02
Jun
09

On air: Should women be giving thanks for this man’s bravery?

Dr TillerDr George Tiller was one of the few US doctors who would perform late-term abortions. Because of that he is dead, shot by someone who apparently objected to his work. It wasn’t the first attempt to kill him. (Late-term abortions end pregnancies where the foetus is viable, but two doctors decide the mother-to-be’s life will be seriously threatened if the pregnancy continues.) So should his willingness to continue under such threats make him a hero of the women’s rights movement? Should people who support abortion be more vocal in their support of people like Dr Tiller?

Last night in the US a nationwide network of candlelight vigils mourned Dr Tiller as a ‘saint and a martyr’. But the marches by no means shut down city centres because of their sheer numbers.

A recent poll in found 42% of Americans consider themselves so-called pro-life (anti-abortion) and 51% pro-choice (pro-abortion). That represents an 8% shift towards an anti-abortion view in just a year. The same poll found, however, that 75% of Americans support the legality of abortions in any circumstances, or under certain circumstances.

Dr Tiller had been shot previously, but despite that he continued to do what he believed in, despite the threats and risks. Should the people who believe in a woman’s right to choose be more vocal in their support of people like Dr Tiller who are prepared to risk their lives to provide the service?

And if so many people support the provision of abortions, why aren’t they more vocal? Is it because there is still shame associated with having, or supporting abortions? Is it still seen an a private matter, not one to be taken to the streets?


162 Responses to “On air: Should women be giving thanks for this man’s bravery?”


  1. 1 steve
    June 1, 2009 at 14:29

    Would the females that he aborted agree that he was “brave”?

    • 2 Jessica in NYC
      June 1, 2009 at 17:32

      He did not abort “females”. He saved a woman’s lived by ending an nonviable pregnancy.

      • 3 Dennis Junior
        June 2, 2009 at 02:47

        True statement, Jessica in NYC; This Doctor didn’t kill “females” he killed fetuses…

        ~Dennis Junior~

    • 4 fred
      June 2, 2009 at 19:47

      He is in deed a hero….except that the world does not understand the role he has played

  2. 5 Mario Farrugia
    June 1, 2009 at 15:33

    With the legalized massacre of 800,000 unborn Americans every year – on American soil, it is incredible that U.S. citizens should be so upset about 4,000 dead in Iraq or 3,000 dead on 9/11 ?

  3. 6 Tom K in Mpls
    June 1, 2009 at 15:39

    On abortion, the only people that have a right to comment on it are the people directly involved. Yes, abortion is a form of killing, but killing is a common part of human existence and preformed daily by many perceived to be both good and evil.

    Until mankind no longer sees a need to kill, people like this doctor, police and soldiers will be needed. Instead of vilifying people like this doctor, why don’t we focus on eliminating the issues that make his work a reasonable option. At this time, abortion is a very imperfect solution, to very bad situation, that may not be anybodies fault.

  4. 8 Eric in Salem Or
    June 1, 2009 at 15:51

    As a man that had a woman have an abortion without even seeing how it would effect me, then later regretting what she had done. When she had learned of my feelings and that I would have not made her go through it alone no matter her choice, (but would have been on the side of keeping the baby). No human should should call him a hero, brave or even put him in the foot notes of history, because he prayed on the weak and hopeless.

    • 9 H. Yates in Kansas
      June 2, 2009 at 18:57

      I emphatically disagree with this characterization that Dr. Tiller preyed upon the weak and hopeless. First of all sir, how do you define weak and hopeless? The comments clearly indicate ignorance about the gravity of the reality women face alone when having to take responsibility of an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy alone. Dr. Tiller provided hope to women who did not have a personal support network to assist them. Dr. Tiller gave women the autonomy and agency that was lacking in the community surrounding them. Dr. Tiller recognized Women’s capacity to control and advise their reproductive health.

  5. 10 nengak
    June 1, 2009 at 15:54

    No disrespect for the good Doctor… Bless his soul.
    But I think it was a professional accident, just like a seaman drowning. He knew the risks associated with the work he has chosen to do, and he kept on, he must have figured that he had rather die doing that, than stay alife not doing that kind of work.
    Guess is an every day thing. Those who hated his work can now be relieved while those who love his work will be in mourning. I do hope they get to arrest the murderer though.

  6. 11 archibald in oregon
    June 1, 2009 at 17:36

    Doctors save and take life all the time. The fact that this man was murdered for serving his patients is tragic, but typical, when dealing with pro life fanatics. Abortion is no different than a family deciding to pray over an ailing child and watching it die rather than take medical action to save its life. Any argument against abortion is totally negated by the murder of an innocent man to make the point.

  7. 12 Jessica in NYC
    June 1, 2009 at 17:36

    Yes, he is a hero of mine for holding up the law and supporting women rights even at great threat to his own live. I hope a foundation or some kind of support account is opened in his name so I can donate to have his good work continued and his memory preserved.

  8. 13 Tom D Ford
    June 1, 2009 at 18:19

    All decent humans salute this Doctor George Tiller’s bravery.

