Absolutely Horrified


(crossposted at Nonviolent Choice, www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

I just heard that George Tiller, the Kansas physician known for providing late-term abortions, was shot to death today.

As much I disagree with the work of abortion providers, such news is absolutely horrifying. Another life squandered by gun violence–and in the same of "prolife," of all things!!

Whoever committed this crime-it makes no sense to call yourself "prolife" and then gun down another human being in cold blood. Any more than it would make sense to oppose the war by opening fire on a recruiting center or military base.

My condolences to all who knew Dr. Tiller, and I will continue to pray for the safety of all clinic workers, to work for gun control, to speak up when I hear antiabortionists demonizing and dehumanizing their designated "enemies," who belong to the same humankind no matter what deep disagrements exist.

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  • invalid-0

    It was inevitable, given the witch hunts of Phil Kline and the escalating rhetoric of the extremist right wing.

  • progo35

    I am also horrified. I have always had particular ire toward Tiller because of his terminating fetuses who have disabilities, but he should not have been shot.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    People who are truly pro life need to be pro life in all things, not just abortion. We must work with each other for peace and justice in our society, which does not come from gunning down abortion providers. People from the pro life and pro choice camps may not agree, but peaceful coexistence and work on things we do agree on to help women and their unborn children is what we should be doing.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • marysia

    Most acts of violence, analyzed in retrospect, have points before them when something could have been done to prevent them.

      I wonder what points those were in this case–for example, I have to wonder if there is adequately staffed and funded law enforcement monitoring of people who openly advocate violence against abortion providers.

     

     

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • marysia

    I wasn’t a fan of Tiller either, for the same reason…Being disabled, like you, I don’t think abortion of our kind is progress.  But why kill the man!?

     

     

     

     

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • progo35

    Ahunt-the person responsible for this is the person who picked up a gun and shot Dr. Tiller. 

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • marysia

    exactly!

     

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • marysia

    true enough, but don’t activists of all kinds have a responsibility to not demonize their opponents, and to not create a climate that makes retaliatory violence against "the enemy" look like some kind of solution to grievances?

     

     

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • progo35

    Right. People who do advocate violence against abortion providors, including some in the extremist right wing, are responsible for helping to create a climate of demonization that helps these things occur. But, people who oppose abortion openly, who do not advocate such violence
    against abortion providers are not responsible for this, either. Phil Kline, who was doing his job as Kansas attorney general, did not inspire this act via his investigation, as such investigations are nonviolent and can be pursued in a just manner. That investigation went throught the appropriate channels and Tiller was judged by his peers in a nonviolent setting. I support speaking out against Tiller and, when the investigation was going on, putting him in jail if he was found guilty, but that does not mean that I support shooting him. 

     

    Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Progo, Phil Kline was a panty-sniffing zealot who violated the law, the health care privacy of women, and basic standards of decency in his bizarre obsession with Dr. Tiller. Do not hold this jackass up as a paragon of legal ethics. He is no such thing, and there is no doubt in my mind that he contributed to the climate that encourages home grown terrorists to kill the true champions of women’s rights and reproductive health.

  • colleen

    People who do advocate violence against abortion providors, including
    some in the extremist right wing, are responsible for helping to create
    a climate of demonization that helps these things occur

    You are yourself contributing greatly to this climate and, indeed, are something of a practiced and (demonstrably) dedicated expert on the business of demonizing other people and institutions like Planned Parenthood.

    Dr Tiller isn’t even cold yet and the two of you have so little basic decency that your first thought is to frantically try to distance yourselves from his murder. There isn’t much difference at all from where I sit. 

  • marysia

    Colleen,

     My first thought on hearing of Dr. Tiller’s murder is, how horrible for yet another member of the human family to be shot down in cold blood.  And in a house of worship, no less, which ideally is a place of refuge and safety for people who seek it there.

    My second thought is how atrocious to commit and justify such a deed in the name of "prolife." Because I, like many others, understand prolife to mean respecting all lives, and thus alleviating the causes of every form of violence–not committing deeds of violence.

     

     If you think that’s some kind of cynical, orchestrated PR ploy rather than one person’s honest reaction–I do believe, you are mistaken.

     

    And if you consider me such a great, practiced, dedicated contributor to the climate of demonization, I would like you to name 20 specific, concrete deeds that I have personally committed to do just that.

     

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • amie-newman

    I appreciate your post and your courage to speak out against acts of violence perpetrated in the name of “life”. I do, however, feel strongly that unless/until the broader pro-life movement leads the charge against murder & acts of terrorism perpetrated by those who call themselves pro-life, not much will change. I have been working in this field for ten years now and have seen too many people attacked, assaulted, permanently disfigured or murdered by those who call themselves “pro-life.” Whether the pro-life movement says these people are or aren’t pro-life is a pointless distinction – the pro-life movement leaders too often refer to, imply or directly state their acceptance of stopping abortion by any means necessary. The fact that Dr. Tiller, with a family, friends, community was murdered outside of his church in the name of the pro-life movement is utterly despicable.

