The Murder of Dr. George Tiller, A Foreshadowing


For those who would like to think today’s murder in church of Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, is an isolated incident: here’s the horrifying news: You are wrong. The pattern is clear and frightening.

In March 1993, three months into the administration of our first pro-choice president, Bill Clinton, abortion provider Dr. David Gunn was murdered in Pensacola, Florida. That was the beginning of what would become a five-fold increase in violence against abortion providers throughout the Clinton years.

Today’s assassination of Dr. George Tiller comes five months into the term of our second pro-choice president. For anyone who would like to believe that this is a statistical anomaly, a coincidence that doesn’t portend anything, again, you are wrong.

During the entire Bush administration, from 2000-2008 there were no murders.

During the Clinton era, between 1994-2000 there were six abortion providers and clinic staff murdered, and 17 attempted murders of abortion providers (one of these attempts was on Dr. Tiller who was shot in both arms.) There were 12 bombings or arsons during the Clinton years.

During the Bush administration, not only were there no murders, there were no attempted murders. There was one clinic bombing during the Bush years.

One can only conclude that like terrorist sleeper cells, these extremists have now been set in motion. Indeed the evidence is already there. The chatter, the threats, the hate-filled rhetoric are abundant.

In the last year of the Bush administration there were 396 harassing calls to abortion clinics. In just the first four months of the Obama administration that number has jumped to 1401.

And so the execution of Tiller, 67, is not only tragic but ominous. He was born into an era when being an abortion provider meant saving women’s lives. And the cold-blooded murder in church and in front of his wife of this stalwart defender of women rights and beloved physician, comes as a message for others, as well as tragic deja vu.

Battered women are at greatest danger of being killed by their abusers when they are most strong–that is, when they muster the courage to leave. The same phenomenon may be true in the abusive political abortion debate. The pro-choice movement, specifically our abortion providers, are in the greatest danger of violence when we take power. When the anti-abortion movement loses power, their most extreme elements appear to move to the fore and take control. The murder of Dr. Tiller suggests that violence against abortion providers may be far more linked to the power, or lack thereof, anti-abortion groups have politically than to laws designed to increase penalties against such acts.

History has another disturbing lesson for us. The escalation of anti-abortion rhetoric plays a direct role in instigating violence. When anti-abortion groups ratchet up the rhetoric, they know exactly what they’re doing and the results it will have. Even if they maintain deniability, as Operation Rescue recently did saying, in effect, we wanted Tiller gone, but didn’t want him murdered, they have inflamed the rhetoric. And suddenly people Like Dr. Tiller’s murderer become inspired. On this issue, history is instructive.

Eleanor Bader, author of Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism, in an article in March for RH Reality Check about clinics bracing for an uptick in violence after the election of Obama wrote, "immediately after Obama’s election, Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director of the National Right to Life Committee, called him a "hardcore pro-abortion president." The American Life League dubbed him "one of the most radical pro-abortion politicians ever," and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life warned that Obama will "force Americans to pay for the killing of innocents." Americans United for Life, the Family Research Council and Operation Save America quickly joined the chorus."

Bader interviewed clinic staff — many seeing a direct relationship between the pro-choice victory in November and increased aggression against them and their patients. Claire Keyes, of Allegheny Reproductive Health in Pittsburgh, explained,

"Right after the election we saw a small upsurge in anti-abortion activity. But since the inauguration, things have gotten measurably worse. There’s been an increase in picketing by students from Franciscan University in Ohio. On Saturdays there are 60-plus protesters and there’s been an increase in screaming and aggression. We don’t have a parking lot so people park on the street. The antis have surrounded cars, trapping the women inside, and in several cases the antis jumped into vehicles and touched or grabbed at them. The police were called but so far they don’t seem to be responding appropriately." Bader also quotes Elizabeth Barnes, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Women’s Center, who explained, "When the pendulum swung in the direction of protecting women’s rights, we expected something. The way the antis are reacting has changed, they’re taking more liberties, pressing the boundaries of legal, civil protest."

Many in the pro-choice movement believed that the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) law, passed in 1994 in response to Gunn’s murder, was responsible for reigning in violence against abortion providers. Clearly that is not the case. Based on statistics on violence against abortion providers compiled by the National Abortion Federation, even after the passage of FACE in 1994, there was still considerable violence and threats against clinic personnel, including six murders. As appears clear, the pro-choice movement has looked through rose-colored glasses, assuming or hoping that legalities can restrain terrorists.
In fact, it didn’t abate after FACE, as we’ve seen. It was not until a comforting anti-abortion president did they calm down and stop the murder, bombing and harassment spree.

As a result of Bush’s policies, recent reportings from clinics suggest that we may be seeing a surge in abortions. That has failed to inspire introspection from anti-abortion groups. That Clinton presided over the most dramatic decline in abortion rates in the recorded history of our country left them unmoved. That Obama has assigned his senior most staff to the task of finding ways to reduce the need for abortion has not protected clinics nor providers nor Obama. Holder and his Justice Department should take note of the chatter and move aggressively against this form of domestic terrorism. The hate-filled rhetoric against Obama from the anti-abortion movement is at unprecedented levels, even for this reflexively inflammatory group. They refer to him as the "Most Pro-Abortion President Ever" ignoring the fact that he is the first to extend an olive branch in hopes that together we can make abortion more rare.

Anti-abortion groups will put out carefully worded press statements condemning the murder of Dr. Tiller, as became routine for them during the Clinton years. But unless the rhetoric they choose from now on becomes careful too–they may be the enablers of murder and terror. 

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • invalid-0

    As usual, you are absolutely right in your assessment.
    Words do matter and all sense of moral culpability seems missing from the rhetoric of the Right-wing responses today.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve been against abortion since I was in the womb. My mother left an abortion clinic in January 1982, I was too be her 3rd abortion. I don’t condone the killing of George Tiller, having met many abortionists over 3 states and speaking with many women who left and had their babies. I stayed friends with many of them. Don’t label us with the pro-choose to kill extremist they are thoughtless and don’t have all life with value and respect. I will continue to believe and help women when they want it. Since most abortion clinic are on big parking lots, its hard to get close. When they walk to us its because they want too, if they don’t at least they did have a choice and I was able to assist them. You don’t know therefore you’re opinions are just that. I’ve been there, and you haven’t.

    • invalid-0

      I escorted patients past people like you who were screaming abuse.
      I doubt you were capable of conscious thought in utero.
      I doubt that you have seen abortion clinics with big parking lots.
      I have the guts to put my name on this post. What are you afraid of?

  • colleen

    Words do matter and all sense of moral culpability seems missing from the rhetoric of the Right-wing responses today.

    It’s striking, isn’t it? Since the Sebelius nomination and particularly since the Sotomayor nomination almost every day has produced multiple expressions of overt and truely vicious racism, sexism and, of course, a chorus of right wing religious types trying to outdo one another in to prove that they really ARE the worst of what America has to offer.

    One cannot reason with them and the ones who post here appear to be incapable of of self examination. I think it starts with a value system that condones lying, distortions  and manipulation (see the Lila Rose threadin case any proof is needed). This combined with 30 years of divisive conservative politics in which overt expressions of overt racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and hatred of anyone who isn’t white, male and conservative has destroyed this county and enabled the worst that America has to offer.

    It’s odd that the religious right don’t seem to understand that they’re precisely the sort of men and women we want to protect our chilodren from. 

  • invalid-0

    I’m not sure where you’re from, Mommaof3, but where I live, NONE of the clinics or hospitals that provide abortions (or even reproductive health care) are on “big parking lots”. There isn’t room for big parking lots here. The protesters at my local clinic stand on the street. I’ve been approached by them – you read that right, THEY approached ME – while walking past the clinic on my way to the grocery store. Never mind the hateful things shouted at me when I was actually going in to the clinic to pick up my birth control.

    I have seen “pro-life” protesters violate state laws and get within thirty feet of the doors of the clinic, so that they can continue to harass women entering the clinic, calling women “killers” and shoving pamphlets in their faces (on their more tame days). I have seen protesters shout at cars passing on the street and surround cars that park on the street near the clinic. I was harassed walking to class in college, I have been harassed while getting groceries, I have been harassed while going for my annual GYN exam. Protesters get up in my face and follow me down the street – just like they do for every woman who walks near my local clinic.

    So please don’t try to tell me, or anyone else, that when a woman is talking to anti-choice protesters, it’s always because she approached them. Y’all come to me, y’all go to every woman who dares to think for herself and make choices for herself – or even anyone you think MIGHT be thinking about it.

    I don’t think everyone who calls themselves “pro-life” is an extremist, either. But I’ve seen too many people who call themselves “pro-life” and instead preach hate and violence. Those words of hate have real consequences.

  • invalid-0

    We thought about posting this on a page on this site where there’s a list of pro-choice groups that donations are being encouraged to go to, but after reading Christina’s post we think it might better go here. We think that in part because we want to be gently critical of her post. We think the tone of some of Christina’s writing and this post in particular is a little alarmist, almost panicky to the point of not being clear at all what pro-choice activists can do in response to an obviously hideously violent act, which as she points out has similarities to killings of abortion providers back in the 1990s. But also, to summarize with quotes, Christina writes:

    1) “Many in the pro-choice movement believed that the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) law, passed in 1994 in response to Gunn’s murder, was responsible for reigning in violence against abortion providers. Clearly that is not the case.”