    There are too few people in the world willing to do what is right and standing up to religious wackos.

  9. 14 Jennifer
    June 1, 2009 at 18:24

    No! Women should not be “saluting this man’s bravery”. He was not brave whether we consider the children he killed or the women he exploited through their circumstances.

    However, it was VERY wrong for someone to think taking his life was an appropriate measure. It was not.

  10. 15 archibald in oregon
    June 1, 2009 at 18:54

    The women were not exploited, they came to him for help. Would it be better that they lose their lives for their unborn fetus’, (they are not children until they are born)? What about those who stand by and do nothing as their loved ones die? Aren’t they the same kind of murderers and in some way worse because they are too afraid to take action that conflicts with their beliefs?

    • June 1, 2009 at 20:31

      The human soul is conceived at the inception of sperm and egg attaching and evolves quickly into a human being within the first eight weeks.

      Within the first eight weeks there is differentiation which occurs by the cells deciding what they will be…heart, feet, hand, brain, et cetera.

  11. 17 Tom D Ford
    June 1, 2009 at 19:26

    Consider how many children have been killed because women don’t have sex and get their eggs fertilized, think of all of those unfertilized eggs that could have been children, all just thrown away in blood soaked tampons to die. Those women have murdered many more children than any abortion doctor ever did just because they refuse to have sex regularly and often. Add up every monthly menstruation that does not get fertilized and we see that Conservative women are the worst murderers of all!

    Sexual Abstinence is murder!

    Well that is just another silly argument about who really values life and who does not.

    In reality stands the middle ground, where we all have to compromise and try to do the best we can. Save a mother by aborting a fetus, that is the kind of hard and brave decision that Dr. George Tiller bravely made.

    • 18 Jacob from Indianapolis
      June 2, 2009 at 18:39

      ‘Sexual Abstinence is murder!’ It is entertaining to me to see how many people avoid this argument. With this logic, these activists are forgetting that they are the host for familial genocide. I agree with this Tom D Ford. Thank you.

    • 19 Ashleigh
      June 3, 2009 at 02:21

      Fantastic point.

  12. June 1, 2009 at 20:26

    Killing this doctor was clearly wrong.

    They are not children until they are born???? Ah…the human soul is conceived at the inception of pregnancy.

    It appears that now we do things backwards. Or should I say the reverse of the way births were dealt with before we went crazy with abortion.
    There was a time when women died giving birth. The baby was always thought of first. Today, it is the women who want to be thought of first.

    Whether or not the life of these mothers were in “danger”; I do not know, only God knows; what I do know is this; Abortion is NOT a form of birth control! We have come to the conclusion in this country that life is cheap. It can be easily discarded.

    We will have to stand before a Living God and explain our attitudes and actions about the lives that were/are being snuffed out because of abortion.

  13. 21 Dan, Ghana
    June 1, 2009 at 20:45

    I do not support abortion but believe that a woman and her family have the right to make the best decision for her especially when her life is in danger. To many poor and vulnerable women therefore, the doctor might be a hero. The hypocrisy here is that most of the so-called Christians and self-righteous moral crusaders shouting into the high heavens and pontificating about abortion in America are some of the same people who do not see the fight against poverty, oppression and injustice as part of the Christian mission. They benefit from privilege and the systemic exclusion of others and so they have no problem helping to maintain the status quo.

  14. 22 Andy
    June 2, 2009 at 03:26

    The unborn child should only have the right to live in the same sense as a future organ recipient,… in that possible donors can choose whether to donate their organs(or not) so that such a person may live(or die). The same principal should apply to unborn children such that a mother can CHOOSE whether to provide biological life support or not.

  15. 23 Alex
    June 2, 2009 at 07:32

    I can see why someone would want to shoot him – late term abortion, unless it is needed due to complications, is murder. I am pro-choice, but I think that once the fetus is able to live outside the womb by itself, it is a person.

    Like nengak said, it was a professional risk. I support him if the abortion was to save the mother’s life, but if it was just someone who came in at seven months who wanted to get rid of her baby, then that is just wrong.

  16. 24 Jim Newman
    June 2, 2009 at 07:47

    Hello again
    Dr. Tiller put himself on the front line in a land where predjudice and hatred are the prime movers. Yes I think he is a hero. Not just for women but for all humanity.
    Jim

  17. 25 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    June 2, 2009 at 09:18

    I commend the BBC for drawing the connection between radical abortion protesters and anyone who would condemn Viet Nam era vets as “baby killers.”

    I believe it was the movie Saving Private Ryan which popularized the formula a commanding officer must use in the decision to send people to die. The potential number of lives saved must outweigh the potential lives lost. In the case of elective abortion these numbers are subjective. The question has less to do with numbers and more to do with the right to *choose* life vs. the right of the state to claim the body of a citizen as a potential incubator.

    But there is no ambiguity possible where one would weigh the value of the life of the mother according to the viability of a child. That child is not yet known to this world, and it’s loss would be lesser than that to all who would lose the mother, including all those potential lives which the mother might yet bring to bear.

