Who Killed George Tiller?

I have a piece up in the Guardian about who shoulders the responsibility for George Tiller’s murder. A taste:

Some pro-life groups are issuing statements of condemnation and attempting to paint this murder as the work of an extremist. But this latest act of terrorism is, sadly, not an anomaly. It is part of a clearly-established pattern of harassment, intimidation and violence against abortion providers and pro-choice individuals. And mainstream pro-life groups shoulder much of the blame.

Pro-life organisations routinely refer to abortion as “murder”, a “genocide” and a “holocaust”. They post the full names abortion providers on their websites, along with their addresses, their license plate numbers, their photos, the names of children and the schools those children attend (sometimes with helpful Wild-West-style “Wanted” posters offering $5,000 rewards).

When you convince your followers that abortion providers are the equivalent of SS officers slaughtering innocents by the millions, tell them that “it’s all-out WAR” against pro-choicers and then provide the home addresses and personal information of the “monster” “late-term baby-killer” abortion providers you’re supposedly at war against, you can’t act surprised when those followers conclude that it’s morally justified to use the information to kill doctors.


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16 comments for “Who Killed George Tiller?

  1. June 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

    This was an excellent and eloquent article, Jill. Thank you.

  2. June 1, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I am very glad you wrote this. I have been calling for just this kind of response, both on my own blog, and in comments at Pandagon. I am contacting NARAL and Planned Parenthood, urging them to revise the statements they have made on this event to more fully make the connection with hateful, MAINSTREAM “pro life” rhetoric, and this kind of terrorism. NOW is thus far the only prominent organization to release a statement clearly delineating this link.

  3. Manju
    June 1, 2009 at 11:57 am

    good piece. goes a tad farther in the guilt by association logic than i would, but the basic point–that this isn’t just an individual act that occurred in a vacuum–is valid. very daniel pipesish.

  4. breath to breath
    June 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Jesus stated “He without sin among you let him cast the first stone at her.” Some religious still stone raped women & own women. Who should own them as a slave? Exodus describes no penalty for women who choose to terminate pregnancy, nor does any Bible verse.

    Medically, a fetus becomes a baby at its first breath. Then, siblings recognize it & it’s named, christened, given citizenship, & celebrates zero. Unless you’re a surrogate, the only way to give rights to unborn is to take away women’s.

    Check out the extremism: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jun/01/george-tiller-abortion-doctor-murder

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  6. Annie
    June 1, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Great article! Just one thing…

    PLEASE stop calling these people “pro-life”. They are not! Never have been, never will be. This framing has to stop.

  7. Pauline
    June 1, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    some screen shots or links to examples would be more convincing.

  8. June 1, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Pauline, if you take two seconds to click over to the actual article, you will see that there are links aplenty.

  9. June 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Yes, the links don’t magically embed when you copy and paste.

    I thought your piece was great, Jill. It needed to be said.

  10. June 2, 2009 at 12:17 am

    And another thought (more than four hours later), as we learn more about the murder of Dr. Tiller, it’s only going to get worse for the anti-choice movement. When it comes out that the murderer talked about his assassination plot during Operation Rescue meetings and protests, and none of them did anything about it, there will be many more people held legally responsible for Dr. Tiller’s murder than the guy who pulled the trigger. Those who are on the fence or call themselves pro-life simply because they think abortion is icky will be forced to pick a side.

  11. William
    June 2, 2009 at 11:45 am

    ThickRedGlasses: its already come out that the killer made a veiled threat on OR’s forums not too long ago. As time goes on, and as OR’s rhetoric becomes more public, they’re going to have to step up an explain how, exactly, they differ from the terrorists they speak to. People like them need to be dragged out into the cold light of day, they simply cannot be allowed to hid behind moderate rhetoric in public while they actively advocate murder in private.

  12. June 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    It was such an awful cowardly act that just shows how weak and corrupt the pro-life movement is. Like breath to breath says, if they are going to back it up with the Christian religion they have pretty much no leg to stand on. They don’t even know the religion they’re fighting for. They act upon ignorance. The murder should be universally condemned regardless of opinion of abortion.

  13. June 2, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I wrote a post called ‘Instant Victim Mode’

    http://kmareka.com/2009/05/31/instant-victim-mode/

    less than six hours after the shooting because already the anti-abortion people were speculating about the political effects on the Supreme Court confirmation.
    Now I’m getting flamed by my local right wing sites, but it’s true. Violent speech leads to violent action.

  14. Henry
    June 2, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    “Violent speech leads to violent action.”

    It sure can. And what should be done about it? Banning? Prosecution? None of you think this is a dangerous argument to make? Really?

    Political speech is often inflammatory. But if no actual threats were made, can you assign blame to someone else for some nut shooting a guy? Is saying “Dr. Tiller is evil and has blood on his hands” (not a statement I agree with at all, btw) the same as “go shoot Dr.Tiller”? By all means, if it can be proven that anyone at OR knew what was going to happen, lock ’em up.

    I only ask because if this is the rule, we’re going to have to clamp down on a whole lot of political speech. By your logic, damn near the entire anti-war movement should have been stifled for the repeated assertions that Bush was the evillest SOB walking the planet, and that he was a fascist murderer. “He murdered a million Iraqis!” Luckily no one tried to shoot the guy. But who’s to blame for the guy who shot two soldiers for political reasons the other day? Is it okay to say it’s Code Pink’s fault?

  15. Kathy
    June 3, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I was an unwanted child. No abortions allowed in 1958. I was NEVER abused but I understand the issue…..my mother never should have been forced to give birth to me. I’m 120% in favor of freedom of choice. But then, I have a small ego….

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