Author: has written 5302 posts for this blog.

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

46 Responses

  1. Cara
    Cara June 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm |

    Thank you so much for posting this, Jill.

  2. Summer Ludwig
    Summer Ludwig June 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |

    This was a beautiful tribute to Dr. Tiller. My hope is that this can serve to help show the truth about a man who has been completely dehumanized by the fanatical religious right anti choices to the point that his murder is something to celebrate.

  3. Mac G
    Mac G June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |

    Very Touching. Thanks for compiling the emotional aspects that so many demonize.

  4. Nicole
    Nicole June 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm |

    Dr.Tiller saved my life when a very wanted pregnancy went wrong. He kept me alive to care my 2 beautiful children who were waiting at home to love me. Not waiting to be orphaned. Love and appreciation for all that Dr. Tiller and his staff face to stand up for what they believe in.

  5. Bec H.
    Bec H. June 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm |

    I cried reading those stories. Thank you for finding those and posting them. My mother has a similar story… which is also why I am the youngest child of two instead of the middle child of three. Thank you very much, Jill.

  6. Vanessa
    Vanessa June 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm |

    Heartbreaking. And it’s probably selfish of me to say this, given that a human being has been killed, but the fact that there are now only two doctors in the US providing medical care of this nature makes me never want to get pregnant again, lest something happens where I would require these services and have no access to them.

  7. JPlum
    JPlum June 1, 2009 at 2:38 pm |

    These stories bring tears to my eyes. Yet a lot of ‘pro-lifers’ will read stories like these, and feel nothing at all for the people involved in these tragedies.

  8. Rhonda
    Rhonda June 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm |

    Those stories were heartbreaking.

  9. Oilfieldguy
    Oilfieldguy June 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm |

    Unfortunately these deeply conflicted concerns and agonizing choices are completely irrelevant in the binary world occupied by rightards. Only sluts get abortions who must be punished by pregnancy. One wonders how many champagne corks were popped by “pro-lifers” at the news of this murder. They only seem to be concerned that we may politicize this political assassination.

  10. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe June 1, 2009 at 3:37 pm |

    After reading these stories, my bafflement at the “pro-life” mentality is deeper than ever. Do those people think women go for late-term abortions because they can’t make up their minds? Or because, I don’t know, they won a free Hawaiian cruise and don’t want to risk giving birth at sea?

    Professional concern trolls like The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle keep telling us that, even if we support abortion rights, we still have to understand the mentality of “pro-life” assassins. Fuck that. Those people make absolutely no effort whatever to understand what women like the ones in this post are going through; why should we care about understanding them?

  11. Thomas
    Thomas June 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm |

    Terrorists and terrorists sympathizers hate us for our freedom.

  12. Kelly
    Kelly June 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm |

    Thank you for posting these stories. We lost a good, brave man yesterday.

  13. call2930
    call2930 June 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  14. JessSnark
    JessSnark June 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm |

    Oilfieldguy, while I completely agree with your outrage at right-wingers’ worldview, please don’t use ‘rightards” or any other -tards word as an epithet here at Feministe. The bloggers and commenters here are working against the use of such language because it insults people with mental disabilities. Please find a non-ableist substitute.

    Thank you, Jill, for this post.

  15. Sara
    Sara June 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm |

    Thank you for sharing these stories.

  16. Patricia Beninato
    Patricia Beninato June 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm |

    Do those people think women go for late-term abortions because they can’t make up their minds? Or because, I don’t know, they won a free Hawaiian cruise and don’t want to risk giving birth at sea?

    Yes. Go to your average abortion debate and I can guarantee that an anti will throw out “so if the woman in nine months pregnant and wants to have an abortion just because she doesn’t feel like being pregnant anymore you’re fine with it, right?” sometime during the proceedings. I’ve had a standing invitation for anyone to provide me with proof of a perfectly healthy woman with a perfectly healthy fetus having a third trimester abortion “just because.” That invitation, I might add, has stood for five years.