    Hopefully any potential vigilantes, not to mention the voting public, will consider this equation before taking the law into their own hands again. But what are the odds of that?

  18. 26 Anon
    June 2, 2009 at 10:17

    I agree with Tom K from Mpls on this issue…

    Dr Tiller was doing an imperfect, unpopular job in very bad situations. We do not live in an ideal world which sees the raising of children to be a collective endeavour. It is often left to a woman trying to cope in difficult circumstances – she may have been raped; she may have dreadful financial or social problems; she may feel unable to cope emotionally or psychologically; her life may be at risk or her unborn child may be severely disabled. Is it morally right to force a woman to risk her life to have a child, even where it may leave other children motherless? Should we enforce a lifetime of unimaginable pain upon a an child that may be terribly handicapped?
    Should children always be brought into a world where they may be unwanted, unloved, neglected, abused, abandoned?

    It seems to me that there are no easy answers to these questions while we live in a world which is often cruel, lonely and harsh. It is all too easy for people who do not have to face such difficult problems and awful decisions to take a morally absolutist stance on abortion and late abortion. Dr Tiller took the responsibility for doing a distastful, morally questionable job in a country which hated and vilified him. And now his life has been taken by someone who supposedly values all human life.

    I think a lot less fundementalist ‘judgement’ is in order on the issue of abortion and a lot more understanding and compassion. It is easy to shout about moral absolutes, but much harder to strive to bring about circumstances where all children could be born into a world where they are wanted and loved.

    Unlike fundementalists, I do not claim to know how God will judge Dr Tiller’s soul, but I can’t help but believe that God (if there is one) would perhaps feel a little mercy.

    • 27 Miriam from Oregon
      June 2, 2009 at 18:09

      Well put! Thank you for clear and concise response. I think people forget that its not just preying on vulnerable women, but taking their choices and lives into account to make the best decision for ALL parties (fetus and family) involved.

  19. 28 Anon
    June 2, 2009 at 10:49

    One further thought…

    What is the essential difference between Dr Tiller’s actions and the action of his killer? Didn’t they both take a life to save the life of another?

  20. 29 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 14:28

    I’m curious why the media focuses on some murders and completely ignores others. In Little Rock, AK, yesterday, someone, with religious and political motives, murdered a US Army recruiter and seriously wounded someone else, yet the media is completely burying this story, and focusing on the abortion doctor one. Can’t they at least tell BOTH stories?
    Had to go to local news to find it.

    http://cbs11tv.com/national/miliraty.recruiting.office.2.1026730.html

  21. 30 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 14:38

    It was legal to discriminate and later kill jews in nazi germany. Does something that is legal necessarily make it moral or even right? It was once legal to have slaves in certain US states. Dueling used to be legal.

    If you notice the hypocrisy in the laws (though involving different states), Scott Peterson was not only convicited of first degree murder for killing Laci Peterson, he was also convicted of 2nd degree murder for killing her unborn child as well. So how can he be convicted of murdering an unborn child unless fetuses have rights and are considered humans, given you need a “human” for there to be murder. Can someone explain this hypocrisy for me?

    • 31 patti in cape coral
      June 2, 2009 at 15:45

      @ Steve – I think it was considered objectionable compared to an abortion because it was a result of the mother’s murder and presumably without her consent. I’m not a lawyer, I’m just guessing.

  22. 32 Jennifer
    June 2, 2009 at 14:44

    Re: Dr Tiller was doing an imperfect, unpopular job in very bad situations. We do not live in an ideal world which sees the raising of children to be a collective endeavour.

    So, we decide if we want to have a child after we have sex; not before. We as a society take no responsibility for our actions? If a woman thinks that by society’s standards she is not ready to have a child; she can kill her own baby thinking it will help her return to her pre-pregnancy life? That is not true.

    Re: I think a lot less fundementalist ‘judgement’ is in order on the issue of abortion and a lot more understanding and compassion.

    I think many confuse judgment with concern. Concern for both women and unborn children. Abortion exploits circumstances that women are in and gives them NO choice; when they do have them! Look at the number of women who grieve forever for their children and regret their choice….they say if only I had had more money, been married, different circumstances etc…….. So, help women change their circumstances NOW!

    I think abortion is nothing but a way to rob women of dignity.

    Dr. Tiller is NOT a hero but he did not deserve to die. It’s not the answer to showing the horrors of abortion.

    • 33 Tom K in Mpls
      June 2, 2009 at 16:47

      Jennifer, on your first point, that is not related to this case. An early term abortion in the case of someone that is to stupid or lazy to take precautions before having sex to me is wrong. Laws could be written to allow early term abortions only in cases such as rape or incest. But as a rather twisted thought, do you want people that are to stupid or lazy to take precautions before having sex to add to the gene pool?