    Thanks, again for your willingness to continue advocating for your own vision in the face of challenge. I hope you will continue to speak out against violence against abortion providers so that no more fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, mothers, wives, sisters, daughters are murdered or maimed in the name of the pro-life movement.

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • colleen

    <blockquote>And if you consider me such a great, practiced, dedicated contributor to the climate of demonization,  </blockquote>

    My reply  was addressed mainly to Progo35 (if that is her real name) who is indeed an expert at demonization. I seldom consider you at all. I have watched you enable her while she was demonizing  pro-choice individuals and  institutions. Conversely I’ve never seen you confront her or any other ‘pro-life’ contributor here while they were engaged in that process. Perhaps you don’t recognise it when you agree with the poster. 


    As long as you asked, I am offended by your’s and Progo’s comments in this thread.. I don’t care about how how precious and pious and  ‘pro-life;’ you are or how much you disgreed with Dr Tiller’s  work of saving the lives of women whose lives were threatened by their pregnancies. I’ve long given up hope of rational discussion with you or Progo. If the two of you wish to believe that he was a threat to ‘your kind’ go on ahead. But if you had any sense of decency at all you would not be going on about it here, at least not today.
    If you wanted to be even minimally helpful you would be posting on ‘pro-life blogs.  No one here shoots people in church, no one here needs to listen you rationalize your part in this. It’s not about you, never has been.

  • progo35

    Colleen-Marysia and I have taken the position that abortion based on fetal handicap is a form of contemporary eugenics, regardless of the woman or doctor’s intent to prevent suffering. We’ve already established that a late term abortion done because the fetus has down syndrome isn’t a late term abortion to "save a woman’s life." If this were Tiller’s family’s personal blog, than we wouldn’t be commenting here, but this is a discussion forum about current events. Marysia and I are not being heartless or cruel in discussing our feelings about this today. 

     

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • colleen

     

     

     If this were Tiller’s family’s personal blog, than we wouldn’t be
    commenting here, but this is a discussion forum about current events.
    Marysia and I are not being heartless or cruel in discussing our
    feelings about this today.

     

     

    Oh, because it’s not his family’s personal blog it’s OK to spread your lies and distortions and pretend that nothing you do with your endless,  stream of lies and distortions and strawmen and propaganda in any way contributes to the inextricable violence of the so-called ‘pro-life’ movement.

    What rock did you crawl out from under?

  • progo35

    Marysia and I obviously don’t feel that we are spreading lies and distortions, or we wouldn’t write what we have written. Yes, there is a difference between expressing our reactions here and expressing them in front of his family and friends.  

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • marysia

    Sorry about the mistake.

    But if you are going to, on this very sad and horrific occasion, accuse people who disagree with you on abortion of having some kind of complicity in Dr. Tiller’s homicide, do you expect that the people you accuse will just be silent while you level such a (in most cases) potentially slanderous and libelous charge?

    What if, say, you were a peace advocate and someone who was against the war shot up a recruiting center–and then people who supported the war accused you of complicity in that deed?  How would *you* react to that charge?

    And how do you know I have never done/am not now doing anything to address prolifers on these issues of violence against providers?  You don’t know, do you?

    As for enabling demonization–please communicate specific examples sometime and we can discuss.  This is probably not the occasion for such a discussion, but if you are going to level such a charge, specific evidence is required. 

     

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • marysia

    Thank you, Amie.  I wonder what prolife and prochoice can really do cooperatively to keep this from happening ever again.  Homicides of course, and the lesser but still quite devastating degrees of violence.

     

    Nonviolent Choice Directory, http://www.nonviolentchoice.blogspot.com

  • colleen

    I obviously don’t feel that (I am) spreading lies and distortions, or (I) wouldn’t write what (I) have written.

     Having watched you lie and distort daily for weeks now even after  I can sincerely say there’s nothing ‘obvious’ about it.

    I edited your sentence because Marysia appears to be confused about who I’m responding to. 

    Yes, there is a difference between expressing our reactions here and expressing them in front of his family and friends.  

    Well, duh. There are some simularities too and one of the simularities is that watching you continue to demonize and judge this brave and decent man on the very day of his murder by a member of your movement says far more about your character than you appear capable of understanding.  Just because you refuse to recognise that it’s PRECISELY the sort of rhetoric you engage in that inevitably results in violence does not make it any the less true.

  • progo35

    I guess I don’t see a difference between the sentiments expressed by myself and those expressed by Marysia here, so I don’t know why I in particular am being singled out for your ire, but as she said, if you are going to accuse people who oppose abortion for being responsible for Tiller’s death, than you should be prepared for them to respond, as is the nature of respectful discourse.  

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich