sorry for his family.
Anonymous said…
@CountryMidwife: Whether or not abortion is murder isn't relevant to my charge that the statement "Will someone please explain to me why it is wrong to abort a fetus but it is OK to kill someone in cold blood?" is obtuse. Yes, you are right, abortion is not murder. But the statement above implies that people who (wrongly) believe that abortion is murder are hypocrites (because they ostensibly think it's ok to murder to murder abortion doctors). But while they may be many things (e.g. depraved) they aren't hypocrites because, as I argued, it's pretty easy to see how, if one holds their premises (which, again, are wrong, though that's not the point), the two beliefs are completely compatible.

And, to repeat myself, it seems pointless to me to deny this. Rather, making the claim that they're hypocrites seems to me to be about wanting to add that that ultimate execration--hypocrite!--on top of all the others that are deservedly heaped upon them.
ERP said…
Exactly CountryMidWife, abortion is NOT murder. People who chose to pervert the definition of the term "murder" abound and are limitless in their narrow-mindedness and ignorance. The cause? They are brainwashed, religious zealots, not that much different than the Taliban.
CountryMidwife said…
Anonymous: I continue to disagree. I think your explanation is indulging the delusion. I truly cannot understand how they think it's okay.
Jenn said…
I don't get it either. I do not support abortion...but I don't support murder either.

tracy said…
What Raymond said is similar to what i was thinking...but first off, p e r s o na l l y , i am against abortion, however i am for a woman's right to choose abortion, if that makes any sense...(ie, i-except i an extreme case- would not have one, but i think others should make their own decision....anyhow, i am too old to have another baby...).

i was remeinded of an episode of "Law and Order" where the Lieutenent(speaking of the extreme Right to Life Group's) says something like "They want to be there to make sure that baby is born, but where are they afterwards...?"

i think it is very sad and pathetic these so called "Right to Lifers" think it is just fine to kill for their cause...makes me very angry..and sick!
Rich said…
We had our own abortion clinic rampage murder here in Boston Back in 1994. It's a strong issue with some people and one that is tearing at the very heart of this country.
Anonymous said…

I'm from across the pond and I'm following this story with interest. I think the problem with the abortion debate is that those of us who are against abortion are completely dismissed in the debate as having nothing worthwhile to say and when nutters like the one that shot Dr Tiller pop their heads up, we are tarred with that brush. Most pro-lifers, at least in this country, are anti capital punishment, anti nuclear weapons and anti racist. We also do support those who choose to go through with a pregnancy; the Innocents have done that for as long as I can remember and Cardinal Winning from Scotland set up his own charity for single mums which is now flourishing.

We do understand that abortion is not simple. We do understand that poverty is a big factor in choosing abortion, as is disability. Can we extend that debate and ask why society does not provide for these people? Why do we always go for abortion? Because we're too mean to pay taxes to support children?

This debate is going to hot up in Europe in the next ten to twenty years as the birth rate drops, and in America as well and even those who are pro abortion are going to have to re-consider. Without children, we do not have a workforce, taxpayers or a future and regardless of the morals of abortion, we always have to deal with the consequences. We need to have that discussion now. Those of us who are anti-abortion can contribute to that debate, and we don't have horns on our heads. Please engage with us.
Toni Brayer MD said…
Anon #10:26. Thank you for your very thoughtful comments and yes, we should be able to engage. What country are you from?
Anonymous said…
Hi Toni,

I'm anon at 10.26. Thanks for your invitation. I don't want to say where I'm from except that obviously I'm from the UK and that I'm a medi-blogger myself, but I do want to continue the conversation.

Here in the UK, pro-lifers vary round the British Isles. In Scotland and Ireland, pro-lifers tend to follow left wing politics while maintaining what are conventionally in America, right wing ethics. So a pro-lifer will tend to vote Labour and be against things like capital punishment and nuclear weapons; but at the same time be against abortion. In Northern Ireland abortion has a more political connotation. Because Catholics and Protestants are both trying to gain the advantage in numbers in NI, abortion is frowned on by both communities. It is condemned for political reasons rather than moral ones.
In England, things are different again. There is a Parliamentary Pro Life Committee which has a large number of Conservatives in it, but it also has major figureheads like Jim Dobbin, who is a Catholic and a Labour MP. But pro-lifers here do not harass, condemn or kill. It is very frosty towards extreme parties like the BNP, because they are in favour of abortion on eugenical grounds and because they are racist. In their recent newsletter, they specifically said that no pro-lifer should vote BNP for those reasons.

Anyway, this is a very long way of asking you what the profile of the average pro-lifer is in America, Toni. I get the impression that it's a pretty broad church and reading between the lines, the group that killed Dr Tiller are probably right wing and white supremist-or am I just totally off the ball here? I'd be interested to know.
Toni Brayer MD said…
Hello Anon 10:26: Thanks, it does sound like very different politics over this issue across the Atlantic. In the U.S. it is very much a Christian religious issue,and the far right wing seems to be the most radical about pro-life with protests and blocking clinics. Although the churches have publicly condemned the murder Dr. Tiller, at the same time they harassed him for years and the blogs are full of hate that says he deserved it and was the devil, etc. etc. That said, there are many spiritual and religious people that would never have an abortion, but they support the law and a woman's ultimate right to choose for herself. I would say the country is divided on this issue but you hear the most from the radical right...and isn't that how it is everywhere? The extremests are most vocal. Most moderates don't try to impose their religious or moral beliefs on anyone else and they stay quiet so we don't hear much from them.
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