‘This’ is not going to be a debate about abortion,” Sedgwick Country District Judge Warren Wilbert said recently. But even if with the best of intentions, what he’s presiding over will seem to a lot of people to be about abortion — the trial of Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion extremist who has confessed to shooting to death Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller last May. Yesterday, the judge announced he would allow Roeder to plead “voluntary manslaughter,” that he murdered Tiller because he honestly believed he was saving unborn babies.
To say women’s rights activists find Judge Wilbert’s decision controversial is putting it mildly … Keep reading »
No reporter happened to be standing at abortion provider George Tiller‘s side on the Sunday morning in May when he was murdered at gunpoint, allegedly by an anti-choice extremist. But, like the famous newspaper article by journalist Jimmy Breslin that covered JFK’s assassination from the point of view of his grave digger, sometimes a reporter discovers the best way to tell a story lies someplace other than the obvious.
In “The Last Abortion Doctor, Esquire focuses on the Boulder Abortion Clinic in Colorado and Dr. Warren Hern, the last physician in the United States who can perform late-term abortions. Keep reading »
Over the weekend The New York Times ran a lengthy, in-depth report about recently murdered abortion practitioner Dr. George R. Tiller. The doctor, who was called “Tiller the Killer” by some and praised as an American hero by others, lived a life defined by his controversial career. Like a real life version of “The Cider House Rules,” Dr. Tiller was one of three doctors in the United States who regularly performed late-term abortions. To some, he saved the lives of thousands of woman; to others, he killed thousands of babies. As glamorous as anti-abortion groups tried to paint Tiller’s life by pointing to his 8,500 square foot home and more than million dollar business profits from performing abortions, his life was far from desirable. Keep reading »
In high school I read John Irving’s excellent book, The Cider House Rules, in which the protagonist, a young man named Homer, is raised in an orphanage under the care of a kindly physician, Dr. Larch, who he is shadowing and learning medicine from. Dr. Larch eventually reveals to him that he’s been performed illegal abortions all along and he’d like to teach Homer how to do the procedure, too. Homer balked at the suggestion, imagining that he could have been aborted instead of growing up happily in the orphanage. The response Dr. Larch gave him has always stuck in my mind: “You may disapprove, but you may not be ignorant or look away.”
That quote popped in my mind when I read Kate Harding’s piece on Salon.com, “Is There A Next Generation Of Abortion Providers?”, a frightening piece about how the ranks of abortion providers are thinning and pro-choicers worry they won’t be replaced. Keep reading »
Abortion unexpectedly plunged back into the news in recent weeks with the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who performed late-term abortions in Wichita, Kansas.
Everyone but the most far right extremists has condemned the killing and much of the media has focused on how this act of domestic terrorism is truly deplorable. But clinic violence, awful as it is, occurs rarely compared to the legislative assaults against reproductive rights. So in response, Maureen Tkacik (formerly Moe of Jezebel and Gawker) has written a piece for Lemondrop about the things we never mention about when we discuss about abortion—but probably should.
Keep reading »
A Kansas-based anti-abortion group called Operation Rescue has dreamed up a new way to stop abortions: they’re buying clinics. Their headquarters in Wichita, Kansas are in a former abortion clinic, but because they’re finding the place is a little small, they’re thinking about offering to buy the clinic that was recently shut down after Dr. George Tiller was murdered. This is beyond tacky, since Dr. Tiller was shot at church, and the main suspect is crazed lunatic Scott Roeder, who had been known to post on Operation Rescue’s blog. Plus, Operation Rescue had been targeting this clinic for years now, staging massive, sometimes violent, protests going as far back as 1991.
Operation Rescue’s prez Troy Newman likes the symobolism of taking over the space and “establishing [it] as a center for life, one that nurtures and cares for babies, rather than taking their lives.” We say, there has to be another building available in Wichita that would work. [AP] Keep reading »
The Wichita clinic formerly run by Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered by anti-choice crusader Scott Roeder on May 31, has closed permanently. As a result, the closest abortion provider for Tiller’s patients will be a three hour drive both ways to Overland Park. It is unclear if that clinic, the Center For Women’s Health, can provide late-term third-trimester abortions like Tiller’s did.
Good job, crazies. [Wichita Eagle] Keep reading »