I’m sure everyone is well aware of the tragic killing of Dr. Tiller that happened this last Sunday. I’ve read so many eloquent articles already - which far surpass my ability - that I’m having a hard time deciding what I want to say.
But after reading Slate’s “Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?” I felt I had to say something.
First, that title is just atrocious. It’s obviously used for the sake of being sensational, but I find it completely irresponsible because it implies that the murder of Dr. Tiller is some how under debate as to being right or wrong.
Maybe in the minds of batshit crazy extremists and other anti-choice terrorists it’s under question, but to all decent, reasonable people this act is repugnant.
There is no question about it.
But while the title may be inappropriate enough, not following it with a hearty “NO” is just another way to propagate the idea that there is some validity in murdering a person as long as you feel they are doing something wrong. That sort of sentiment takes this article to a whole other level. It’s gone beyond being sensational and is now aiding in the flaming of anti-choice rhetoric.
Slate's William Saletan then goes on to vilify Dr. Tiller while appraising Scott Roeder, Tiller’s murderer, so he can try to claim they are on the same hypothetical level.
And allowing people to insinuate it, even if they do so through a heavy veil, is hurting this country.
Not to mention makes me sick.
We need to stand up and take back the abortion discussion. We've allowed these right wing anti-choice groups to label abortion as "baby killing" while too many women have stood idly by.
Abortion is the most common medical procedure (in regards to minor surgery) in this country. We need to raise the voices of the estimated 45 million women who have had abortions and make it clear that this behavior will not be accepted.
We have to do something.
I once thought I would have an abortion. When I got pregnant at 19 years old, after dating Ryan for only two months, struggling with three jobs, and having a hard time keeping a roommate, I thought my life had come to an end.
Instead of feeling elation at the news, I wept silent tears of shock when the nurse told me they couldn’t fill my birth control pills seeing as I was already pregnant. In my mind there was no way of handling the enormous responsibility of having a baby.
Since I was less then 49 days along, I could take medications that induce abortion and I made an appointment at the local Planned Parenthood. While sitting in the waiting room, and reading some of the possible side affects, I realized I didn’t want to have an abortion.
So I didn’t. And Holden Patrick Linn Stevens was born January 9th, 2006.
While I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, I realize the magnitude of what having a choice means. The fact that many women don’t have that same choice is disheartening.
Here are some links I recommend following if you’re interested:
1. One of my favorites so far is, "The Politics of "Murder"", from Huffington Post.
2. Another great one, "Who killed George Tiller?", talks about the continuing harassment and intimidation of abortion providers.
3. "A Long Journey to Peace" is a story from a woman who had a late term abortion from Dr. Tiller.
4. You wouldn’t believe how hard I cried while reading "My Late-Term Abortion." Read it.
5. You can read Dr. Tiller talking about his decision to provide abortions to women here. I thought it was really insightful.
6. Cristina Page wrote an alarming piece, The Murder of Dr. Tiller, a Foreshadowing, about the violence spike towards health care providers since President Obama's inauguration.
Sorry this post is so choppy and badly put together. I'm just so troubled by this sort of thinking I'm finding it hard to express myself.
And FYI Saletan: “Abortionist” isn’t even a real word. Dr. Tiller was a doctor. A doctor who helped women within the boundaries of the law.
And the world is a little darker without him.
So while I hope his family all the comfort they deserve, I am also sorry we failed them all these years. When we can’t even protect the people who help our society the most, I can’t help but feel that we’re failing all of us.