Abortion Doctor George Tiller Killed at Church

| May 31, 2009 | 9 Replies

George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who performed abortions, some of them late-term, was shot this morning as he entered his church for services.

Read the story here – and then someone explain how one justifies murder again?

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Category: American Culture, Current Events, hypocrisy, law and order, Medicine, Religion, Reproductive Rights

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I am a writer and communication professional in St. Louis, Missouri, a crafter of jewelry, a disorganized optimist and most importantly, the adoptive mom of two China-born daughters.

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  1. The folks who do this justify their actions because they have been told this is the equivalent to fighting the Nazis over the Final Solution. The state will not stop them from killing innocents, so the argument goes, so it is up to "decent" citizens to take up arms to stop the holocaust.

    I find it ironic. I've often heard prolifers compare abortion providers to Nazis under the Third Reich. The fact is, under Hitler abortion was a capital offense.

    (Now I'm waiting to see someone say something positive about Hitler.)

  2. Alison says:

    I can't believe the gall of Operation Rescue to claim that they don't advocate vigilantism when it was their website that provided the assailant (and those who've done the same before) with all the information he needed to justify his actions and track his victim down. Maybe they can dodge legal responsibility, and convince themselves they have no moral responsibility, but the truth is that this is just the kind of thing they encourage.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Two things come to mind:

    1) This earlier post featuring a telling video: "How shall we punish women who commit 'murder' by having abortions. http://dangerousintersection.org/2009/01/22/how-s

    2. In the past few months, I've had the opportunity of discussing end of life issues with several people who consider abortion to be murder. Two of them were fundamentalists, who (I'm reading between their lines) found it pointless to take care of their relatives who no longer had brains that functioned enough to be aware of their surroundings. OK, I know that the pro-choice movement has it's own inconsistencies (e.g., how can that same tiny embryo that we are so willing to abort be a "baby" to those who are trying to be pregnant?). But consider this. Should an adult whose brain has deteriorated to the point of being incapable of functioning socially (they no longer recognize their own children; some of them are conscious of nothing at all) be considered fully human? I've heard several conservatives tell me that if THEY ever got to that condition, "they should just let me die."

    Well, here's a consistency: It takes a fairly well developed brain to be a human being. That's where I draw the line, given that there is absolutely no evidence of the existence of souls. And therefore, a living being that doesn't have a well-developed and functioning brain YET or ANYMORE, is not fully human. Eight-week-old embryos and Terri Schaivo are not, in my book, fully human. It's not fun to apply this rule, but that's where I am at this point in time, having spent quite a bit of time pondering this issue. I'm merely stating my view–I'm not pretending that anyone is capable of directly persuading anyone else on this topic.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    BTW, if you are outraged at today's murder, feel free to do something about it by donating to Planned Parenthood.

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

  5. Jan Baker says:

    To Mark:

    The Nazi's had two policies regarding abortion. If you search for info, and use the term 'abortion' you will find the policy regarding races they deemed worthy, and indeed in that area abortion was illegal. They also pursued many 'modern' pro-natalist policies of multiple health and social services for pregnant or delivered women. However, if you use the search term 'euthanasia' you will find that abortion and post-birth murder of races deemed less worthy was aggressively practiced. Also various handicaps were targeted for abortion or euthanasia, and abortion was called a 'cure' for various diseases, much like Britain is touting a 'cure' for breast cancer by aborting all those unborn baby girls who carry the gene associated–although not compellingly so–with breast cancer. In fact, the appalling double-speak practiced in the abortion industry where murder is treatment began with Nazis.

    So no, Mark, you will not find a defense of Nazi-ism in a more careful analysis of Nazi policies, but merely facts that show that there is no contradiction between US and Nazi Germany family planning programs; we ARE killing the 'races' who we deem unworthy to continue the lives they have begun. It's just that 'racism' itself has changed, has become every new 'carbon footprint,' has spread so widely that it includes virtually everyone but one's immediate family–and even there we continually divorce each other. Our culture is as sick as Nazi Germany ever was. We are unspeakably violent.

  6. Mindy Carney says:

    Erich, I think you may have found the key – at least at this point in medical history.

    While my belief in human connectedness does include something equivalent to the "soul," altho' I see it as an energy of spirit that has yet to be scientifically understood ::::cue chuckling on the part of the balance of the DI writers::::, I do believe that a functioning brain is a requirement for that "soul" to join that body.

    There. My tidbit of spirituality for the day. :)

  7. Jan,

    First, thank you for the clarification—my main point is that with regard to personal choice, there was nothing about the Nazis that supported any notion of "your life, your choice."

    Second, however, the fact is that people with money in this country (and in others) have always had access to abortion. The euphemistic "trip to the country" was a demure way of saying that madame was going somewhere to end an unwanted pregnancy. What stirred up the nation was extending the same privilege to the poor, thus venturing to suggest that those of the "lower classes" might have the same aspirations to running their own lives as the high and mighty.

    Thirdly, the state does not dictate that individuals have abortions. It is not a national policy. It is up to the individual—that's why it's called a Right. Prolifers would seek, however, to establish a national policy that would require every pregnancy to come to term.

    Then what? It's clear from the last thirty years of this nonsense that the prolife movement cares more about the pregnancy than about the resultant child, who often ends up…

    It is feckless, ignorant, and displays a profound lack of understanding to claim that we are anything like Nazi Germany. You bandy words thoughtlessly, which reduces your credibility and renders this debate nothing more than a battle of hyperbole and slogans.

  8. Alison says:

    We ARE our brains. Without them, we just don't exist. Damaged brains turn people into different people. Before they become filled with experiences, and learn to anticipate or dread, dream, love, they have no awareness of death. Up to a certain point in gestation, they don't have even the ability to feel physical sensations. How can ending that life be anywhere near the equivalent of ending the life of someone who has complete mental competence, who not only feels a full gamut of emotions but inspires them in many others? An unwanted baby is not the same as a living human being, both in how it thinks and feels as well as how important it is to other living human beings. A wanted baby is more important to others – the family and friends who anticipate its birth – but still not as important as its mother, who has already amassed the emotions, experiences, and connections that make us the people we are. The abortions Dr. Tiller provided were on the wanted babies. He was not providing a birth control service (not that early abortion is that casual, but since certain people view it that way, it should be said. . .) but a life-saving surgical procedure. He aborted to save the mothers' lives, or to spare the children from certain suffering and death after birth. Women traveled thousands of miles, had to fight with their insurance companies, had to deal with ever-mounting legal obstacles in addition to the physical and emotional problems of a wanted pregnancy that has to be terminated.

    There's nothing simple or thoughtless about what Dr. Tiller was doing, but some simpleminded, thoughtless person viewed it that way. He and his supporters decided upon their own hierarchy of the value of life to justify cold-blooded murder. He and his supporters can't or won't understand anything more complex than a dichotomy. Though they will never be convinced of it, they have caused far more suffering than they have alleviated, and ruined more lives than they've saved.

  9. Erika Price says:

    Slate's Double X site currently features the writing of two women who received abortions from George Tiller himself. Check them out here and here. These women we both clearly tortured by their decision- if you can even call it a decision- to abort. These were women who wanted to have children, but who faced horrifying medical risk and had to endure an even more horrifying procedure to set things right. George Tiller was a rare breed- someone willing to do a thing both difficult and right.

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