    2) “In fact, it didn’t abate after FACE, as we’ve seen. It was not until a comforting anti-abortion president did they calm down and stop the murder, bombing and harassment spree.”

    and then as if to conclude with those statements as premises, she writes:

    3) “Holder and his Justice Department should take note of the chatter and move aggressively against this form of domestic terrorism.”

    But FACE was focused more on anti-choice protest like clinic blockades, not murder or other more violent forms of anti-choice terrorism. The NAF page on the FACE act gives a good summary.

    FACE was not so much intended to directly target individuals and groups engaging in the most violent forms of anti-choice terrorism, but it did set an important legislative precedent and gave desperately needed funds to federal law enforcement to investigate and counter less violent forms of anti-choice actions like clinic blockades. We can’t easily find stats right now on anti-choice protest and various actions over the 1990s, but we think if one finds them one would see an increase beginning in the Republican administration of George W Bush with the 1989 US Supreme Court ruling in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, increasing with attempts to pass in Congress a form of a Human Life Amendment, increasing dramatically after the 1992 election of Bill Clinton, and then a gradual decrease in overall anti-choice extremist activity beginning about two years after the 1994 FACE act. The decrease might more accurately be said to have occurred perhaps in small part because of the FACE act, but also because of a reaction against right-wing extremist groups after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and also in part because right wing groups got preoccupied (or were diverted) into other activities like the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal beginning in 1998, Y2K (year 2000) millenarianism, survivalism, etc. Proving a causal relationship between those disparate other events and a decline in clinic violence is difficult, but it’s easier to show how FACE was at least helpful in reducing some forms of clinic violence. If FACE wasn’t responsible for at least helping de-escalate anti-choice violence, then what was – besides the election of George W Bush? I’m sure Christina does not mean to overemphasize the reaction of right wing groups overall and anti-choice groups in particular to the election of (supposedly) progressive Democrats but it’s not something that most academics and activists not affiliated with the Democratic party would emphasize so strongly, in particular Suzanne Staggenborg and Dallas Blanchard (and also this book).

    And if the election of George W Bush was the most important factor in reducing clinic violence, specifically murder, we have to wonder if Christina thinks we’d be much better off, or Dr. Tiller might more likely be alive today if John McCain would have been elected instead of Barack Obama. Perhaps if Obama was at least promising as much to pro-choice activists as Bill Clinton did when he was elected we might think different, but Obama is trying harder than Clinton did to reach out to pro-life constituencies, and he doesn’t really seem to be getting the resistance that Clinton did when he was elected from the religious right.

    The killing earlier today of Dr. Tiller is a tragedy which is not easily helped by posting a lot of words of thoughts and arguments on anti-choice violence and what we think should be done about it. We’ve been following the news closely, including some of us who really haven’t been in touch with each other in over 10 years, since events like this were much more in the news, and public opinion was more solidly pro-choice. For now we’ve agreed this post summarizes the best suggestions we have for pro-choice activists in response to the tragedy today.

    The various pro-choice groups mentioned in so many other blog posts we’ve read today are obviously worthy organizations which deserve support. If we had to pick a few we’d pick the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist Majority Foundation/Fund because they are leaders in clinic defense work, and National Network of Abortion Funds is of course the leading national source for funds for abortion services for individual women who can’t afford the full cost of their procedure. If you’re otherwise inclined to donate, by all means do.

    But if your money is very limited and you’ve got the time to do some activist research on your own, we’d suggest other ways to lend your support. There’s two good reasons why:

    (1) we may hear in the near future of suggestions from Dr. Tiller’s family or his staff for specific organizations to donate to in his memory, and

    (2) if you, the reader thinks a little more deeply about what Dr. Tiller did which was so significant in helping women, you might find on your own local clinics and supporting organizations like his which you might more directly donate to or otherwise support.

    Dr. Tiller was a provider of accessible late-term (after 24 weeks, or third-trimester) abortion. There are other providers, surely, as despite better medical techniques which prevent pregnancy complications and detect fetal abnormalities earlier in pregnancy, women who discover late in their pregnancies medical conditions in their bodies (or in the fetus) which would possibly lead to serious medical complications or stillbirth probably can usually get referrals to doctors who essentially do what Dr. Tiller did. But it simply isn’t true what another late-term abortion provider, Dr. Warren Hern, is quoted as saying in today’s Los Angeles Times that he (Dr. Hern) is “the only doctor in the world” now left providing very late-term abortions.

    Dr. Hern may possibly be the only one left who is advertising what he does and in the way he does, but it’s probably about as accurate to say he’s the “only doctor in the world” left doing third-trimester abortions as it was to say that Dr. Martin Haskell, a physician who in 1992 gave a presentation to the National Abortion Federation titled Dilation and Extraction for Late Second Trimester Abortion invented that particular procedure, which incidentally is often the safest method for inducing late-term abortion. Dr. Haskell named that procedure dilation and extraction (or D&X), but he did not invent the procedure. We can’t find quotes attributed to Dr. Haskell that say he “invented” D&X but subsequent reporting, especially after National Right to Life began a campaign against that procedure in 1995 imply as much. One can look at medical textbooks from 100 years ago and older and see described techniques for removing stillborn (or thought to be stillborn) fetuses which are little different. That’s another issue, but what links the quote attributed above today to Dr. Hern and –in a different context a decade ago – Dr. Haskell is a kind of overstatement for propaganda or public relations reasons (or perhaps careless reporting) which to say the least is problematic to pro-choice activists.

    While there certainly must be other providers of late-term abortion than Dr. Tiller and Dr. Hern, one needs a referral to get an appointment with most of them, they don’t get patients who choose them on their own by going to the phone book or internet and referring themselves, which was what some of Dr. Tiller’s client base came from, self-referred patients. Dr. Tiller and his staff evaluated patients and based on if their case met Kansas’ criteria for allowing late term or possibly post-viability abortion – whether or not continuing the pregnancy would threaten the health of the woman – and if the criteria was met, the women could be admitted and an abortion performed.

    The death of Dr. Tiller may close the clinic which he was most closely associated with, Women’s Health Care Services, and it will affect women who were going to be going to his clinic in the near future, but surely there will continue to be other clinics who advertise that they provide at least second-trimester procedures. They at least would be likely to refer women who are further along in their pregnancies than they are designed to doctors, probably individual physicians and surgeons, who do third trimester procedures. You may not find them as easily as you might a provider like Dr. Tiller, but if you get involved with a local pro-choice group – maybe, for example, a local affiliate or chapter of one of the groups mentioned above – and if you’re sincere in your interest, you’ll learn of local clinics which might either provide or refer women for second-trimester and later procedures, and once you learn of them donate directly to them. Many of them may have the ability now to take donations, and some may be nonprofits or offer sliding scales which would obviously benefit from donations.

    Just so no one reading this thinks we’re inadvertently calling for “outing” second-trimester providers let’s say that we’re not suggesting people call up clinics directly and ask if they provide later-term abortions, rather we’re suggesting people get involved at the local level and find out what clinics in their community (or near them) serve women who need relatively later-term abortion. One might start out as simply as looking for clinics to offer your support to who serve poorer women, or who offer a sliding scale for abortion services, as they’ll more likely be seeking later term abortion because of delays or other factors making earlier term abortion (and perhaps better overall pregnancy care) less accessible to them.

    In short, we’re suggesting you think local, and if you make some effort to do so you you’ll find abortion providers who care for relatively poor women, or women who for whatever reason couldn’t make the decision to seek abortion earlier in their pregnancy. And we think you’ll find some near you, if you look hard enough. Even if you live in the rural Midwest. Or even the deep South. Yes, even the deep South, even if you live so far out that you’re down the road from something like the Cider House in that John Irving novel.

    That’s how we think Dr. Tiller thought, and a good way, we think, to respect his memory.

  • http://isaacmcpheeters.com/blog/ invalid-0

    I find the entire affair tragic. To be honest, we know little about the murderer, but I can make an educated guess he would call himself pro-life. Yet both men made the choice to take lives. Tiller felt he could choose to perform abortions, and his murder felt that while the lives of the unborn were off-limits, the life of this doctor was not. Both men valued choice above justice.

    Oh, and your post is factually wrong. You said that abortions went up during the Bush years when in fact they went down (see factcheck.org). You also refused to back up your claim.

    • invalid-0

      IsaacMc, you write “Oh, and your post is factually wrong. You said that abortions went up during the Bush years when in fact they went down (see factcheck.org). You also refused to back up your claim.”

      Were you intending to respond to a different article? Did you simply forget what Cristina Page actually said by the time you finished the first four sentences of your post? In fact, Page wrote, “As a result of Bush’s policies, recent reportings from clinics suggest that we may be seeing a surge in abortions.”