    • 34 Anon
      June 3, 2009 at 11:23

      Jennifer – regarding your first point – It is a lovely idea that everyone should take responsibility before having sex, but sadly human relationships are often not governed by reasoned, well thought out behaviour. I used to teach sex education to young people and was often dismayed and astounded at how many young people simply believed pregancy would never happen to them. And sadly many girls I spoke to had been pressured into having unprotected sex by boys. Furthermore, situations of rape, incest, domestic violence, couples breaking up, mental health problems, financial difficulties, fetuses having terrible genetic diseases, and the pregant women’s live being at risk are all reasons why women chose to have abortions. Life is messy, life is difficult and woman who have to make the decision to abort their child are actually making reasoned decisions and taking responsibility.

      Very few think their life will return to normal. It is a life changing decision at a time when they are in a no-win situation.

      What I meant by less judgement and more compassion is sadly portrayed in Annamarie’s distressing story below. Pro-lifers inflict their views on vulnerable women often at times when they are already emotionally distraught. Blanket statements about abortion being wrong can wound and distress women. Pro-lifers may not believe that a woman’s reasons for abortion may be valid, but have they walked in that woman’s shoes? Do they really know and more importantly do they really care how difficult a woman’s situation is. It seems to me not – they would rather have everyone live according to their version of right and wrong. I heartily agree with your desire to help woman change their situations, but until we live a nice ideal world, sadly abortion will be with us. Let us not condemn the women and doctors who have to shoulder the ultimate responsibility.

  23. 35 Rev. Dr. Jesse W. Bledsoe
    June 2, 2009 at 15:00

    Do any of the people and organizations calling Dr. George Tiller “a Hero” have any idea what is happening in a late term abortion? An unborn bady, who could, with reasonable certainty, live outside the womb is put to death in a most horrible fashion. There is neither professionalism, heroism, nor morality invoved in this procedure. The fact that religious groups are hailing this man as a hero and martyr makes me want to shout to the world: “I AM NOT RELIGIOUS”! I am not an anti-abortionist, but I am anti-late-term abortion. Still, this man did not deserve to be murdered. That is inexcusable.
    Rev. Dr. Jesse W. Bledsoe

  24. June 2, 2009 at 15:03

    last time i looked, the Hippocratic oath commanded doctors to save lives, not terminate them. a child in the womb after 22 weeks can live outside the womb so there is not one single Hippocratically viable reason to ever perform a late term abortion, let alone any abortion. that said, the person who murdered mr tiller was just as sinful as he was. we should all pray for them both.

  25. 37 patti in cape coral
    June 2, 2009 at 15:14

    Should women be giving thanks? I guess the pro-choice women are giving thanks to the doctor’s bravery, and the pro-life women are giving thanks he is gone. It definitely seems illogical to me for a pro-lifer to prove his point by killing. I just wish we could get it to the point where abortions are unecessary, maybe because of better and better methods of birth control or a change in attitudes. I don’t think even pro-choice people see abortions as a good thing, maybe a necessary evil. I have never been able to totally make up my mind on this issue, but I find it hard to think of letting a viable fetus die.

  26. 38 Monica in DC
    June 2, 2009 at 15:16

    Yes, yes a thousand times YES… this doctor performed a service that while many may find horrible, others find necessary. It is NOT an easy choice for a woman to make, not at all. This doctor was within his legal right to do the job he did. The psychopathic, hypocritical murderer of this doctor, was not.

    This doctor IS a hero. He carried on his work despite his clinic being bombed, blockaded for 6 weeks, being shot in both arms, vandalized, sued by the anti-choice movement and vandalized who knows how many times. And then, finally, his life ended as he was serving his church as an usher.

  27. 39 Katie Davidson
    June 2, 2009 at 15:17

    I am an advocate of women’s right to choose and that is mainly due to the way I was brought up. My fater is an OB-GYN and he has seen cases where women were raped or sexually assaulted, even by family members.
    I would like everyone to realize that the doctor goes through a tough emotional process too. They act as counsel and sounding board for the patient. Abortion is an extremely difficult choice but in the end, a doctor is complying with a patient’s wishes and providing care for their patient, which is what their oath instructs them to do.

    Does anyone know the reason that the shooter has used for his motive in killing the doctor?
    I have a hard time believing that it could be any religious reason whatsoever. If the shooter does claim that, he has a twisted interpretation because murder is a sin, no matter the circumstances.

  28. 40 Katie Davidson
    June 2, 2009 at 15:20

    I understand the issues and problems that people have with late term abortions but would you trade the life of the child for the life of the mother?
    In a huge percentage of late term abortions, the procedure is only done when there is significant, emphasis on significant, risk to the life of the mother.

  29. 41 Tony from Singapura
    June 2, 2009 at 15:21

    It seems to me that the pro-lifers have committed murder – time for a visit to the house of mirrors guys !

  30. 42 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    June 2, 2009 at 15:27

    Many years ago I had a spontaneous incomplete abortion, which just means the fetus died but remained in my body. I had a choice of paying $1,000 to have the fetus removed in a hospital, or of paying $200 to have it removed at an abortion clinic. I chose the latter.

    When I arrived at the clinic, I was hit on the head with signs showing pictures of aborted fetuses, carried by anti-abortion protestors. Though it was none of their business, I told them my fetus was already dead. They replied that it didn’t matter, it was god’s will and I didn’t have the right to have the dead fetus removed, even though allowing it to remain could have endangered my own life.

    This episode caused me to understand that the anti-abortion groups are not about so-called Right to Life. Instead, they are motivated by the desire to force their religious beliefs on to everyone else. If anti-abortionists do not wish to have abortions, fine. They have no right to interfere in the life-and-death decisions of others who do not share their faith.

    And I would add that any woman who doesn’t wish to have a baby and wants an abortion probably has good reasons for wanting it, and that a woman who doesn’t want to have a baby should not be forced to have one. Yes, woman should be giving thanks for Dr. George Tiller’s bravery.

    • 43 Anon
      June 3, 2009 at 09:55

      Donnamarie, I am sorry you had such a distressing experience. The attitude of blame and shame that was foisted upon at a time when you were emotionally vulnerable is exactly the kind of judgementalism I was trying to explain to Jennifer at 9.06 above. It is unbelieveable that pro-lifers can be so blinded by their own beliefs that they think they have the right to tell you to put your own life at risk when you have already expericed a very sad loss.

  31. 44 Gary Paudler
    June 2, 2009 at 15:33

    Has the Kansas branch of the Taliban taken credit yet for Dr. Tiller’s murder? Same thing, isn’t it? Religious extremists willing to assert the judgement that they insist only god is qualified to make in order to terrorize a population into submission to their interpretation of a book. We can all admire Dr. Tiller for not allowing himself to be terrorized. He was one of a very few because not everybody is that courageous.

  32. 45 deryck/trinidad
    June 2, 2009 at 15:36

    Many of those commenting make assertions from a place that is far from reality. These women need empathy. Do you think the majority of women who go for an abortion do it joyfully? An abortion is a stressful time. Abortion is the symptom of greater societal problems that must be addressed first.

  33. 46 Steve in Boston
    June 2, 2009 at 15:43

    Dr. Tiller was a hero and now a martyr. He performed legal, established, and medically approved abortions despite ongoing threats from those boorish, ignorant and criminal opponents who choose to operate outside the laws of society because their arrogance leads them believe they know better.

    Now as the result of a homicidal maniac, Dr. Tiller is dead. Dead. His killer should be tried and executed both to punish the murderer who has no respect for the laws of civilization, and to send a message to other would-be assassins.

    The attack on Dr. Tiller was an attack on all of us who seek qualified legal medical care. We can’t let the health of ourselves, our families, and our friends be compromised by thugs and homicidal maniacs.

  34. 47 Mary
    June 2, 2009 at 15:45

    Ros, Late term abortion is criminal in any part of the world unless of course due to some form of complication.

    Most abortionists are faceless people…..I never what to see the person who helped me abort my pregnancy. They are people you want to leave behind.

    They are brave people but not to be proud of. That’s why I would not stand up for Dr. Tiller. He killed. Abortionist and church was hypocrisy.

    I would have stood up for him if he did an abortion for a raped young girl and he was killed…..

  35. 48 Nina in Texas
    June 2, 2009 at 15:46

    I regard Dr. Tiller as a hero. It would be hard for anyone to continue to do their work under the threat of those who could justify the means to end their life. For him to live with those threats and still find purpose in his work is amazing. I don’t know his personal stance on the subject, and I will not do him the injustice of speculating about it. All I will say is that I find arguments against abortion completely illogical, and if you wish to decrease the instance of this procedure you shouldn’t start with the end result, instead focus your energy and furor on the circumstances that created the situation.

  36. 49 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 15:47

    @ Deryck

    I have a feeling the abortion is even more stressful for the fetus, as it’s the one whose life gets ended. If the abortion is in response to a medical necessity, I doubt many people will object to it, but too many abortions are performed as a means of birthcontrol, which enables irresponsibility. It’s fine if you’re irresponsible and YOU bare the consequences for it, but when it’s abortion, it’s the child that pays the price for the irresponsibility of the parents.

  37. 50 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    June 2, 2009 at 15:51

    @ Anon, 10:49 on June 2: The difference is that the final decisions to save the life of the mothers were made by the mothers and their immediate families. Dr. Tiller has no authority to force any mother to sacrifice her child in defense of her own life. Nor would he have remained a doctor, or a free man for that matter, if he had ever attempted to do so.

    The one who murdered Dr. Tiller, and anyone who would incite such violence against those like him, have clearly not taken this distinction into account.

  38. 52 Anthony
    June 2, 2009 at 15:51

    My little brothers friend (15 or 16) got pregnant. She then got drunk and had someone sock her in the belly until she was vomiting blood and passed out. Now she’s crazy, and hates the world. Too bad she didn’t have access to people like the good Dr.

    If the fetus can’t survive out of the womb, then it is still part of the woman. If the woman decides to kill the fetus, that’s up to her. And life doesn’t start at conception, can you hold and raise a zygote?

    So, save 1 life instead of letting 2 die…that seems like simple math/logic to me. Not even a child would argue that.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  39. 53 Muthee in Nairobi
    June 2, 2009 at 15:51

    Hi WHYSers,

    Now I know that abortion is a subject that touches on quite a few raw nerves. My opinion aside though, is it not strange that the doc was MURDERED by a PRO-LIFER?

  40. 54 Rachel in California, USA
    June 2, 2009 at 15:51

    Let’s start with some definitions:

    “Pro-choice” does not mean “pro-abortion.” One can be in favor of a woman’s right and responsibility to make the choice regarding abortion, and still be uncomfortable when she chooses to abort, opposing abortion when someone one knows is making the choice, and refusing to choose abortion oneself. I know this because I am strongly pro-choice, although I do not support abortion; I oppose adultery and recreational drug use too, but do not think they should be illegal. I am pro-choice because I do not believe any child should be condemned to be raised by a woman who wishes the child had never been born.

    “Pro-life” does not mean that one favors all life, or even all human life. Nor does it just mean that one opposes abortion. “Pro-life” does not include opposition to t the bombing of noncombatants in war, opposition to the death penalty, or provision of food, shelter and other necessities of life to poor people and refugees. “Pro-life” often excludes assistance to homeless families, aid to single mothers, provision of prenatal care, or help for mothers with emotional difficulties or mental incompetence. “Pro-life” merely means that one believes a woman does not have the right and responsibility to choose whether or not to have an abortion, at any stage in her pregnancy, regardless of risk to her own life, viability of the fetus, consequences to her already living children, or her own ability to love and care for this child.

    • 55 Nina in Texas
      June 2, 2009 at 16:10

      right, that is why some choose to forgo the term “pro-life” for “anti-choice” since the latter removes any baggage that the former might carry and paints an accurate portrayal of what these people are really all about

  41. June 2, 2009 at 15:52

    A doctor carrying abortion out of conviction isn’t the same as the one carrying it for financial gains. It’s seems Dr George Tiller was helping women to have abortion as a political statement n face of opposition from anti-abortion groups. However , as the USA has legal institutions, his killer shouldn’t have taken the matter in his hands.

    In Morocco, it is estimated there are 600 daily abortions, which means there are more than 200,000 abortions a year when abortion is still illegal, except for very special circumstances that can endanger the life of the mother. In Morocco, it is still a shame for a woman to openly have a boyfriend or to have children outside marriage.

    There were cases of doctors arrested and imprisoned for this as there were cases in which women died under the operation mainly due to hemorrhage.

    Abortion isn’t legal for religious reasons as Islam categorically prohibits it. Women aren’t supposed to have sex outside marriage or to be single mothers. As a compromise, women are encouraged to use contraception pills, especially married ones for family planning.

  42. 57 Anthony
    June 2, 2009 at 15:59

    LOL @ people comparing 9/11 with aborted babies. But I bet you’re OK with the over 100,000 innocent Iraqi citizens (mostly women and children) who were killed because of our “occupation”. That’s why I love to talk to republicans. Yes, abortion is evil, but the little Iraqi kids who were killed because of us, thats OK right.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  43. 58 Muthee in Nairobi
    June 2, 2009 at 16:07

    Like Obama though, I would want to assert that since we really can not agree on this issue till kingdom come, we can surely agree on reducing unwanted pregnancies. Why would one wait until the fetus in her is months old if in the first place she did not want the baby?
    Likewise in our search for carnal satisfaction, wouldn’t it be better if we thought the consequences of our actions beforehand rather than wait to open a whole new can of worms of later?
    But in cases where the mother has developed a complication in pregnancy that would endanger her life if she continues with it, even God’s decision on such wouldn’t be too hard to call. Or would it?

  44. June 2, 2009 at 16:08

    Reading some these blogs makes me question “Why would a Doctor perform “unpopular late term abortions” unless he felt morally committed…most doctors don’t do it for self gain……so in that regard, he was standing up against the easy path for a strong belief. Is that “brave”?….I say YES, in a sense.
    Now, why aren’t people backing him….for the same reason; abortion remains unpopular, best kept under the carpet and “late term” throws many folks over the ethical line from “pro choice” to the “murder side”.

  45. 60 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    June 2, 2009 at 16:14

    @ Steve, 14:28 on June 2: The answer to your question was provided in the first paragraph of the local news link:

    “The shootings were not believed to be part of a broader scheme.”

    The WHYS guidelines for suggesting topic ideas clearly specify that broad relevance should be shown. This is clearly in evidence in the case of abortion doctors who continue to provide this medical service, despite knowing that their lives will be subject to senseless retribution at the hands of terrorists who justify their actions by claiming obedience to a false interpretation of Christian dogma.

    According to your own evidence, military recruiters (in the US) do not fear any such consequences as a risk of their profession.

  46. 61 Anthony
    June 2, 2009 at 16:16

    @ Mario Farrugia

    So 800,000 more babies in America, and most likely ghetto babies who’s parents are low lifes and/or gang members, you would want these children in America where they would end up following their parents into the same life style? I have known people who got abortions, and most of them were low lives that were decent enough to know that if they brought another life into this world, it would have just been a screwed up child. Why don’t you people fight for mandatory birth control for certain people (like those on welfare or other govt. assistance) instead, that makes much more sense.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  47. 62 Muthee in Nairobi
    June 2, 2009 at 16:18

    @ Steve, I may not agree with some of your strong arguments, but I do agree that what compounds the abortion debate {whether late or early} is that the majority of abortions are done as a means of birth control rather than as a result of complications[genuine cases are there though}. I think this is not right.

    • 63 Sarah Hoffman
      June 2, 2009 at 17:19

      Well, I don’t know about Nairobi — but in the US, where Dr. Tiller practiced medicine, the majority of abortions occur very early in pregnancy (prior to 10 weeks gestation) because birth control failed. The kind of abortions Dr. Tiller performed were the kind that would save the lives of Kenyan women during a catastrophically bad pregnancy. These abortions will always be medically necessary because things can and do always go wrong.

  48. 64 Peter sc
    June 2, 2009 at 16:22

    I’ve heard a lot of stories of women going through emotional crises after abortion . If any women out there went through it without problems please reply. Not intending to judge but to evaluate.

    • 65 Anonymous
      June 2, 2009 at 17:27

      Yes, I had an abortion. I was young, had a small infant already, and was trying to leave an abusive husband who stalked me and threatened my life. I had an abortion at about 6 weeks of pregnancy, and I felt relief. When I woke up in the recovery room of the hospital, relief flooded through me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want more children, but for obvious reasons, I couldn’t have this man’s children without extreme suffering. It was an awful situation, and I am really very, very grateful to the doctors, nurses, counselors, and friends who helped me get through it. I think that the stories of “women going through emotional crises after abortion” are mostly mythical. A small number of women may feel that way and they may be the ones who contact Operation Rescue to talk about it — they may have regrets for a a variety of reasons — but raising a child alone is damn hard. Years later I still think I did the right thing and given the same situation I would probably do the same thing again.

      In France, abortion was legalized after hundreds of prominent French women signed a letter saying, “Je suis aborte.” That could never be done in the US because of all the crazy people who would feel divinely ordained to kill us off.

    • 66 Peter sc
      June 2, 2009 at 18:12

      Really. I hope you find peace and love for your other child best wishes

  49. 67 Kim Johnson
    June 2, 2009 at 16:24

    Bravery of Dr. Tiller? That is an oximoron! He was not brave to kill babies! Anyone can kill babies if he or she does not have consience! There is no justification for murder, and the person who killed Dr. Tiller is a criminal and a hypocrite, how can you be pro life and kill people. But Dr. Tiller was not brave at all! NO thanks for him.

    • 68 Tom K in Mpls
      June 2, 2009 at 17:07

      Kim, without commenting on morality, you are missing what the question is about. It is not ‘ does it require bravery to kill unborn children’ What the question amounts to is ‘ is a person brave is they risk their life to work in their profession.’ The answer is too obvious for me to consider the wording of the question to be good.

    • 69 Sarah Hoffman
      June 2, 2009 at 17:16

      Dr. Tiller did not ‘kill babies.” Late term abortions are only performed because of serious fetal and/or maternal problems — problems where death of the fetus at birth or prior to birth is a near-certainty coupled with the death of the mother if an abortion is not performed. A jury in Kansas, spurred on by a rabid anti-abortionist prosecutor, examined 19 late-term abortions performed by Dr. Tiller, and that jury found that Dr. Tiller had followed proper medical procedures and that each abortion was in fact medically necessary. Anti-abortionists love to promulgate the myth that abortion is a “sunday picnic” for irresponsible sexually-active women. That’s not true and it’s never been true.

  50. 70 jamily5
    June 2, 2009 at 16:46

    Everyone is saying that this guy was a hero. Isn’t abortion: and probably this type of abortion a lucrative business.
    Really, we don’t know *why* he was performing these abortions and/or if all of his clients were women who were in danger of their lives.
    He was doing his job.
    He might not have held convictions about prochoice. It could have been a way to make money.
    Who knows.
    Is he given hero status: just because he helps in a cause that some people believe in?

  51. 71 ecotopian
    June 2, 2009 at 16:53

    I admire his bravery, but I’m not sure about giving thanks. Knowing where Dr.Tiller lived, the Bible Belt, and he still had the guts to continue, is why I really admire his courage.

    It should be pointed out that to some restricting abortions isn’t about saving babies, it’s about control. Controlling women and their sexuality. Not their reproduction, but their sex lives. Women aren’t supposed to be sexual beings, except for whores. If you engage in sex and aren’t married, you must pay for that by having the kid. It is your badge of shame, your scarlet letter (if you know the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne). Pregnancy is seen as punishment for a woman’s loose ways. I’m serious about this. The people who commit these violent acts want to control women and set us back several centuries.