  17. Snowe
    Snowe June 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm |

    I shared some of these stories (and another from Metafilter on lj yesterday. One woman told me she had now changed her mind about late-term abortions b/c of it. So many people are just ignorant about the realities of late term abortion, and how necessary Dr. Tiller’s was.

  18. Harumph
    Harumph June 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm |

    ..Why were there only three? Is it up to a doctor’s personal feelings to decide if s/he wants to provide late term abortions?

  19. KMTBerry
    KMTBerry June 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm |

    ..Why were there only three? Is it up to a doctor’s personal feelings to decide if s/he wants to provide late term abortions?

    Yes. Because MOST people aren’t enthusiastic about getting SHOT by right-wing fanatics.

    The Fanatics have controlled this so completely that soon there will be NO ONE who will save women’s lives when their pregnancy goes wrong.

  20. Too many things to say « Sylvia Has A Problem

    […] Tiller’s patients remember him (some of the stories may be distressing to […]

  21. Dr. Tiller round-up « Jem’s Lair

    […] Patients Remember Dr. Tiller […]

  22. Jenn
    Jenn June 2, 2009 at 5:28 am |

    What a horrible world. I had no idea that Dr. Tiller was such a diamond in the rough, or that he had sacrificed so much for women’s reproductive freedom. I agree with Vanessa, and I don’t think it selfish to point out that for half of the population of the United States, the number of people who are willing to provide us with a life-saving procedure if tragedy strikes is now down to two.

    It’s truly sickening that anyone could politicize the heart-wrenching and personal choices of those women away, while pretending that this callous and disgusting murder was anything but a political manifestation of a culture’s hatred of a woman’s reproductive freedom.

    I grieve for a world who has lost a brave and selfless man. And I grieve even more because I feel like the battle is lost. When people can go on camera and defend the cold-blooded slaughter of someone who had the audacity to use their medical education to grant women the reproductive choices they require, I feel like we’ve lost.

    I have studiously avoided the news today, and I will tomorrow, because of the emotions stories like the ones you posted inspire in me. I can’t help but feel anything but a hopeless crushing agony.

    Are women so reviled that even our physicians must be hounded off the mortal coil? Dr. Tiller paid the ultimate price for a medical defiance of the patriarchal colonization of the female body. I feel nothing but despair at the knowledge that now there are only two brave doctors to service the needs of a nation of millions.

    What a travesty. Rest in peace Doctor George Tiller.

  23. Katherine
    Katherine June 2, 2009 at 7:24 am |

    Oh, what is going on in America? Where I live, in England, all the women in the stories you have given us would have been able to have abortions on the NHS, without any trouble at all. The doctors who provided the abortions would not be named by the press, they would not be attacked or threatened and there are certainly many more than three of them.

    What has happened to America? Is it religion that has made America so terrible?

  24. June 2, 2009 at 7:52 am |

    Pacientes recuerdan al Dr. Tiller [Eng]…

    Tras la noticia del asesinato de Georg Tiller, diversas pacientes han escrito en blogs cómo fue su trato cuando acudieron a él. Este blog recopila varios testimonios. Relacionada:…

  25. Rob Stein
    Rob Stein June 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm |


    I’m a reporter at The Washington Post. I was wondering if anyone who was treated by Dr. Tiller or underwent a similar procedure elsewhere might feel comfortable being interviewed for a story that I’m working on in the wake of Dr. Tiller’s death. If you are, please contact me at 202-334-7338 or


    Rob Stein

  26. Jane
    Jane June 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm |

    Thank you for putting this together. As someone who wants to be an Ob/Gyn, these stories, and the amazing life of Dr. Tiller inspire me to keep all options available to women who need help.

  27. In Memory of Dr. George Tiller « The Gender Blender Blog

    […] Patients Remember Dr. Tiller […]

  28. Justine
    Justine June 2, 2009 at 10:56 pm |

    We have lost a wonderful, courageous, selfless man. I hope that the stories that his patients have shared of their gut-wrenching decisions reach the eyes and ears of those who would wish these women, their babies, and caring health-care providers harm in the name of their twisted, self-righteous beliefs. Unfortunately, I believe with great sadness that these people are too close-minded to even think to read something that may enlighten them and cause them to question their unjust, inhumane beliefs. I am crying as I type this. George Tiller, you are an angel.