      The distinction between a past surge and a projected future surge would seem not to be a subtle one. (“Past” and “future” are fairly easy concepts to grasp.) Moreover, it makes sense that failing to teach students about contraception under Bush would not necessarily lead to an immediate increase in abortions. You wouldn’t expect to see an uptick until those students become sexually active. And students who started middle school under Bush would be, at the oldest, 20 this year.

      Also, Page backed up her claim by linking to an article describing clinic reports indicating that abortions are rising – or about to rise – due to the recession.

      If you combine lack of information about contraception with the inability to afford starting a family, it is not hard to see that abortions could increase.

  • invalid-0

    Your commentary, Christina, is right on point. There is embedded in the Force Birth Ideology an implicit disregard for mature human life and for acts of conscience. In this way, the movement has crossed the line into domestic terror for its entire history. “A terrorist is one who has no regard for the adversary.”

    • http://trendever.blogspot.com/ invalid-0

      Who from us did not see a scene in the Hollywood films when the hero enters into absolutely empty premise where it is waited by the next complication of a plot – any maniac, the terrorist or the maiden expecting rescue.

  • truth

    Although I don’t advocate violence, I have to say that upon hearing the news of Tiller’s death – I felt Joyful! Joyful that pure Justice really exists. Some call this Karma – I don’t believe in Karma but I do believe that nothing happens by coincidence – everything has a purpose. There are consequences to the decisions we make or don’t make. Tiller viewed the fruit of human reproduction as nothing more than unwanted cells or flesh – something to be ripped from the mother’s womb and discarded in the dumpster behind his clinic. With this type of perspective on life wasn’t Dr. Tiller already dead? I mean he couldn’t have been a happy man – you cannot continually "butt heads" with Life’s Energy Source and expect "good things" to come your way, right? Anyway, I feel badly that I don’t feel badly for Dr. Tiller. I feel a sense of Justice. We have lost Justice in this country and the world. Unfortunately, when Society loses its sense of pure Justice we will see some citizens take it into their own hands – no doubt – we will see more of this if the country doesn’t take back it’s moral traditions, uphold the Constitution, and start doing what is RIGHT!

    • paul-bradford

      We live in a country that cherishes free speech, but it happens to be a reality of human life that hate speech has lethal consequences.

       

      Truth, your post is hate speech!

       

      No one deserves to die, but loose speech causes us to lose sight of that fact.  You say, "everything has a purpose".  I’m telling you that you might as well have said, "He had it coming."  Don’t you realize that, in doing that, you are the one who is butting heads with Life’s Energy Source?

      I wrote about Dr. Tiller on the PLCC website back on March 28. Today, I feel sad to the point of being sick.  This is a bad day, not just for Dr. Tiller’s friends and family, but for health care in the United States.  Doctors should not have to worry about whether they can safely do their work.  You don’t like what abortion providers do.  I don’t like what abortion providers do, but the problem is not, nor has it ever been, a problem with abortion providers.  The problem is that women are not sufficiently supported.

       

      The only way to protect the unborn is by giving women MORE choice.  The worst thing anyone can do for the innocent very young is to engage in hate speech. 

       

      Paul Bradford

      Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • on-the-issues-magazine

    Statement from Merle Hoffman

    CHOICES Women’s Medical Center

    On The Issues Magazine

     

    George Tiller was a friend, comrade and associate of mine for over a quarter of a century. I would share time and ideas with him at conferences, refer patients for his services and exchange holiday gifts with his staff. He, like so many abortion providers, was a person of courage, integrity and commitment to women’s reproductive rights.

     

    I am sobered, deeply saddened, but not surprised by his murder. Like all of us, he knew that THERE IS NO CHOICE WITHOUT PROVIDERS. Facing ongoing legal and violent harassment, he continued to work for women on a daily basis in the middle of this war zone that all providers share.

     

    Keep reading here: http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2009spring/2009spring_tiller.php

     

    For historical perspective see Hoffman’s Editorial from 1995, "Abortion Providers: The "New" Communists," written when violence against abortion providers and clinics was not uncommon.
    http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/1995summer/hoffman.php

  • amie-newman

    for the late term abortion you needed to have. I know from having worked at an abortion clinic for many years that when a woman needs a late term abortion – the women who Dr. Tiller served – it is a heart wrenching, extremely upsetting experience. As Lynda Waddington shared on RH Reality Check some months ago, her experience was something she wishes upon no other person. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be faced with what is such an incredibly gut wrenching decision, incomparable to anything one can imagine. 

    Since these late term abortions are almost always done when the fetus is suffering from a condition that would either kill him or her in utero or soon after and, in Lynda’s case, could have resulted in a very serious infection to her own body had any other procedure been attempted (and as she was already a mother to one child, this was critical), it is far from anyone’s job to judge. 

    So, Truth – my heart goes out to you because for you to be commenting on this in the way you are must mean that you’ve already experienced a late term abortion so you understand what is involved. Or you must have worked with Dr. Tiller so you know what his intentions were? It’s interesting that you have such a different take on Tiller. So many people who worked with Dr. Tiller thought of him so highly – including the women he helped over the years. He was a father, husband, son. Many of us who have done this work or continue to, have children, are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, fathers, sons. Most women who have abortions have children already. We are loving, giving, kind people who are doing the best we can.

    I’m sorry your experience with a late term abortion and/or working with Dr. Tiller left you feeling the way you do. I wish you more peace and love as you continue on your journey. It sounds like you need it. For everyone else, Dr. Tiller represents a truly courageous, loving, kind soul who did who helped more mothers, fathers, women and their families than most do in a lifetime.  

     

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • progo35

    One thing that is also bothering me is that the media keeps saying that Tiller as one of the only providers of “abortions after 21 weeks” that’s not true, he was one of the only people who provided abortions after 24 weeks. Saying “21 weeks” misinforms the populace.

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

    • invalid-0

      Unless my math is off, 24 weeks comes AFTER 21 weeks, so Tiller was still one of the few who performed abortions after 21 weeks. What’s your point? That the grossly malformed, genetically nonviable or dead fetuses were closer to ‘natural’ birth? That really doesn’t matter. There isn’t any POINT in having grossly malformed, genetically nonviable or stillborn fetuses go through ‘natural’ birth when that is far riskier for the women whose pregnancies have ended in tragedy.

  • invalid-0

    The sort you want to criminalize?

    And “No one deserves to die”…… unless it would trouble the mother to give birth?

  • invalid-0

    Indicate that 192 out of 323 abortions performed after 22 weeks, were on “viable” fetuses.

    None were reported with:

    Extreme immaturity of heart and lungs

    Hypoplastic Left Heart, Chromosome abnormality

    0 Apgar score; mother had severe oligohydramnios;
    fetus had poly/multicystic kidney disease

    No amniotic fluid and other abnormalities

    Extreme Immaturity of Organs

    Anencephaly

    Hypoplastic L Heart

    Trisomy 22 Hydrocephaly

    In all 192, the reason for the abortion was to “Prevent substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function”…. and we all know what THAT means, in most cases…..

  • invalid-0

    I am very much pro-choice, but I can’t say I follow your criticism of peaceful pro-life groups. They see abortion as murder, and they have every right to say so. The vast majority also see Dr. Tillers death as murder, and can’t be blamed for it.

    Are you really saying we should censure people you disagree with? Are you willing to also blame environmentalists for eco-terrorism? Vegetarians and vegans for animal-rights terrorism?

  • paul-bradford

    Dan, 

    I call people out when they engage in hate speech.  I also call people out when they engage in speech that is ageist and discriminatory. 

    The child of a mother who procures an abortion does not deserve to die.  Dr. George Tiller did not deserve to die.  The child is victimized by ageist and discriminatory speech.  Tiller was victimized by hate speech.

    Words can kill.  We’re fooling ourselves if we deny that fact.  Would it make sense to ‘criminalize’ certain kinds of speech?  I’m not sure I have an answer to that, but I have noticed that simple social pressure cleans up a lot of the offending language. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    One of the bitterest ironies of this news for me is that RU486 was supposed to have made abortions obsolete. However, nobody had forseen that anti-abortionists would literally throw the baby out into the floodwaters by refusing to provide it, as pharmacists. Indeed, anti-abortionists have stymied affordable access to birth control at each and every step of the way. Cutting-off their nose to spite their face, if you ask me.

    I also resent the presentation of anti-abortionists as “pro-life.” It implies that us pro-choicers are anti-life, when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I cherish life so much that I trust that living people will make the correct decision regarding their own pleasure, if allowed to make informed decisions. I like life so much that I cherish all of it’s aspects, including, but not limited to, sex. I don’t want to make any aspect of life painful, or make anyone fearful about a natural biological function.

    I realise that I’m preaching to the choir here, but I am really uposet about this, and needed to vent.

    Thanks to anyone who read this.

  • invalid-0

    But not brave enough to make a decision and take a stand on what should be done with what you call “hate speech”.

    I am really left wondering if you would have me silenced or imprisoned. Just what qualifies as “hate speech”? Anything you don’t agree with? Telling the truth about a “baby killer”?

