I prefer scary movies that involve poltergeists, so this scary flick will be a shock to my system. On Monday night at 9 p.m. (EST), MSNBC will air “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller,” a documentary film narrated by Rachel Maddow about the murder of a Wichita, Kansas, abortion provider by an anti-choice extremist. Dr. George Tiller was gunned down inside his church in May 2009 by Scott Roeder, who is now serving life in prison. The documentary is said to be a thorough, behind-the-scenes investigation into who Scott Roeder is and how he and other anti-choice extremists harassed Dr. Tiller and his family until his eventual assassination. A tiny part of me is dismayed that Maddow and MSNBC made a documentary about it. As someone says in the above clip, people like Roeder see the story in black and white, with himself as “the redeemer,” and paying more attention to their violent and obstructive practices could only serve to enforce their ideas that they are in a full-on war against reproductive rights where they are the redeemers.
But I’m ultimately grateful that they delved more into this story and are bringing it to people’s living rooms a year-and-a-half later, lest we forget. We can read about issues related to abortion in the newspaper, most often it seems regarding President Obama’s health care reform bill. Unless you are involved in your or someone else’s abortion, those issues can seem kept at a distance, as philosophical and political notions. That’s important, of course, but it’s a bit detached from the on-the-ground abortion wars. Abortion providers, clinic staff and even patients are literally harassed every single day and this sort of domestic terrorism scarcely ever gets the mainstream media’s full attention.
“The Assassination of Dr. Tiller” won’t be an easy flick to watch, but for those of us concerned with reproductive rights, educating ourselves on Monday night by watching this film may be a necessity. [MSNBC]