  29. Dog Days of Summer: Not Yet Here « The ‘Dredge Report

    […] posts that I’ve enjoyed recently: Sanchez on Sotormayor, Jezebel and Feministe on patients’ experiences with George Tiller, and, well, not a blog, but Kaiser Health News is […]

  30. WMC News Brief: Twitter, Roeder, Meira Kumar - Majority Post

    […] Patients Remember Dr.Tiller 6/1/09 Femininste: A few blog posts and comments from Dr. Tiller’s former patient […]

  31. NomNomBlog » Blog Archive » My Google shared items for today

    […] Patients Remember Dr. Tiller […]

  32. On Dr. George Tiller « Feminist Looking Glass

    […] hard, & brave decisions to end the pain of a fetus that will never have a chance at real life. From all accounts  of women and couples who have stepped forward to tell their stories in light of Tiller’s […]

  33. » Blog Archive » The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 6

    […] Feministe: Patients Remember Dr. Tiller […]

  34. Catholic Comment
    Catholic Comment June 7, 2009 at 2:27 am |

    […] at 30 years to Catholicism, walked into Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas and shot Doctor George Tiller to death as he handed out church bulletins.  Why is Roeder’s religion an issue to me? […]

  35. Kerry
    Kerry June 7, 2009 at 11:38 pm |

    I can only hope that this will inspire more people to get into this kind of work, to fill a void and provide a service so desperately needed by many. I can’t imagine the pain of having to lose a much-wanted child. There need to be more compassionate, wonderful people like Dr. Tiller who can provide care and love to those faced with a most difficult choice.

  36. justine
    justine June 8, 2009 at 9:17 am |

    thank you to all the women and men who have shared their personal stories. please keep on sharing. this is what needs to be done to put a “face” on all the “abortion stories” and paint a picture of the enormous heart of the “controversial late term abortion provider” we all lovingly remember of Dr George Tiller.

  37. Monday Morning Links | Change Happens: The SAFER Blog

    […] of Dr. George Tiller. I encourage anyone who hasn’t to check out this heartbreaking post on patients remembering George Tiller at Feministe.) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can […]

  38. Feminists For Choice » Click List: What Motivates People to Become Pro-Choice Advocates?

    […] – Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL, on Patients Remember Dr. Tiller – Jill at Feministe Why I Will Perform Abortions – Rozalyn Farmer Love in the Washington Post Remembering Why I’m […]

  39. The Legal Basis for Post-Viability Abortions « Kittywampus

    […] It’s this mental health exception that allowed George Tiller to terminate viable pregnancies when the fetus was severely impaired. Having borne two children, I’m certain I’d experience less trauma from abortion at 30 weeks than from going to term only to watch my baby die, slowly and painfully, within hours or days. This is a perfectly reasonable application of a mental health exception. I don’t see any evidence that “feeling blue” drives women to terminate a pregnancy at that stage, nor that Tiller’s practice accommodated women who just frivolously changed their minds about being pregnant, as his enemies suggest. On the contrary, their stories are often heartbreaking (via Feministe). […]

  40. shelley
    shelley June 10, 2009 at 11:00 pm |

    I never knew of Dr. Tiller til this horrific murder was comitted. I am deeply shocked and horrified that such hateful people are capable of doing such a thing. I pray to God that each and everyone of those who have been involved in such a crime….. end up where they belong. Hell is not good enough for them! May he RIP

  41. Joe White
    Joe White June 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm |

    There is no ‘mental health exception’ in Kansas law.

  42. Cara
    Cara June 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |

    Joe — it’s not explicitly in there, but the courts ruled that the health exception includes mental health, and Dr. Tiller did perform abortions for that reason.

  43. Joe White
    Joe White June 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |

    No court has ruled that the Kansas law included a mental health exception.

  44. Cara
    Cara June 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |

    You’re right, Joe, my bad. The Kansas attorney general is the one who has interpreted and upheld the law that way.

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.