  • invalid-0

    One of the bitterest ironies of this news for me is that RU486 was supposed to have made abortions obsolete.

    Huh? RU486 CAUSES abortions. How would it make abortions obsolete? Also, I’m pretty sure you can not get it at any pharmacy, you need a doctor to give it to you.

    I think you must be confusing it with Emergency Contraception, which is totally different. Even still, no birth control will stop late-term abortions, which usually happens with wanted pregnancies where something goes wrong.

  • invalid-0

    192 of 383 abortions in Kansas, in 2008, performed at 22 weeks or after were performed on viable children….

  • invalid-0

    No wonder there is so much animosity between both sides of the abortion debate when people all you do is demonize pro-life people when something like this happens. So the next time violence is perpetrated against a pro-life person, what should we pro-life people say in response? How about “Well, Cristina, if you weren’t so extremist in calling average, everyday pro-life Americans terrorists and condemining them for something they didn’t do and don’t support, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” Sucks when the shoe is on the other foot, doesn’t it?

  • invalid-0

    KatWA, I think he meant that RU-486 was said by some when it was being campaigned for approval as use as an abortifacient in the US that it would reduce the need for surgical abortions, and lessen the conflict at abortion clinics as antis would not so much be able to think that if they shut down a particular clinic that they’d stop abortions in that community. It wouldn’t have made abortions obsolete, but some pro-choice activists did make press statements that it would lessen the threat that anti-choice protest caused and make abortion providers less vulnerable.

    But RU-486 has issues of it’s own which wasn’t understood or at least talked about in the press much when it was being campaigned for, in particular it requires greater patient compliance than early-term surgical procedures. It requires one to take multiple doses of medication and to get back in touch with the abortion provider or another health care provider if complications arise. Complications like incomplete abortion are very rare with RU-486 but I think they’re more common than with early 1st trimester procedures. Today it’s good of course that it’s on the market, but it really hasn’t lessened the need for providers of surgical abortion procedures. And there are providers of that, of course, one just needs to look a little harder and unfortunately go a little further in many cases to get that.

  • paul-bradford

    This situation is not about where you stand on the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice divide.  It’s about the power of words to do harm.  The person most guilty in this case is Randall Terry of Operation Rescue.  Read this article from the Washington Post to read his latest inflammatory comments. 

     

    When you call someone a ‘mass murderer’ you’re actually saying that his life doesn’t count.  This is how we get into trouble — by dividing people up into those who count and those who don’t count.  If I can call people out on this board for calling the very young ‘a clump of cells’, I can call Randall Terrry out for calling Dr. Tiller a ‘mass murderer’.

     

    Words have power.  Let’s stop thinking that people should be able to say anything they like.  There’s violence in certain kinds of words and when you let the violence fester people end up dying.

     

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    and a mass murderer is Supreme Court legislation making his mass killing legal.

  • invalid-0

    And at what point was anyone “calling average, everyday pro-life Americans terrorists”? I must have been reading a completely different post than you!

  • paul-bradford

    Dan,

     

    I’d like us to examine exactly what Truth said, "Although I don’t advocate violence, I have to say that upon hearing the news of Tiller’s death – I felt Joyful! Joyful that pure Justice really exists."  

     

    To boldly express satisfaction about a man’s murder is to ‘advocate violence’.  While engaging in hate speech, Truth is lying to us (and probably to himself as well) by saying he’s not violent.  It’s not about whether I ‘agree’ with someone.  Truth and I are in agreement that abortion is immoral, but I hold myself (and others) to the standard of not making reckless speeches.

     

    Even if there were tough laws against third trimester abortions, and even if Tiller had acted in defiance of the law and had been convicted of criminal conduct, it would violate Pro-Life principles to advocate Tiller’s death.  The law has to be a tool for inducing people to behave justly.  It can’t be a vehicle for ridding ourselves of ‘evil doers’.

     

    I got into trouble a few months ago because I suggested that we stop calling abortion ‘murder’ and start calling it ‘bad manners’.  There was a reason I made this provocative statement and it was because the peril of the unborn is rooted in the fact that people use language to make them subhuman.  No one needs to be told that killing a person is murder.  What needs to be learned is the fact that the unborn are persons.  I assert that if people ever got to the point where they understood that the unborn should be treated with good manners they would understand that they are persons.  Explaining to them that they can’t kill persons is unnecessary.

     

    You can call Dr. Tiller a baby killer, but you’re not saving any lives in doing that.  If people believed that the unborn are at a par with ‘babies’ there would be no discussion of killing them. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    a “baby”, since you must dehumanize it before you kill it.

    I think you mistake a visceral, emotional response on Truth’s part for advocacy. They are not the same.

  • therealistmom

    1. Since when is 22 weeks "viable"?

    2.We all know health situations for the mother NEVER exist in this day and age. All those women with toxemia, diabetes, cancer, etc who had to end a wanted pregnancy or face losing their lives and fertility didn’t exist. The fact that they might die going through labor never happened.

     3. The determination of "viable" differs greatly. Some people would consider "viable" a fetus who would survive a couple of days, even hours,  outside of the womb with intensive medical care, even if it would never attain any sort of consciousness. This skews the number of allegedly "viable" pregnancies that are ended.

    4. Dr. Tiller’s files have been gone over repeatedly over the years and never has he been found to have violated the very stringent laws regarding when a late-term abortion procedure might be performed- ie, for a doomed fetus or for the health of the woman. That just might be a hint that, gee, maybe he was doing it within those guidelines.

  • paul-bradford

    Cristina understands the connection between violent speech and violent actions.  Terrorism is more than just the behavior of the ones who kill or harm.  Terrorism is also the language that provokes and justifies such actions.

     

    Look at what Randall Terry said today! You can read this article to read what other leaders had to say. (Tell me if you thought Fr. Pavone’s comments were a little ‘off’.)  Most "everyday pro-life Americans" (like me) expressed shock and outrage, but it’s nuts to deny that there was hate speech directed at him since his not-guilty verdict in March.

     

    If the Pro-Life movement wants to save more lives it had better distance itself both from violent actions and violent words. 

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Cristina understands the connection between violent speech and violent actions.  Terrorism is more than just the behavior of the ones who kill or harm.  Terrorism is also the language that provokes and justifies such actions.

     

    Look at what Randall Terry said today! You can read this article to read what other leaders had to say. (Tell me if you thought Fr. Pavone’s comments were a little ‘off’.)  Most "everyday pro-life Americans" (like me) expressed shock and outrage, but it’s nuts to deny that there was hate speech directed at him since his not-guilty verdict in March.

     

    If the Pro-Life movement wants to save more lives it had better distance itself both from violent actions and violent words. 

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    The statistics published by the State of Kansas, as compiled from forms filled out by the attending physician performing the abortions…..

    I’m no medical expert, nor did I deny that there were occasions where a viable child would need to be aborted to preserve the life and health of the mother.

    But we all know about the games that are played with the “health” of the mother….. It is a common dodge to “qualify” a mother to kill her child.

    A little honesty on your side about what is really “medically necessary” to protect the life and health of the mother would go a long way to formulating common sense regulation of late term abortions.

  • paul-bradford

    Dan,

     

    You understand exactly what I’m saying!!  You must dehumanize an unborn child before you can kill him or her and you must dehumanize Dr. Tiller before you can kill him.

     

    When Truth said that he was "joyful" at Tiller’s murder he was dehumanizing Tiller.

     

    I use visceral, emotional words when I advocate for the unborn — but I don’t dehumanize either those who procure abortions or those who perform them.  I wouldn’t really be Pro-Life if I did. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    engages in “violent words”?

    And just what IS a “violent word”? If I wanted to avoid them, what metric would I use to determine what words are “violent” and which are “not violent”?

  • paul-bradford

     

    "what metric would I use to determine what words are "violent" and which are "not violent"?

     

    Dan,

     

    You’re asking the right questions!! 

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    to be “pro-life”? Why?

    I think we can separate the MANNER of Tiller’s death, and the FACT of his death. We can condemn the manner while being less than mounful for the fact.

    Some people’s behavior and the prospect of them continuing that behavior makes them an evil human. This not “dehumanizing” them, but just recognizing that they act evilly. And one can be “joyful” about the cessation of the evil, while condemning the illegal and immoral actions that brought the cessation about.

  • invalid-0

    I act on your suggestion.

    I think it is up to you to provide a definition. I will need one before I can evaluate your proposal, and decide if I am following your advice, should I embrace it.

    Too bad you did not supply a definition. Why not?

  • jodi-jacobson

    from the safety of your biologically determined inability to become pregnant, has either of you even bothered to read the stories of women who have had to choose late-term procedures to even begin to understand what they went through?

     

    I doubt it.
    It is so much safer to prognosticate from afar.

  • invalid-0

    had to make a hard choice to kill their child to preserve their own life.

    When this is actually necessary, I don’t know of ANYONE that would criticize the mother for doing so.

    But are you suggesting that ALL later term abortions are so necessary that a viable child must be killed? No one “massages” the “mother’s health” provision to extend abortion on demand into the third trimester?

