Abortion Provider Dr. Tiller Shot Dead at Wichita Church

Oh my fucking god.  I just learned via Matttbastard on Twitter that Dr. George Tiller was shot dead as he was walking into his Sunday morning church services.

Dr. Tiller was one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country.  He had previously been shot, his clinic burnt down, harassed by ideological anti-abortion attorney generals, and threatened with death countless times.  We’ve written about his many trials and tribulations here numerous times. Still, Dr. Tiller continued to provide abortions to women who desperately needed them, to save their own lives or health, or due to tragic fetal deformities.  He put the health of women above his own life.

And now he is dead.

There is no word on whether or not there is a suspect in custody as of yet.  I’ll update as soon as I know.  I’ve only just heard.  And I’m in total shock.  This is the first time an abortion provider has been murdered in over a decade.  I have friends who work in abortion clinics.  This is terrorism.  And right now, I just don’t have the words.

UPDATE: It looks like a suspect is not in custody.  Those in Wichita area please check out the details and contact police if you see anything:

Police were looking for a blue Ford Taurus with a K-State vanity plate, license number 225 BAB. Police described him as a white male in his 50’s or 60’s, 6’1,” 220 lbs, wearing a white shirt and dark pants.

UPDATE 2: The suspect is in custody, though he has not yet been named.  Dr. Tiller’s family has also released a statement.

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121 comments for “Abortion Provider Dr. Tiller Shot Dead at Wichita Church

  1. May 31, 2009 at 11:49 am

    This is so heartbreaking. I can never understand how someone can be “pro-life” but not in the case of other adults. If they think abortion is murder, then why would they think MURDER by shooting a grown man is okay?

  2. May 31, 2009 at 11:50 am


    I’ve heard about the harassment and assaults on Dr. Tiller for years now.

    They finally finished the fucking job. How noble.

  3. May 31, 2009 at 11:55 am

    My sympathies go out to his family. You are quite right to refer to this as a terrorist act. I further feel it is necessary to point out the complete hypocrisy of this action. If these people believe in life so strongly how can they possibly justify ending one so violently. The true murderer is the person who pulled the trigger.

  4. May 31, 2009 at 11:55 am

    i am crying and shaking with rage right now. don’t know what else to say at the moment.

  5. May 31, 2009 at 11:59 am

    this is heartbreaking. absolutely heartbreaking. my thoughts of peace go out to his family and those who cared about him.

    i have other kinds of thoughts for those who murdered him in cold blood and those who will celebrate this.

  6. May 31, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t even know what to say. May his memory be a blessing.

  7. May 31, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve just updated the post with the information about the suspect, who seemingly is not in custody.

    I’m seriously just in shock. I’m not even angry yet. I just can’t believe it. I just can’t.

  8. May 31, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Aw, look, the larger pro-forced pregnancy crowd is already trying to wash their hands of this one.

    While their sidebar calls Tiller a “doctor of death,” no less.

    Screen-caps, everybody!

  9. umami
    May 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Dr Tiller was a hero to keep on doing what he was doing in the face of all that. A real hero, because he wasn’t even getting respect and admiration for it. My heart’s going out to his family now.

  10. May 31, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    It’s one of those moments when you realize, they’ve been attacking him for how many years now but he always survived and pushed on, and you just always thought he always would. And then you realize, the people who do this, they saw unfinished work, someone who needed to be taken out but they never quite got him all the way.

    Now they did. And it makes you realize: they still see more work to do.

    It’s just fucking terrifying.

  11. May 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I’m beside myself with fury and grief. A gentle and good man doing bravely what was so needed and what so few would do, in the very heart of the bible belt.

    I want to shout at the murdering bastards and those who support the killing: I AM GEORGE TILLER. Shoot me, shoot us all, you, the cruel and the cowardly.

  12. May 31, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    It’s one of those moments when you realize, they’ve been attacking him for how many years now but he always survived and pushed on, and you just always thought he always would.

    Yes. Yes, this nails it exactly. I just thought that he would be okay. If he made it through being shot, and the clinic bombings of the 90s, and he’s still here now . . . I just thought he was going to be okay.

    And yes, it is terrifying.

  13. May 31, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    These people have a terminator mentality. I can just see the dull, red glow in their eyes.

