PBS has produced an exceptional segment about violence and harassment targeting abortion providers, asking whether Dr. George Tiller’s killing was an act of domestic terrorism and what the effect of decades of violence has on women’s access to the procedure. Senior correspondent Maria Hinojosa went to provider Dr. Warren Hern’s Boulder, Colorado, clinic, met with Dr. Leroy Carhart, a Nebraska provider, and attended Dr. Tiller’s funeral in Wichita.
Dr. Hern describes the security precautions he takes — traveling with federal marshals, in a secured car separate from his family — as "a step away from prison."
Hinojosa says to Carhart, "Some people listening to this are going to say…Dr. Tiller was shot, it was a lone crazy gunman, this is not a whole movement to take down American society and doctors." Carhart thoughtfully responds,
"This is a whole movement to make abortion unavailable to women."
"That’s what this is about."
"The murder of Dr. Tiller was — "
"One step," Carhart responds.
"Being a target is not my fault," Hern states unequivocally, when Hinojosa asks him whether, if he provided abortions more "quietly," he’d avoid attention. "I’m providing a service to women who need it."
PBS has received a high volume of mail from anti-choice viewers, so the Women’s Media Center has launched a campaign to let PBS know that viewers support the frank, accurate portrayal of violence against providers. You can send an letter to PBS through the Women’s Media Center here.