    • invalid-0

      I an sympathetic towards those that
      had to make a hard choice to kill their child to preserve their own life.

      Yeah, those fucking walking incubators should just quit their bitching and die so the pro-fetus crowd can have a motherless child to crow over because they “saved” it.

      But are you suggesting that ALL later term abortions are so necessary that a viable child must be killed? No one “massages” the “mother’s health” provision to extend abortion on demand into the third trimester?

      You are painfully ignorant, and your speech reveals that you are a misogynist. Stop talking about subjects of which you know nothing. It is really obvious that you are just here to irritate and concern-troll.

    • http://design-logomoto.blogspot.com/ invalid-0

      Much, really to make abortion pair-three times a year easier. The another matter that it is necessary to struggle not with abortions and to create party, to be engaged in public affairs, including free of charge to distribute contraception at schools, to read lectures, to help young mothers to Leave, etc. on legislative level, and to reduce taxes to such kinds of the goods as contraceptives to zero.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve never had an abortion, but only because I’ve never been pregnant. I’m 35 and I’ve never wanted to have children (I adore my friends’ children and my nieces and nephew). If I ever did get pregnant, I would get an abortion right away. But a lot of women can’t afford it because it’s not covered by Medicaid, and where is their choice? or they’re young and hiding it and scared, and where is their choice? They may need an abortion late in pregnancy. Where can they get it in the rural Midwest now?

     

    I remember in the early 90s when the clinics started sending pro-choice activists away and telling us not to physically stop the anti-choice people from blocking the clinic doors. The mainstream feminist groups wanted to rely on the police and courts to protect the clinics. I remember hearing about when New Yorkers chased Operation Rescue out of town in the early 90s. The anti-choice people were trying to crawl between the legs of the New Yorkers who had linked arms defending the clinic, and the New Yorkers just kicked them in the face, etc. That is the kind of movement we need. People forget that during the 50s and 60s in Mississippi, when local Civil Rights leaders were being killed, they prevented many more killings by carrying guns to defend themselves. Civil Rights organizers who believed in nonviolence in most cases were actually shooting back when shot at, and that sent a real message that the Klan heard loud and clear. (see I’ve Got the Light of Freedom by Charles Payne http://www.amazon.com/Ive-Got-Light-Freedom-Mississippi/dp/0520207068 )

     

    Mainstream feminists’ relying on the police and sending away the movement was such a mistake. Now they want "homeland security" to crack down on protesters. Don’t they know that will be used against our own movements first? For example, animal rights activists who merely picketed in protest are being charged with terrorism and threatened with extended jail terms. Another example – five founders of the nation’s largest Muslim charity have received prison terms of up to sixty-five years. The five were never accused of supporting violence and were convicted for funding charities that helped impoverished Palestinian families get food and clothing. see http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/29/holy_land

  • invalid-0

    where you want someone else to take the responsibility?

    You want to have sex, with no responsibility for the consequences, and will kill to make this so.

  • colleen

    You understand exactly what I’m saying!!

    Of course he does. Most people in the ‘pro-life’ movement are celebrating today and EACH of them is complicit in his death. Dan and the lot of you do not care that Dr Tiller saved the lives of many women. See what you have helped to create? 

     

  • invalid-0

    will “save the life of many women”?

    Perhaps if there was a little less ambiguity about when the life of the mother is being saved, compared to simply the death of her child being accomplished, there would be less froth about what is actually happening at “women’s health clinics”?

    If Tiller saved women’s lives, he is to be commended. But that would not make up to killing children when there were reasonable alternatives, would it?

  • colleen

    But we all know about the games that are played with the "health" of the mother…..

    Well, no ‘we’ do not. As far as I can tell this nasty, unfounded insinuation coupled with the peculiar notion that women in the late stages of their pregnancies abort wanted children on a whim is part of the belief system of the ‘pro-life’ movement and the republican party and, like many parts of that belief system, has no basiis in reality.

    • invalid-0

      I come across this a lot, Colleen. It has a lot to do with mental disconnects and low-level misogyny that fuels hypocrisy and double standards like “the only moral abortion is my own”. Except that the person espousing such views doesn’t want to keep the right to a procedure he/she thinks nobody else should have, because their reason was super-duper special or something. The difference is that people holding views like Dan’s think all women he doesn’t personally know are fine to be projected onto with all the hate and vitriol of someone who is narcissistic and thinks that they should get to decide who is “deserving” and who isn’t. They are both damaging theories since they are both incapable of butting out and/or empathizing with strangers and accepting that one persons blessing may be someone’s else’s curse.

  • invalid-0

    I’m sorry I couldn’t figure out how to make sure the paragraphs in my comment were separated, so it just looks like a long rant. I have so much respect for everyone who has organized for reproductive freedom, and I haven’t been doing that since the early 90s, except for a bit here and there. I don’t mean any disrespect.

  • invalid-0

    Isn’t it the “unwanted children” that are killed?

  • invalid-0

    I thought it was all about protecting the health of women?

    Also, to put p single paragraph break, put in a “<_p_>” or “<_br_>” (without the quotes or underscores…)

    If you want a paragraph break AND a blank line, put in two “br” tags.

  • invalid-0

    One reference to cite (and good precedent) regarding changes in anti-abortion rhetoric was made by pro-life Catholic spokespeople in the Boston area back in the mid-90s to modify tactics like clinic protests and rhetoric that referred to abortion providers in inciteful language. One of the parties who took leadership in that was Cardinal Bernard Law.

    Cardinal Law and others in the Boston Catholic diocese made changes which showed a sincere effort to effectively oppose abortion and support women carrying their pregnancies to term without using language that incites violence or suggests a possible affinity for people who act out violently to abortion providers. The change in language may have helped moderate more radical elements and make them feel less welcome and less likely to get support from the larger Catholic community. I recall reading that there were a number of protest leaders who heeded his call to stop clinic protests (Wikipedia called it a moratorium, I don’t know if it ever had a time limit which is what the word moratorium implies) after the Salvi killings in Boston in December 1994. Incidentally, those killings occured after the fall 1994 elections which brought an overall win for Republicans who supported anti-choice legislation (another example of how clinic violence isn’t very simply related to whether those in power are pro-choice or not).

    Cardinal Law’s change in position wasn’t uniformly supported by other leaders in the Catholic church outside of Boston (Cardinal John O’Connor of NYC in particular) and was predictably opposed by leaders of groups which supported the clinic protests, but it did help persuade some people to not engage in clinic protests or act out in other ways that might have inadvertently sent a message of support to (likely) lone actors like Salvi who might act out violently. One would wish, of course, that there would be a national or international consensus in the Church against actions and language like that, but at least it’s a good example of how local church leaders responded and a moderating effect which it apparently had.

  • invalid-0

    My mother nearly died having an illegal abortion in the early 60s. I am glad that she lived, and I want every woman who is in a situation like hers to survive. Illegal abortion is a leading cause of death for women of child-bearing age in many countries.

    In Peru alone, an estimated 50,000 women a year either die or suffer serious complications after an illegal abortion.

    But I want more than survival for myself and women everywhere. I want freedom.

  • colleen

    Perhaps if there was a little less ambiguity about when the life of the
    mother is being saved, compared to simply the death of her child being
    accomplished, there would be less froth about what is actually
    happening at "women’s health clinics"?

    I don’t believe there’s been any ambiguity. I do believe there’s an enormous volume of disinformation and demonization the ‘pro-life’ movement has developed as a sort of (well paid) cottage industry. I do not for a moment believe that women or Dr Tiller performed or consented to late term abortions for frivilous reasons. I do believe that when the right  portrays late term abortions in this manner it’s great for Randall Terry’s  fundraising efforts (as is the occasional murder by one of your own)

     

     

     

     

     

  • jodi-jacobson

    If you even bothered to understand facts, we could actually have a discussion. If you had any semblance of empathy toward people facing these decisions, we could have a discussion. Neither of these appears to be the case.

     

    Ninety percent of all abortions happen by 12 weeks. One percent are later than 21 weeks.

     

    Again, I ask if you have read any testimonies by women and/or their partners who have had to make these choices. Did you possibly hear the discussion on Anderson Cooper tonight by Lynda Waddington who herself had to face the termination of a very-much wanted pregnancy due to severe fetal abnormalities? There are countless such stories.

     

    But these facts obviously are inconvenient to the political cause which requires so villifying someone providing health care that they end up murdered and people like you find themselves parsing words to justify the assassination of a medical doctor.
    There are many reasons people might terminate a pregnancy in the third trimester, including the many fetal abnormalities that can lead to the death of a fetus in-utero, stillbirth or direct threats to the health and/or life of the mother.

     

    You obviously prefer that people suffer and that women die or are permanently harmed to satisfy your political agenda.
    Jodi Jacobson

  • invalid-0

    in your community, you don’t seem to have a good grasp of the issues….. n or do you seem to have very developed reading skills.

    The argument is NOT over cases where there is a medical necessity for abortion, WHENEVER that need arises. These are tragic cases, that call for empathy and compassion towards all involved. I am sure that it is a heavy burden on a doctor to know he had no choice but to kill another human being, to save the mother. And I think I expressed this in perhaps less developed form in my last post, which you seem to want to neglect?