  14. May 31, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I seriously want to throw up. I thought we were done with the killing. I thought…

    I don’t know.

  15. May 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I, too, am just in shock. Like others, I simply thought the doctor would be okay forever. How horrible. Dr. Tiller was a hero. I will never forget the handwritten thank-you note he sent me when I donated $50 to his clinic. He said he’d been having a rough few days because someone had just smashed one of his windows. My god. I just can’t believe this.

  16. Ignotus
    May 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    RIP. Fuck domestic terrorism. Maybe now that we have a president who isn’t secretly happy when this sort of thing happens, it will galvanize some changes?

  17. May 31, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    One thing I’d suggest as someone who also works at a clinic: for anyone local, while the lines will undoubtedly be busy at Women’s Health Services tomorrow, calling in to see if they need any volunteers right now is probably helpful.

    Staff will obviously be scared, as will clients. I don’t know how this clinic will handle scheduled procedures, but they probably will try and fly another provider in. If they do stay open, I’m guess they could use extra escorts, anyone with any counseling experience, the works.

    (Problem-solver mode is how I deal. It’s easier than words right now, easier than my hot anger and overwhelming sadness. If I open the floodgates to say anything else yet, I highly doubt it will be productive.)

  18. May 31, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I am not surprised, but I am in shock. How awful. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

  19. Jen
    May 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Like a lot of people I really thought Dr. Tiller was invincible. After everything he’d been through, and just kept going. He just kept helping women. The world has lost a hero.

  20. Marni
    May 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I’m super pissed. Let’s just say it’s a good thing it’s not likely I’ll run into anyone yelling aobut “dead babies” and “love” today. (though after seeing Heather’s comment, I’d like to get back out on the front lines, summer vacation be damned)

    You also mentioned it’d been, what, a decade? Since an abortion provider got shot and killed. I just got a little sick that more people are calling themselves “pro-life” now.

    And I absolutely agree, this is terrorism (though, i would argue yelling at women getting MEDICAL treatment is also pretty high up on the morally reprehensible list. I digress)

    I just remember reading about Dr. Tiller at various points and thinking the fact that he was actually out there made him a saint. These people are just so important and anyone who’s out there literally putting their life on the line and even for someone like me that hasn’t had to face the prospect of abortion, well it made me sleep easier at night. I can’t imagine what it means for women who have actually benefitted from Dr. Tiller.

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  22. May 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I swear, my hair is standing on end after hearing this news. May Dr. Tiller’s memory inspire today’s abortion providers and rights advocates; may he be held up as the hero he was.

    The kind of courage he had is really awe-inspiring. I pray I might raise myself up to something of that standard.

  23. May 31, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    like heather @18, i also go into productive problem solving mode. one fitting tribute i sam mentioned (by ann friedman at tapped, i believe) would be a donation to medical students for choice in dr. tiller’s name. their website: http://www.ms4c.org/.

  24. May 31, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I’m floored. Not surprised. Not surprised in the slightest. I’m fighting back tears. Fucking murdering…just fuck fuck fuck.

  25. Bitter Scribe
    May 31, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    This is why inflammatory, incendiary rhetoric about abortion, by people who want to distract from their own shortcomings and malices, is unacceptable. You use enough vicious, abusive language about someone and before you know it, some loser becomes intoxicated with all the violent rhetoric and goes over the edge.

  26. Lisa
    May 31, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Everyone above said it well.

    Why oh why didn’t he have security guards? He had already been shot once! Why wasn’t he protected by local police or federal agents?????

  27. UnFit
    May 31, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Ugh, this is sickening. May he rest in peace.
    I agree with Bitter Scribe, it’s a straight line from fanatic pro-life rhethoric to atrocities like this.

    Though boy, the asshole wo did this must be pretty far gone to be able to justify this to himself.

  28. May 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    My condolences go out to his family, friends, and loved ones. He put his life on the line to help women.

  29. CartoonCoyote
    May 31, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    “We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down,” anti-abortion group Operation Rescue said in a statement on its Web site. “Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller’s family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

    Yeah–I’m sooo fucking sure that you’re shocked.

    Does Kansas have the death penalty, and if so does it have a Repub. governor who’ll allow the murdering piece of shit to call a fucking press conference before they carry it out?

  30. Allyson
    May 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I’m so saddened. And furious.

    I want to shout at the murdering bastards and those who support the killing: I AM GEORGE TILLER. Shoot me, shoot us all, you, the cruel and the cowardly.


    I’m not a doctor, but I do volunteer for an organization that helps low-income women get financial assistance for abortions. And I just want to scream at anyone who would like to end my life to just go ahead and fucking try.

    Thing is, for whatever reason, I’m not scared. Probably because my volunteer work is largely “invisible.” (I work over the phone). But I make no secret about my volunteer work and what I do. I’m open about it. So certainly that might make me an enemy or two. But I don’t care. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m not going to be afraid.

  31. May 31, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I just did a blog post on Operation Rescue this week, a compilation of ridiculous things said by commenters on the site. Those things aren’t so amusing right now. The group has denounced Dr. Tiller’s murder, but they still have up their “Doctor of Death” banner with his photo on it along with flames. Yeah, I’m sure they’re real sad that all of their hard work finally paid off.

    As soon as I get money in the bank tomorrow, I’m donating to Medical Student for Choice. I owe it to Dr. Tiller and the women he has helped and would have helped to turn my tears and anger into action.

  32. jules
    May 31, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    This news sent me into tears this morning. I don’t even know what to say, other than I hope the police find the bastard before he puts a bullet in his own brain. I am horrified. And in his CHURCH, of all places. Fucking bastards.

    I just wanted to post a comment to thank abby jean for the recommendation…I just donated to Medical Students for Choice in memory of Dr. Tiller. Now I don’t feel so helpless, I feel like I did a little something. So thanks for that…

  33. JR
    May 31, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    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.

  34. May 31, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    this certainly is terrorism.

    i have no words…

  35. misskate7511
    May 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    God. I’m, too, am not surprised, but I’m still in shock. Dr. George Tiller was a hero, selflessly putting himself in danger to help others and save lives. I only hope someone will try to carry on his brave work.

    One last thing: that monster killed Dr. Tiller on the way into church, for fuck’s sake. I wouldn’t be any happier if this happened elsewhere, but shit. Within the mindset of the faithful, God’s house is sacred ground, and is santuary. Does these people’s hypocrisy have NO END?

  36. May 31, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    It appears that there is no a suspect in custody.

  37. May 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    There’s been an arrest. Police press conference coming in the next few minutes.

  38. May 31, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I just realized that the press conference is scheduled for 4 pm Kansas time, which means it’s an hour from now.

  39. Lisa A.
    May 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I am absolutely sick about this.

    R.I.P Dr. Tiller. He deserves is for all the courageous work he’s done over the years. And my sincerest condolences to his family.

    I’m praying that someone else steps up to Dr. Tiller’s job. Because if no one does, the monster who murdered him will not only be responsible for the death of Dr. Tiller, but the women who needed late term abortions to save their lives.

    I hope the killer tried for terrorism and spends the rest of his life rotting in prison. Execution is too good for him because it would put an end to his suffering.

  40. Alison
    May 31, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    OMG. This is so upsetting and maddening. Once again, they prove that they are not pro-life but anti-woman (to borrow a phrase from Carlin).

    How on Earth can someone live with him/herself after such an act? How can they think this is right?

    And not that it would make a difference at all where it happened, but the fact that Dr Tiller was at church when he was shot really grabbed me. He’s no doubt been called godless, a heathen, all that…yet there he was, reading from the same bible and praying to the same god as his killer (I am assuming). I don’t know…it just struck me…

    But either way – I’m terrified by this, that this shit will start up again like it was happening years ago. I’m worried for other doctors and clinic workers and others…and sending good thoughts out to them with hopes for their safety.

  41. May 31, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    MSNBC is reporting that an arrest was made without incident, despite earlier news.


    My heart goes out to his family. Like many of you, I, too, am stunned beyond words. Another act of Christian terrorism.

  42. Jay
    May 31, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Notice, please, that the article at Kansas.com does not identify him as a doctor, only as an “abortion provider”. I guess by those lights I’m a morphine dispenser.

    Grrr. Had to write about that, too.

  43. Natalie
    May 31, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I’m pro-life myself, and I entirely disagree with the murder of this man. I believe that life is sacred, and yes that includes the life of this guy. I disagree with the abortions he carried out, but I’m saddened that he has been murdered. I can’t see how his death is beneficial at all; it won’t put an end to abortions, it’s just basically “an eye for an eye” which in my opinion is wrong. I don’t doubt that this doctor’s intentions were good, although I personally disagree with him, but like I said it’s very twisted logic for people to kill somebody in the name of being pro-life. A real pro-lifer wouldn’t commit murder, that’s just common sense.

  44. Tony
    May 31, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    If anyone in interested, Dr. Tiller’s family has released a statement.

  45. evil_fizz
    May 31, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    The suspect is now in custody.

    A suspect in this morning’s fatal shooting of George Tiller is in custody and on his way back to Wichita, deputy chief Tom Stolz of the Wichita Police Department said today at a news conference.

    The 51-year-old male suspect was arrested about three hours after the shooting without incident near Gardner on Interstate 35.

  46. May 31, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    They’ve recently had a number of setbacks in their efforts to shut Dr. Tiller down. Phill Kline’s attempts to paw through his patient records and put him in jail were bounced by the courts, especially after Kline got voted out as Kansas AG and tried to reach beyond his jurisdiction as a county DA to prosecute Dr. Tiller.

    And if they thought they could punish Kathleen Sibelius for being pro-choice and supporting Dr. Tiller by keeping her out of the HHS job, they were disappointed, because even anti-choice Sam Brownback wasn’t going to go along with filibustering her.

    This is an act of rage and frustration by someone who realizes that if he can’t win against Tiller, he’ll have to take him out by any means.

  47. The Czech
    May 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I am from Kansas. For years I have followed Tiller’s trials (both literal and figurative). I have even written him letters of support. I always admired him for putting his life on the line for the sake of the women he served.

    I am shocked to hear of his death, and full of anger. Thanks for posting about this so quickly. Thanks to all you posters for commiserating with me.

  48. Cowpunk
    May 31, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    It’s amazing that pro-birthers continue to claim that doctors who perform abortions only do it for the money. I guess they can only see life through their own prism. As Bill Maher noted this week in his new rules, the “real American” motto since Reagan has been this:

    Get rich or die trying.

  49. Julie
    May 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    This makes me sick. His family will be in my prayers. Having been in a position that many of his patients have likely been in (having a fetus with fatal defects) I know how much it helped to have a compassionate, caring doctor and I’m so sad that we’ve lost such a doctor.

  50. Ginjoint
    May 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve been numb for the last couple of hours, but I think I’m going to start to cry now…what a brave, brave man.

  51. May 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks to everyone for the updates. I was out for a few hours so a bit late getting to them, but I’ve updated with the information that the suspect is in custody and Dr. Tiller’s family has released a statement.

    Also, I know that a lot of people who have met Dr. Tiller over the years will be googling this — so I just want to throw out there that if anyone reading this knew Dr. Tiller, or worked for him, or received services under his care, and would wish to write a guest blog post in his memory, email me and we might be able to set something up.

  52. May 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I am in complete disgust… even now… a few hours after the news came. This is a changing day. A day of change. One can only hope that his death will not be taken for granted. Of all of the statements I have read from the pro-life movement, I am disgusted further by their disingenuous words of sorrow. While many of us grieve from the loss of a great man, they cannot look beyond their fear of a potential back-lash… to offer a heartfelt condolence. Frankly, it is not about them. Right now, it is not about their fear. It is about an extraordinary man, murdered, for doing something so necessary, with love an compassion for all of his patients. With these words, I omit all of the profanity that is spewing out of my mouth, with every article, and am trying to find the greater good. I will be at the vigil this evening in spirit, candle held high.

  53. stacy
    May 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Just for the record. I am pro-life and believe this is a horrific act. No one I know is celebrating this. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  54. Julie
    May 31, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I just heard on CNN that the White House has released a statement.

  55. Tonya
    May 31, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    This is terrorism. I’m seething with rage right now at the audacity of these anti-choicers and how far they’ll go to stop women from having the right to control their reproductive lives.

  56. May 31, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    This has ruined my entire day. I keep trying to get it out of my mind without success.

    The few people to whom I have mentioned it did the “proper” thing and cautioned me not to tar all the anti-abortion advocates with one brush, that he was “just a psycho” outlier.

    Fuck. That. These people need to be held morally accountable for the fact that their words encourage violence against doctors , for G-d’s sake. Who the hell kills doctors???

  57. Evergreen2U
    May 31, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I have no doubt this brutal act was terrorism. Terrorism committed in the name of God. Terrorism abetted by and incited by the haters who dominate much of of our airwaves. It sickens me.

  58. May 31, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    This is an act of terrorism and it makes me mad as hell. Every single anti-choice activist in America aided and abetted this suspect in some way, some form or in some fashion. Every anti-choice activist has the blood on their hands.

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  60. Angry Lifer
    May 31, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    As a pro-life feminist, I cannot tell you all how damn angry I am at this. For one we have a man shot dead at his church, a family and friends who are going to be going through the most horrid grief immaginable and some crazy bastard running around. I may have detested Tiller as a man, but I never wished him dead, I was kinda hoping he’d wake up one morning and become another Nathanson. Who ever did this, for whatever reason, I hope they find him, and jail his arse for the rest of his miserable life. He’s set the Pro-Life movement back years!

    But as bad as I feel, as bad the rest of you guys feel, it’s nothing compared to the sorrow his poor wife and children and family will be feeling. My prayers for them and his friends.

  61. zoetheshort
    May 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I’m in Wichita. Going to the vigil later.

  62. Pat
    May 31, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I am a nurse who worked at a Hospital where Dr Tiller had some of his patients. I am heart broken that someone took the life of this gentle caring man. He spoke volumes for the rights of all women. Him and I spoke one time and I can tell you it was never about money..it was about the health and welfare of women. He never ever wanted another woman to go into a back alley and have an abortion by someone who did not know what they were doing. I will miss Dr Tiller and I hope his family knows there are many women who weep today for his loss. RIP Dr Tiller. You deserved a rest but not this way. I can only hope that justice will be served for this sensless act of violence.

  63. May 31, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Over the last few years I have had the privilege to meet and know Dr. George Tiller. I have wanted to write to him as a friend and express support for his strength and courage facing such difficult challenges. I am devastated by the news of his murder not only as friend but as a one of the finest members of our community. Wichita has lost a beautiful and kind spirit. The pain of this loss will be felt in our minds and hearts forever. Love and condolences to his family. You will be in so many of our hearts and prayers.

  64. Nancy
    May 31, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I’d like to express my sadness about this horrific loss and send condolences and thoughts of love and peace to Dr. Tillers family.

  65. Ben
    May 31, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Ok Christiana, I read what you’re saying.

    I understand that this is where you are coming from; I still think it’s not correct, but we needn’t aruge over that now. I’ll jsut trust that this is your honest reaction.

    That said, lots of people aren’t just stopping there. They are actually celebrating this murder. Here are some Twitter comments, for starters. Plus, there is the comment thread at this Politico article, which gets ugly very quickly.

  66. G. R. Crisp
    May 31, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Christina, Dr. Tiller saved my sister’s life.


  67. Ben
    May 31, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Actually, after checking out your blog, Christiana, it’s clear you aren’t making this case in good faith. On your blog, you make the insulting accusation that pro-choice people wanted this to happen to bring sympathy to them. That is so false. Nobody deserves to be shot in their church (or anywhere for that matter, but it speaks of how pathetic the killer is that he would do that in front of other people, possibly risking their lives as well.), and the world is now worse off because of what happened. Sadly, too many people are applauding this , and I’m confident in saying that none of them are in favor of reproductive freedom.

  68. WTF
    May 31, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    write your congress rep. write your senator. tell then u stand for women’s rights. tell them domestic terrorists should be investigated prosecuted and convicted as such

    here are links



  69. May 31, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    several forced-birthers (o excuse me, so-called “pro-lifers”) have posted comments purporting to be expressing grief, shock, etc.

    your words ring hollow. you had better think about the responsibility that you and your fellow forced-birthers have in creating the environment that encouraged and abetted an act of terrorism. when you demonise and dehumanize doctors and abortion providers; when you spread lies about the women who are getting these abortions and hide the fact that the vast majority are getting abortions because the fetuses are so deformed that they CANNOT SURVIVE; when you slut-shame women and imply that they got pregnant because they did not “keep their pants on”, you are setting the ground work for these acts of terrorism.

    “pro-life feminist”? give me a break, angry lifer. being a forced-birther is incompatible with feminism. you advocate state control and male control over women’s bodies and women’s choices. you demonise and dehumanize women and seek to punish women who do not meet your definitions of what a “proper, chaste” woman is supposed to be. you demonise and dehumanize their health care providers. you harass and terrorize women trying to use those health care services, including those who are just trying to get a Pap smear or attend prenatal health classes.

    there is no middle ground here. you are all hypocrites. you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  70. May 31, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    You know Christina, I would have so much more sympathy if the radical right in this country wasn’t so rabidly pro-death penalty.

    You might not be, some outliers of the movement might not be–but the political movement behind this sort of rhetoric that normlizes painting doctors as mass murderers? It sure as hell *is.*

  71. May 31, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I just deleted Christiana’s comment. I’m sorry that it showed up in the first place. I have no time for her or her ilk today. I read her blog post earlier and it made me want to throw up. People who knew Dr. Tiller, whose lives Dr. Tiller saved, who loved him, will be reading this thread. There’s enough hate being spread about him on the internet at the moment. I don’t want them reading or finding it through here.

  72. May 31, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Operation Rescue, by providing public information about — including the addresses of! — George Tiller’s family, employees, and church, did everything they could to ensure that someone would be the vigilante they as an organization could not be. Fuck that statement of condolence, trying to wipe their hands clean of any responsibility for Tiller’s murder. They’ve been calling for this very thing publicly for years.

    I’m a supporter of MS4C’s mission and have donated to them several times, because I’m a feminist and because I’m a sexually active woman of reproductive age with a history of natal complications, and while I hope I never need services like this I damn well hope they are available to me if I did.

    My hair is on end — I’m furious and sad and worried. My thoughts are with Tiller’s family, and with all of you who work the clinics going to work tomorrow morning. Be aware and please be safe.


    Christiana, this is a stain on your cause and it’s clear you know it. Tiller performed a legal procedure as a licensed physician. It’s reckoning time for your movement and I suggest you do that reckoning elsewhere.

  73. May 31, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    X-posted with you, Cara. Thanks for deleting Christina/Christiana’s comment.

    This isn’t the place for defense and justification of that worldview, especially considering today’s events.

  74. bob
    May 31, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    i hope someone steps up and continues his work people who are glad he’s dead should evaluate there views he wasn’t Hitler and his work saved many lives R.I.P.

  75. Soma
    May 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    I can’t honestly say I’m shocked. I’m not even sad. All I can say is:

    Even though the suspect’s name and motive don’t seem to have been released yet, everyone seems to assume the murder carried anti-choice sentiments. I, too, believe this for a certainty. I don’t think I’ll be proved wrong. I look at this and just think: they just can’t fucking rescue themselves from this bullshit.

  76. stlthy
    June 1, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I cried when I saw the news headlines. This man put his life on the line every day to save women’s lives…this is such a loss. What an amazing, brave person George Tiller must have been.

    Also: cosign everything GallingGalla said @75.

  77. June 1, 2009 at 1:23 am

    @75 GallingGalla:

    I have copied your comment in its entirety to my blog (properly ascribed, of course), because you have so clearly underlined the hypocrisy of the forced-birthers in that. I hope you don’t mind. Let me know if you want me to take that down from my blog post.

    And this is not terrorism…. just how?

  78. Christina
    June 1, 2009 at 4:53 am

    The murders start every time there is a pro-choice (if moderate) president in office. They escalated under Clinton’s presidency, who was openly pro-choice.
    Of course they stopped under ultra-anti-abortion-Methodist president Bush.
    What was there to do when a president is doing all the work anyway, on the national and international plane (with funding refused to aid organisations performing abortions in civil war areas with mass rape like in some African countries)?
    The murders will continue now under Obama.
    They believe in democracy as little as Islamist terrorists do: They stop attacks once someone who supports them is in power. If the people vote for someone countering their interests, they start assassinations.

    And regarding Operation Rescue:
    They should be charged for contribution to murder. By calling someone a “monster” and putting them under “observation” (“Watchblog”), they create grounds for crimes. They INCITE. You could as well say Hitler murdered no one with his hands. He did not have to. By hate speech he incited the ones willing to murder, just like “Pro-Life” does (which in the cases of political murders on the one hand, and political murders related to late abortions for the sake of the mother’s life and health becomes the most cynical denomination ever).

  79. Christina
    June 1, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I forgot to mention the death lists that had been online forever, showing Dr. Tiller’s name.

    I am European, but wrote a paper on “Pro-Life” (aka Pro-Women’s and Doctor’s Death) years ago. I read a few articles on Dr. Tiller and the few brave doctors performing work behind bullet-proof glass and with lifeguards. This is insane and unworthy of a “democracy”. Female politicians are not under much less threat in countries like Afghanistan. And the fundamentalist Christian terror sweeps to Europe and Latin America in recent years.
    It poses not much less of a threat to women’s rights as Islamist terrorism. Granted, islamism aims at removing everything feminine from the public space, which Christian fundamentalists do not advocate with the same fervor.
    But if your life and health is at stake (like recently a woman in Poland was refused an abortion despite concerns she might go blind at birth – which she did, sadly, and subsequently sued and won against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights) it is of little importance whether the Christian fundamentalists mercifully allow women’s education and participation in public life. They touch the most essential question of women’s existence, which makes them a major threat to our very LIVES.

    Already when I wrote that paper back then, I cannot say how much admiration, gratitude and deep respect I felt for Dr. Tiller’s courage and character.
    I hope the family knows there are people even thousands of miles away, from the other end of the Atlantic mourn this outstanding man.
    May he rest in peace, may his memory be upheld.
    This is the responsibility of the women’s movement – let’s give something back and make him the icon he deserves to be.

  80. Christina
    June 1, 2009 at 5:16 am

    They justify murder of “murderers” by “defence of others”.
    From my knowledge of the Bible this is a very shady concept in Christian theology.
    Maybe someone should make them read the passage where one of the apostles wants to use the sword to defend Jesus, but he forbids it.

    It comes back to one of the essential flaws of any religion’s doctrine and practice: “Believers” are oh so silent when abuse is done in their religion’s name.
    Yet if “non-believers” criticize their religion’s teachings with performances, pieces of art or cartoons, they are all up against this “blasphemy” and pretty much outraged.
    I still wait for an explanation on how come “brave Christians” including the Pope did not martyr nor conduct such operations against Nazi rule. Could it be grown Jews, socialists, Roma and Sinti are not as “worthy” of protection as fetuses are?
    Or is it simply barbarian Nazi punishments were too frightening compared with a couple of years of imprisonment in US facilities?

  81. Christina
    June 1, 2009 at 7:06 am

    P.s. I can see a “pro-lifer” with the same name as mine posted here.
    Please do not keep my posts from being published because of the name resemblance!

  82. SayBlade
    June 1, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Shot dead! In church, no less!!!

  83. div
    June 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

    @ Christina

    there is a time and a place. shame on you.

    there are countless other places to discuss abortion. this is NOT IT.

  84. div
    June 1, 2009 at 10:34 am


    @ christina – “the pro-lifer”

  85. Dreamweasel
    June 1, 2009 at 10:36 am
  86. Bitter Scribe
    June 1, 2009 at 10:43 am

    From what I understand, the killer is a member of Operation Rescue and one of those all-around anti-government nuts who thinks he can “exempt” himself from taxes because he’s a “sovereign citizen,” or some such. We don’t need to tie this guy around the neck of the “pro-life” movement; he’s already surgically grafted.

  87. Miniminx
    June 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Save the children, kill the people? These extremists are insane.

  88. Christina
    June 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Save the fetuses/unborn, kill the born…
    That is crucial, legally, because children – as “born” – enjoy all human rights, indivisible and unlimitable.
    Fetuses don’t, especially not vis-à-vis the pregnant mother. Enforcing her to give birth would mean using her body against her will. That would be slavery/forced labor, with the pretty double meaning of “labor” here.

  89. June 1, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Radi @ 83: That’s fine.

  90. William
    June 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Miniminx, no, they aren’t insane. The mad don’t do things like this. On the rare occasions when they mad become violent it is generally for idiosyncratic reasons which are difficult for non-professionals to follow. Christian extremists are in their right minds, they are logical, they are following a specific set of rules and beliefs that is verified by their communities. This is not madness, this is the behavior of people who want to impose theocracy through violence.

