Dr. Tiller’s murder and the closing of his clinic brought renewed national attention to the problems facing women who need abortions late in pregnancy. While he was viciously attacked by anti-choicers, one of whom eventually killed him, he was beloved by his staff and his patients for compassionate care in extraordinary circumstances.
Operation Rescue prompted pro-choice advocates from around the country to get together and realize how strong we actually are, an invaluable realization at a time of unprecedented legislative attacks on a woman’s fundamental right to control whether, when and how she might have children. What we need is to stand together more often, and in the streets.
Operation Rescue now has its sights set on Germantown, Maryland. Germantown….say hi to your new neighbors. Speaking from experience I can say that ignoring them is not an effective strategy. The longer they can go about their work uninhibited the more successful they will become. We need to mobilize now.
In light of the stigma, marginalization and demonization faced by abortion care providers, it is incumbent upon us women’s rights advocates to reflect on the positive impact their services bring to individual lives and society as a whole.
On this 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade we must unite to stem the violence compromising women’s right to safe, legal abortion access.
Unfortunately, discussion about violent rhetoric and its consequenses is not new to the abortion provider community. Since 1993, there have been eight murders and 17 attempted murders of physicians and clinic staff.
Teen girls are facing discimination in athletics, a transgender inmate vows to continue lawsuit against the state, the Massachusetts House sees a growing number of anti-choice lawmakers and more in today’s afternoon round-up!
The day after he was shot in both arms by an anti-abortion activist in 1993, Dr. George Tiller went back to work and announced, “Women need abortions and I’m going to do them.” This remarkably brave man had already endured years of harassment and threats: his clinic suffered $100,000 worth of damage after being bombed, weeks of blockades by glassy-eyed anti-abortion fanatics… he and his staff were stalked by these so-called “activists” who followed him home, yelled at him and everyone attending his church, and flyered his neighbors with “Wanted” posters. His staff, women like Drs. Susan Robinson and Shelly Sella, his office administrator and nurse, were similarly targeted with these posters: which often featured their photos, home addresses and other personal information.
Maddow’s documentary showed us the thoughts and faces of the two groups facing off over the life and legacy of Dr. Tiller. On the one side were brave, stoic providers. On the other, frenzied, angry demagogues motivated by hatred.
We who are pro-choice have got to change the rhetoric that surrounds issues of reproductive justice and legitimizes the intimidation, harassment, and even murder of providers. If we can do that we can help civilize the atmosphere of the country as a whole.