    The debate IS over whether all such late term abortions are actually medically necessary, and the process by which society can be more confident that the system is not being “played” by those wanting to simply avoid having another child and those wanting to make money on these women.

    It seems unreasonable to me that demand for all such abortions for “convenience” magically dry up at 21 weeks? Of course, since only the woman and her doctor are allowed to examine the decision, neither you or I know what their individual motives are, do we?

    And we could have a discussion if you were not so ready to jump to conclusions about what I know and what I want for women and children? Just what words did I use to “justify” the “assassination” of Tiller?

    Of course, you will be satisfied with making the smear…. you won’t back it up.

  • invalid-0

    I wonder if you are well regarded in your community precisely for your ability to avoid and obfuscate the real issues?

  • invalid-0

    after 22 weeks?

    Are you suggesting that all the other Drs. are somehow willing to condemn their patients to death and deformity, when there is such an “obvious” need for abortions?

    Or perhaps the need is not so obvious, or there are other procedures that can preserve both lives?

  • therealistmom

    If a woman goes to 24+ weeks with her pregnancy, 99.9% of the time (statistic pulled out of my arse, but more accurate than what would be given by most anti-choicers) it is because she decided she WANTED to have the baby. That is one of the reasons why late-term abortion is such an agonizing decision- these are women with a wanted pregnancy, women who are preparing to welcome a child into their lives, and something goes horribly, tragically wrong. They are diagnosed with cancer that needs immediate treatment. Or they have complications from toxemia or diabetes. Or the fetus shows such abnormality it cannot be expected to survive after birth, or has died in-utero. These are WANTED pregnancies, to women and families who are already eager to see their children born. They only go through with the abortion of of necessity… necessity to save the woman’s health and fertility, necessity to prevent a baby being born to a short, painful existence.

     You say that the pro-choice side needs to "prove" that women don’t recklessly  abort late term. Think about this. The rhetoric was created by virulent anti-choicers against all common sense. It makes a lot more sense logically, if you believe women have any brains or volition of their own (which sadly some anti-choicers don’t seem to) why would they wait and have a painful procedure that costs a great deal of money, when if they didn’t wish to be pregnant it could have been dealt with much earlier and cheaper, without having to face the gamut of violent protesters? Why would Tiller "fudge" diagnoses when he was so much under the spotlight, and a target of violence already? That would make any rational person want to ensure everything was exactly within the lines, all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. 

    I find it beyond insulting, as a woman and as a mother, that anyone would think women are so capricious and cruel that they would have a late term abortion for shits and giggles.

  • invalid-0

    I just realized that I was confused about what late-term abortion is and is not (not surprising given the Right’s influence in the media).

    Late term abortion is only provided when it can be proven medically necessary under very strict conditions. Usually it is a pregnancy that the woman wanted. This is a great video:

    http://rhrealitycheck.org/video/reality-check-video-series/late-term-abortion

  • invalid-0

    You deny that there are ANY “capricious” abortions performed after 22 weeks? Then why isn’t your “arse” educated enough to go the whole way to 100%?

    But something tells me you would still be for killing in the 0.01% cases, too. Am I wrong?

    And…. all the conditions that might prompt a mother to kill her child in the first 21 weeks never occur after that? No loss of jobs, sickness of other children, divorces, change of boyfriends, “I can’t stand being pregnant another minute”, “I’m scared of being a mother”, etc. CAN’T occur to change her mind after 22 weeks?

    Why not?

  • therealistmom

    Because there always is an exception to the rule. There’s no "research" that can truly be done because in the end this is an extremely private choice. HOWEVER I am way more likely to believe a medical professional who would have everything to lose if he lied than the frothing lunacy that constitutes much of the antichoice movement. That, and I have a bit of faith in women in general. 

    Again, most of those situations can occur- but one would be hard-pressed to find a medical professional who would perform a late-term abortion "just because". There may be situations where it is necessary for the woman’s mental health, where the suicidal ideation is just as dangerous to the woman’s health as cancer or diabetes is. These are going to be extremely few and far between- particularly in the light of how many abortions are performed later in pregnancy to begin with.

  • invalid-0

    an argument without facts….. And I admit that I am too. Neither of us know how many “capricious” late term abortions occur, because there have been no studies that can be relied on.

    Of course, there are pleny to doctors that will kill “just because” at 21 weeks, and plenty of mothers that elect to do so, right? So tell me what happens in the next week to make them saints?

    The tradition in the US is that taking of life is done in an open and transparent way, decided on by those that have no particular interest in the decision, using processes that can be reviewed for error and bias. Why can’t we do more of this when the life is innocent and helpless?

  • colleen

    So why so few that will do the "procedure" after 22 weeks?

    Do you think that the fact that guys like you keep threatening, stalking,   harassing  and murdering doctors who perform abortions might have something to do with it?

    Are you suggesting that all the other Drs. are somehow willing to
    condemn their patients to death and deformity, when there is such an
    "obvious" need for abortions?

     I’m  sure that most doctors aren’t trained to perform abortions, much less late term abortions.

    Or perhaps the need is not so obvious, or there are other procedures that can preserve both lives?

    Or perhaps you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • invalid-0

    keep up your argument?

    Just when did I “threaten, stalk, harass or murder” anyone?

    Aren’t all OB/GYN trained to do abortions?

    • jodi-jacobson

      Aren’t all OB/GYN trained to do abortions?

       

       No….in fact they are not.

  • colleen

    So the next time violence is perpetrated against a pro-life person, what should we pro-life people say in response?

    To the best of my knowledge noone has perpetrated violence against a ‘pro-life’ person because they were ‘pro-life’

    If what you meant to say was :

    "So the next time violence is perpetrated against a pro-choice person, what should we pro-life people say in response"

     

    I would suggest that y’all start with an honest apology for your complicity in said violence..

  • colleen

    When I said ‘guys like you’ I was referring to your politics, your rhetoric, your rationalizations about and apparent comfort with this latest act of right wing domestic terrorism. I was referring to the world view and  beliefs you have been expressing here. While I do believe that you and folks like you are complicit in these acts I clearly do not know you personally nor do I wish to.

    That said, it’s undeniable that men and women who share your beliefs and wilfull ignorance have been acting out in violent ways for decades now . Indeed the sort of rhetoric you and your ‘leadership’ uses is intended to instigate violence. 

     

     Aren’t all OB/GYN trained to do abortions?

    no

  • invalid-0

    No one is so blind as one who will not see…..

  • invalid-0

    an argument without facts….. And I admit that I am too. Neither of us know how many “capricious” late term abortions occur, because there have been no studies that can be relied on.

    Dan, please turn off the computer now. You’re not arguing about abortion as it exists in the real world; you’re arguing against a cartoon—and you yourself are becoming a cartoon in the process.

    If you want to have an idea of how many “capricious” late-term abortions occur year-to-year, ask yourself how many “capricious” brain surgeries take place. How many “capricious” open-heart operations. The questions you’re asking only show that you don’t understand what you’re trying to argue against, and thereby that you have nothing of value to add to this discussion.

    Abortion is not going to go away. You don’t understand why it is not going to go away, because you don’t understand why abortion exists in the first place. I would suggest that you educate yourself on why abortion exists, as then, you might gain a better idea on how to bring about fewer of them in this country.

  • invalid-0

    of reasons. Some of the justified, some of them not justified. And I know of no one that wants to do away with abortions.

    Perhaps you should rail against a real position?

  • invalid-0

    Aortions exist fro all sorts of reasons. Some of the justified, some of them not justified. And I know of no one that wants to do away with abortions.

    Well, it’s nice that you think at least some abortions are justified. If you don’t know of anyone that wants to do away with abortions, then let me introduce you to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

    What are some of the “not justified” reasons for abortions that you have in mind?

  • invalid-0

    the Roman Catholic position on abortions…. No Catholic would sentence a mother to sure death, just to prolong the pregnancy.

    Get an education.

  • invalid-0

    Dan, I’m afraid you don’t know that many Catholics.

    Not-justified reasons for abortion?

  • progo35

    I’ve already said that I condemn Tiller’s murder. I would like to say that Jodi, Pro life Catholics for Choice, and Realist Mom are not being entirely forthcoming in disclosing the nature of the abnormalities terminated via these late term procedures. Women do have abortions because their fetus has a livable condition like Down Syndrome, including women who went to Tiller’s clinic. In fact, his own website, as well as that of Dr. Hern in Colorado, states that the most frequent reason for late term abortion procedures is because there is something wrong with the fetus, not because the mother’s life or health is at risk. There is, in my mind, a huge, incontrovertible difference between an abortion that has to be performed to save a woman’s life, and one that is performed because of some characteristic in the fetus.

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

  • progo35

    I would like to say, however, that I agree with Paul’s psoiton that calling Tiller a "baby killer" doesn’t help the situation, as such inflamatory rhetoric simply inhibits conversation on the topic of abortion. It is possible to make a well-reasoned case against abortion without resorting to incendiary language.  

     

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

  • paul-bradford

    Jodi,

     

    I don’t know why my posts are so hard to understand.  I wasn’t debating late-term abortion or abortion at all.  The point I was making to Dan is that words can cause violence, even death.  I called out Truth for expressing the kind of Hate Speech that fosters violence and I called out Randall Terrry for the same thing.  I don’t like to lump Pro-Lifers or Pro-Choicers into groups, I think that’s a recipe for confusion.  When an individual speaks in an irresponsible way I call him or her out.

     

    Please explain to me how my ‘biological determined inability to become pregnant’ is in the least bit relevant to what I was saying.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

     "Dan and the lot of you do not care that Dr Tiller saved the lives of many women. See what you have helped to create?

     

    colleen,

     

    I want you and I to be clear about what our disagreement is.  I take the position that Dr. Tiller died because a lot of groups and individuals tolerated hate speech.  The fact that these misguided people might have imagined in their tiny little brains that they were helping the unborn is irrelevant.  So is Dr. Tiller’s life history and body of work.

     

    Randall Terry made it his business to target George Tiller and to make violent statements about him.  The fact that Terry called himself "Pro-Life" shouldn’t fool anyone into thinking that he really is.

     

    Pro-Lifers are falling over each other to decry the shooting.  I say that we have to do that and we have to do more.  We have to speak out against violent words as well as violent actions.

     

    I’ve made hundreds of posts to this ‘site (and to many others — just Google ‘Paul Bradford Pro-Life Catholics for Choice’ to get a flavor for it.)  When you find a post I’ve written that’s violent, hateful or irresponsible I will be genuinely glad to have you point it out to me.  I consider it a profound moral responsibility to avoid such talk and if I’ve ever been guilty of it I would want only to offer an apology and work to reform myself.

     

    Meantime, I deny that I helped create anything that caused any harm to those who work to serve women in the Reproductive Health field. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    it’s not magic that causes the demand for “convenience” abortions to dry up at 21 weeks. it’s medical logistics. the pros to cons ratio for keeping a viable pregnancy vs. terminating it shift dramatically for the mother (the cons being morbidity, pain, recovery time, expense and even death).

    also keep in mind, 21 weeks is a long time. do you really think there are actual women in the real world who would waffle on such an important decision for over 5 months? seriously? even the most indecisive, flighty woman ever born would know well before that point whether or not she wants to carry a pregnancy to term (barring unforseen problems, which is what late term abortion is FOR). have a little faith in women. we are people too, with real brains that work just as well as yours does (if not better).

  • invalid-0

    that is where the “health of the mother” part comes in. if this is part that bothers you, then you might as well come out and say you don’t think women’s lives are worth anything and all they’re good for is to be walking baby machines.

  • invalid-0

    The greatest hypocrisy: MOST GROUPS THAT VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE ABORTION ALSO OPPOSE FACTUAL SEX EDUCATION!!! Netherlands = 1/8 US Teenage pregnancy rate. “Abstinence Only” = more unwanted pregnancies + STDs.
    Fact over fiction. Check out:http://www.guttmacher.org Read: Thomas Paine.
    One last thing – America’s teenage pregnancy stats mirror anti-evolution stats.
    KEEP RELIGIOUS DOGMA OUT OF SOCIAL POLICY!!! ttEpZ

  • invalid-0

    that the “health of the mother”- in fact the substantial danger to the mother medical test- which must be certified by two doctors- is simply a “wink wink”, “air quote” (remember John McCain?) made up reason so that women can all travel across the country to the few OB/gyns that do late term abortions, risk our lives on a serious medical procedure- just for the heck of it.
    Yup, sounds like something that many women would enjoy.(heavy sarcasm).

  • invalid-0

    Cite? An abortion with a viable baby would be called a C-section or induced labor. Sounds like you don’t count something wrong happening with the pregnancy or the mother as “something wrong”, only if something is wrong with the fetus. Oftentimes these abortions are saving the mother’s life.

    Viable means it can survive outside of the womb, btw. You seem to be using it to mean “nothing wrong”. I’m highly doubtful many 22 week pregnancies have viable fetuses.

  • invalid-0

    You want to have sex, with no responsibility for the consequences

    Oh no! A 35 year old woman wants to HAVE SEX!! With no babies!!! The horror!!!

    I also have not had an abortion because I have not been pregnant and don’t plan on it. I also do want to have sex, like most healthy adults, and I don’t want any consequences (why should love have consequences? wtf??).

  • paul-bradford

    "I would like to say that … Pro life Catholics for Choice… are not being entirely forthcoming in disclosing the nature of the abnormalities terminated via these late term procedures." 

     

    The only thing I said (and I said it here on March 28 after the Tiller verdict was read, not on this thread) was this:

     

    The rule in Kansas is: no medical necessity, no late-term abortion.  That’s why George Tiller is the last abortionist I would single out for criticism.  I certainly think there are far better ways to protect the unborn than to hound Dr. Tiller.

     

    Nothing has happened since Mar 28 to make me regret I wrote those words.  I never pretended to be familiar with the specifics of the cases that Tiller treated.  I only pointed out that the LAW in Kansas stipulated that if there were no medical necessity there could be no third trimester abortion.  That, to my mind, is a pretty tough piece of anti-abortion legislation and Tiller was never convicted of breaking that law.

     

    Do you think Tiller was performing abortions that weren’t medically necessary and therefore breaking the law of his state?  That was the question that was taken up at his trial and the jury decided he was innocent.

     

    That’s why I have no trouble with Tiller — but even if I had absolutely DESPISED the things that Tiller did and thought he was an awful, awful man I would still have spoken out against the hate language that was directed at him.  Tiller didn’t die from a bullet.  He died from hate speech. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

    • progo35

      Yes, technically, if the law doesn’t allow for a late term termination for things like Down Syndrome, than, yes, he was breaking the law. No one I know was angry at Tiller in regard to abortions he performed to save the women’s lives. Abortions performed on fetuses that do not have fatal disabilities is another matter, and when you ignore this as a reality of what Tiller was doing, you misrepresent the facts, even if you do not intend to; and pointing this out, Brad, is NOT hate speech. 

       

       

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

    • invalid-0

      At best, they are declared “nit guilt”, which is a finding about the law AND the facts.

      A “not guilty” verdict is NOT the same as saying the alleged facts did not occur.

      But you knew that….

  • paul-bradford

    Dan,

     

    I’m learning new things about this all the time, and I hope you are as well, but it occurs to me that language that depicts other people as inhuman or subhuman, language that suggests that a person deserves to suffer, language that expresses pleasure or satisfaction in violence done to another person or language that is designed to incite destructive behavior could all be candidates for ‘hate speech’.

     

    As you know I’m a Catholic.  Catholics believe that the Christian scriptures are inspired and that a proper understanding of scripture can serve as guidance for the way we live our lives.  Jesus took up the issue of hate speech on one occasion when he gave a public address.  If you like looking through the Bible you can find it in the book of Matthew, on the twenty second verse of the fifth chapter.  The point of the verse is to show that, just as there are destructive and violent actions, there are also destructive and violent words — and both are morally problematic.

     

    Jesus gave us a few examples of what he was talking about but neither he, nor anyone else, has ever supplied the ‘definition’ you are asking for.  I think that’s because a person has to employ an element of judgment when evaluating speech.  A mother might say, "I want to kill my daughter" but no one would think she was doing anything other than expressing frustration with her child.  Not hate speech.

     

    Truth, on the other hand, said he felt "joyfu" l upon learning that Dr. Tiller had been gunned down.  That’s hate speech and I called him on it.  That’s what triggered the conversation between you and me.   I’ve also called out Randall Terrry for his irresponsible comments

     

    If you want to hold yourself to a standard of responsible and respectful discourse you can learn a few guidelines — but there are no hard and fast rules.  Just the same, though, words can kill — and Dr. Tiller is a victim of words. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • colleen

    I want you and I to be clear about what our disagreement is.

    I assure you that our disagreements are much deeper and more fundamental than what you describe here.

    I don’t agree with everything he says here (far from it) but Frank Schaeffer does recognise what he has contributed to and the damage he and the ‘pro-life’ movement has done. He suprised me with this essay and he has earned my respect.

    The problem isn’t limited to Randall Terry (who, like Newt Gingrich is now a Catholc) the problem lies in the leadership and membership of the absurdly named ‘pro-life’ movement.The problem isn’t just violent language, not by a long shot. Randall Terry is a symptom of a throughly degenerate movement and, considering his disgusting history an appropriate one.

    • paul-bradford

      I read Schaeffer’s piece (I’ve read many of his pieces) and I agree with you that he owes the world an apology for his involvement in hate speech.  Did you think that I thought Randall Terry was the only one?  Terry’s comments were the only outrageous post-shooting comments I had a link to.  If you find others I will be glad to add them to my collection.

       

      Did you read any of the posts I’ve made to the PLCC website?  I continue to marvel that you think of me as someone who disagrees with everything you believe in. It seems to me that you automatically assume that anyone who wants to defend the humanity of the unborn is ‘thoroughly degenerate’.  Is it possible, in your mind, to hold the opinion that our human dignity begins when we are conceived without being ‘disgusting’?