  91. June 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    and i should add that attributing the acts of a logical (if evil) person / group / movement to “madness” is not only ableist, but also absolves those logical-but-evil people from responsibility for their actions.

  92. June 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Lisa @ 27:

    Why oh why didn’t he have security guards? He had already been shot once! Why wasn’t he protected by local police or federal agents?????

    Because it was CHURCH… he was IN.CHURCH.

    Not even the mafia does hits in church.

  93. 10G
    June 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    God, unbelievable that things that actually call themselves HUMAN wrote those noxious Twittings. As for the chickenshit Scott Roeder, if he REALLY wanted to contribute to pro-life work and serve the Jesus he CLAIMS to believe in, he–hell, ALL pro-lifers–should have adopted or provided financial care for a child in need, been a mentor, etc. I join everyone here in their outrage. Given that Roeder is likely a death penalty proponent, I hope that the state delivers to him the punishment that he so richly (desires) deserves!!!

  94. Tracy
    June 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    This was not “christian terrorism” this was terrorism against christians, a man opened fire in one of our houses of worship, I will pray that this offender will be forgiven, please pray that the congregation of this church and Dr. Tillers family can find peace after this horrible violation. I’m sure many have been blessed by the Dr.’s healing hands and he will be greatly missed.

  95. William
    June 1, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    This was not “christian terrorism” this was terrorism against christians

    …those aren’t mutually exclusive. Hell, historically, they pretty much go hand in hand.

  96. Michelle
    June 2, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I worked at an abortion clinic in Michigan for years. We sent many cases to see Dr. Tiller in Kansas who we were not able to help. He saved many lives and was a hero.

  97. stephanie
    June 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    This is so sad.I am for pro-life but this is wrong.It does not matter what you believe in or who.Murder is murder.No one should be gunned down for any reason.What has this country come to.My husband is in the U.S.Army his job is to fight for freedom.Freedom of speech,Freedom of religion,freedom of ones own body.Who has the right to tell someone what they can and cant do?
    What are women supposed to do?Go in an alley and have one so they bleed to death? At least for now they are safe under a doctors care.

  98. Melissa
    June 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I just wanted to say, I am pro-life, and I deeply sadden by his death even if I disagree with his actions, because it is never right to kill. I do not believe in abortion or the death penalty. But your words have cut me deep. I don’t know this man who shot George Tiller; I’m not familiar with Operation Rescue. But I am not a terrorist. I am a human, just like all of you. Would not all of you be up in arms if for the actions of one of you, I held it against all of you? Pro-lifers are people too, with our own individual backgrounds and beliefs. Please don’t be so quick to label; that is all I ask of you.

    My sympathies go out to those who have been effected by this tragedy. I can understand how hard it is to lose anyone.

  99. Christina
    June 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Murder is legally defined as killing a “person” – a “person” is everyone “born”.
    So branding someone a murderer for performing a LEGAL action contributes to a climate of hate.
    And could it be the large majority of doctors do not perform this procedure because they bow to pressure? Because they do not want their name on death lists, be shot in both arms, be arsoned in their hospitals, be dragged through the mud in O’Reilly’s talkshow? It takes very strong people to do this.
    The so-called “murderer” – I’d call him health provider – sacrificed his life for his conviction not to bow in front of terror.

    Melissa – Christian terrorism is violence in words and acts against disagreeing individuals. Propaganda and witchhunt and incitation against human beings for their legal professional activity or legitimate private decisions. Arsonery, assassination.
    Why you feel called a terrorist?
    No one said a political opinion – unless it condones the violence mentioned – is terrorism.

    What would you think of Al Qaida if they murdered “enemies of Islam or Muslims” for ideological reasons? And of the people supporting al Qaida in mind by saying “I do not agree with these acts, but this person had it coming”?
    I bet you’d call all of them terrorists in the blink of an eye.

  100. Ali
    June 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    hmmm, Thank you S for informing us that only women, oh I’m sorry, bitches, go to hell.

  101. Ali
    June 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    S go shit on your own fucking carpet, not here, not this thread.

  102. June 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Whoa, no idea how those comments got through, but just deleted them and banned S. I imagine that those of you late to the party can likely imagine what they said.

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