       

      Paul Bradford

      Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • truth

    Look. I was simply saying that as a pro-lifer I "should" feel sorrow at Dr. Tiller’s death, but I don’t. I am a native Kansan and I have followed Tiller’s shop for many years now and he didn’t "save women" he extracated babies from their womb and got paid handsomely for it. He even went as far as to have ceremonies for the babies after they were still born. I am sorry but the guy is a deviant.

    My wife and I just had a baby about 1month ago, and here is the problem with the entire medical community. They ask you when your prego if you want to test for all kinds of potential genetic problems. This was interesting to me so I asked our Dr. "Okay so let’s say there is something really wrong with our baby – what can you do to save them in the womb – operate?" The Dr. said that they don’t operate in the womb. I asked, "If you can’t help the child then what good is it to know – if nothing can be done anyway?" "Wouldn’t this just cause unnecessary worrying until the baby was born?" The Dr. hesitated a bit and said so that we could determine what we wanted to do!? I was astonished… What did she mean what we wanted to do? We became pregnant – what did she think we wanted to do!? I was sickened. This f-ing Dr. wanted to kill our little baby. I told her that our baby is coming to term even if she/he would only live for 2min and then die. It would be ultimately selfish, self-serving and prideful to do anything else.

    In my humble opinion, the medical community is to blame for making parents worry by giving them too much information. This is what happens to a morally degenerate society that can’t handle what God gives them. There is a reason for everything – even a deformed child! Maybe your supposed to have the child to learn to be selfless!? The point is we give ourselves too much control. We barely know how we are sticking to the planet Earth or even how life began in the first place, but we think we can "control" it – wtf?

    We lack Trust in God! I know, I know – God is a "bad" word – "hate speech" right Paul?

    Tiller performed a procedure called, "I want to control even if it means killing innocent life because I have no Trust in anyone or anything outside my sphere of my own mind." Tiller helped scared women, but he didn’t love them because if he did – he would have helped them to KNOW that they can do it. Do what you say? That they can trust in something greater than themselves! This is love – Tiller didn’t show love. It is difficult for me to show love to Tiller because of this.

  • invalid-0

    …is a tribunal set up, composed of right-wing Catholics and fundamentalist men, who will sit in judgment on each and every decision that a woman and her doctor must make that involves anything to do with a fetus. If the doctor says it’s necessary for the woman’s life or health, that won’t be good enough – the religious men’s tribunal must also agree.

    That is the world that “Truth” and Dan Herbison would have. NOTHING LESS. You are wasting your time talking to them. They will give no ground at all in their quest for domination over all women.

    And Dan gives the game away with this: “You want to have sex, with no responsibility for the consequences, and will kill to make this so. ”

    Dan Herbison HATES WOMEN WHO WANT TO HAVE SEX. He is twisted, either naturally, or by the perverse dogma of his religion, utterly filled with misogyny. And they don’t care WHO they or their friends have to kill to get their way.

    Just make sure you track their IP addresses and be prepared to share them with the FBI some day.

  • truth

    You have a lot of IP Addresses to track!

  • invalid-0

    People seem to be extremely upset about the murder of this Doctor, understandably. I agree it was wrong. He, however, was no better than the man who murdered him. I don’t think any truly believing Christian could justify the late term abortions these men commit. I understand that it is a painful choice for the woman. It doesn’t make it any less wrong. I’m sure this guy was a nutter at some level, and I don’t advocate murder in any stretch, nor do I believe in locking up women who’ve had abortions or at worst executing them. In fact, I am a pacifist. But let’s not say that this man was a good man. Did he turn away women who couldn’t handle raising a down’s syndrome child, etc. etc… I would argue that in true life of the mother type cases, their is moral wiggling room, but most of these abortionists simply don’t care. It is merely a profitable practice for them. I think it is a shame that we would honor either man. Both have committed murder. I too, have my sin, and it is awful, except for the grace of God and his son Jesus Christ. May He bless you all.

  • paul-bradford

    Progo,

     

    You are the LAST person I would accuse of engaging in hate speech!

     

    Neither you nor I had the power to determine whether Tiller was breaking the law.  That’s was up to the courts in Kansas.  My only point is that since he was never shown to be breaking the law he must be presumed to be performing procedures to save lives, not to end them 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • progo35

    "Progo,

    You are the LAST person I would accuse of engaging in hate speech!" 

     

    Thanks, Paul, I appreciate that. I try very hard to avoid inflamatory rhetoric when discussing this issue.  I disagree with your interpretation of how legality relates to whether the abortions Tiller performed were always done to save lives, but I think that it is good that we can discuss such issues civilly, even if the discussion can get a little heated at times!

     

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

  • invalid-0

    You have no idea what I want.

  • truth

    I have read your posts and it is nice to hear the truth in your words. True freedom is letting the truth lead you, and I can tell that you are a fellow truth-seeker. These are hard times in our post modern world where sin is readily accepted and truth twisted. The makers and main supporters of this web site are delusional and deeply engulfed in their lies. Then there are those too weak (like Paul Bradford) to stand firm with the truth and instead they try to negotiate with them, which we know is not possible. What Paul fails to understand is that "they" are in love with their lies. We don’t need to apologize or feel badly for following the truth nor do we need to bend it (it’s not possible to "water down" the truth anyway). Paul’s exercise in trying to compromise the truth is futile. Again, great work Dan.

  • emma

    Anonymous, yup, I agree. As far as trolls go, Truth and Dan are particularly rabid. Engaging them is probably a waste of time and energy.

  • invalid-0

    I find it funny that everyone has to tread so lightly in their choice of words. One use of a word or phrase that someone disagrees with will get interpreted wrongly and then get attacked. One wrong word becomes transposed into an ideology.

    It’s also funny to see the generalizations occuring. Since one radical pro-lifer killed an abortionist, every pro-lifer is completely involved; every pro-lifer is at fault. People assume that every pro-lifer wanted to kill Dr. Tiller, henceforth the Pro-life movement loses all credibility.

    How is that fair? I am a supporter of the pro-life movement and I in no way support or have supported the murder of Dr. Tiller or any abortionist whatsoever. I don’t support violence against providers of abortion OR against any human being. I DO NOT believe that women are lesser than men and are “human incubators.” You will meet very few pro-lifers (men included) that believe that. Yet one person gets accused and every pro-lifer fits the stereotype of a chauvinist pig.

    I believe that a woman has the right to life. I also believe that an unborn baby has the right to life and that killing that baby for any reason is a selfish act, health issue or not. An unborn baby IS a person.

    Would a mother kill her already born children if they were too much of a burden on her time, effort, money, or lifestyle? No. Would a mother kill her born child if the child put the mother at risk of bad health and death? I still think no, but that’s the choice that is being made.

  • invalid-0

    Why do you think that tax-payer money is going to fund abortions in countries like Africa and Mexico? Perhaps because your goddess and founder of Planned Parenthood had ulterior motives other than “women’s rights”?

    Read for yourself. Sanger referred to immigrants (minorities) as “…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

    Referring to the purpose for birth control she said: “to create a race of thoroughbreds,” (Anglo-Americans).

    Regarding the ‘Negro’ population: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    About Infanticide: “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”

    Let’s face it. Margaret Sanger and her cohorts were genocidal maniacs no better than Hitler. You who have been condoning abortion and fighting to keep it legal in the name of championing women’s rights have been duped, pawned, suckered. While fighting for a cause you think is worthy, you have been furthering the agenda of a group of elitists who thought they had a greater right to life, liberty, and happiness than the rest of the world.

    Congratulations. Well done.

    http://www.blackgenocide.com

  • truth

    That is awesome that you know so much about Sanger. It’s funny because I found a book entitled, "Sex and Love in Marriage" written in 1933 by some Doctor (I don’t have the book right here in front of me – it’s in the other room – if you want the particulars on the book let me know)… Anyway, I found the book at my mother-in-laws when helping them organize some stuff in their garage. I asked if I could read it and my mother-in-law looked at me kinda weird and said, "Sure, but the pages are about to fall apart." In the book the author explains Sanger’s philosophy about eugenics. I couldn’t believe how "in your face" they were back then about talking about the uneducated, underprivelaged, and disabled and that they shouldn’t be allowed to procreate – I was apalled. I began to think that we are just as much to blame (our culture of death that is) for the rise of the Third Reich as Hitler. Sanger was a Nazi. If anyone here doesn’t believe that – read her words.

  • invalid-0

    “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” Floryence Kennedy said the truth succinctly and brilliantly. Nothing more needs to be said.

  • http://www.get-for-free.net/get_free_maybelline_samples invalid-0

    i can’t believe these things happen on this age!!

  • cyber

    Well said! I’ve enjoyed reading every single bit of your custom essay like post, I will be your regular subscriber
    and will always visit your site to read more of your essay posts I will also tell all my friends about your blog
    and I am sure most of them will like it to, I will resume my own blog as well promoting your site