    What the people who want abortion illegal don’t either get or won’t admit to is if you do that, abortions go underground. Women resort to methods that can cause severe injury or death. There was an article about abortion in Africa in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/02/health/02abort.html?hpw). In the countries where abortion is illegal, the consequences can be horrific. I am not saying those outcomes would happen here in the States. Although, with our health care system in the shape it is in now, some women may lose their lives for this.

    But, as I said before, abortion to some those people isn’t about saving babies, it’s about control.

  52. 72 Anthony
    June 2, 2009 at 16:54

    @ Kim Johnson

    Yes, how hard is it to kill babies? How hard is it to sit in the front of a bus (when you’re black in the 50’s)? How hard is it to pray and wear a cross (when you’re a Christian in a Muslim country)? How hard is it to help an old terminally ill man commit suicide (when you’re living in the U.S.)?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  53. 73 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    June 2, 2009 at 16:57

    In “Life Before Birth,” Dr. Bonnie Steinbock examines the ethical implications of abortion by considering “The Interest View.” In the interest view, a fetus has no independent interests and cannot be “harmed” in any way meaningful to IT, as a developing bundle of tissue, until after the first trimester.

    Under the interest view, the ethical implications of abortion become much more complicated after the end of the third month of a pregnancy, but in every case the interest of the living mother obtains over the possible future interests of the fetus.

    Most anti-abortionists will dismiss Dr. Steinbock’s excellent treatise on the ethics of abortion because it is based on fact, evidence and reason, while the so-called Right to Lifer’s believe, without a shred of proof or evidence, that a being is “ensouled” at conception, and that the bundle of tissue that begins to form at conception should be accorded all the rights of an independent woman, whose interests may not be served by carrying a fetus to term.

    Dr. George Tiller was an ethical and moral man who understood the interests of his patients, the women who decided to terminate their pregnancies in their own best interest.

  54. 74 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 2, 2009 at 17:02

    Abortion is a personal choice of a women & role of doctor is a trouble shooter.
    Any outsider or unrelated interfearance will give a birth to illegalities.
    This is what ” TALABAN” are demanding from Govt & Socities, in my personal openion ” PROLIFE” activist’s sound like ‘ TALABAN ” in this case.

  55. 75 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 17:07

    @ John D. Augustine

    Is there any evidence that the killing of the abortion doctor was part of a broader scheme? Seems, there are many more anti US/religious based killings than there are killings of anti abortion doctors. In fact, 3000 people were killed on 9/11. How many abortion doctors have been killed?

  56. 76 Roy, Washington DC
    June 2, 2009 at 17:07

    If fetuses are babies, why isn’t someone’s age determined from their date of conception, not their date of birth?

  57. 77 jamily5
    June 2, 2009 at 17:12

    I think that everyone has discussed this abortion topic before.
    And: yes, for me: prolife can mean opposing the death penalty and murder by any means.

    What constitutes a hero?
    Is it just that someone puts his life on the line for … … *something?
    Is it that people work in substandard conditions?
    Ok, the doc was performing abortions and let’s say that you believe that these abortions should be performed.
    So, let’s say that you believed that the doc helped women by providing these abortions.
    Was he providing them free and out of his conviction to help women?
    Was he insuring that there was no way that this baby could be carried full term?
    Was he giving good counsel to women about their choices?
    Why wouldn’t he just perform a emergency delivery or C-section and try to have the baby live as well as the woman?
    If the problem was that the woman actually did want the child, but it was only that she was not able (due to health reasons) do carry the child, wouldn’t the above be a better option?
    Or, was it a form of birth control, as many have suggested.
    And, if so, how heroic is the doc?
    Yet, as Jennifer has said, there was no justification for murder and there will be another good doc to spring up soon.

  58. 78 Joseph A. Migliore
    June 2, 2009 at 17:13

    It’s ironic, that the same “immoral acts” the Doctor performed, were applied by an adult, ending the physician’s life.

    This is a extremely controversial issue, morality says that the Doctor’s practice was contrary for respect of human-life.

    His practice was more of a “convenience” for women who failed to think or protect themselves, responsibly. Its unfortunate.

    • 79 Sarah Hoffman
      June 2, 2009 at 17:35

      Not true. By the time a women saw Dr. Tiller, she was usually far advanced into a wanted pregnancy in which there were catastrophic problems. Abortion is not a “convenience” under any circumstances. The “morning-after” pill is a convenience and if it were widely and freely available in the US, the abortion rate would plummet. But the anti-abortionists oppose that, too. They aren’t the least bit rational about the process of conception and gestation. Dr. Tiller had enormous respect for human life because he focused on mothers who were in danger of dying or who were carrying hideously deformed fetuses that could not survive.

      It is wicked the way Dr. Tiller’s medical practice has been intentionally distorted. If he had been in it for the money, as so many people accuse, he would have ditched ob-gyn and gone into a more lucrative surgical specialty. If he had, he’s still be alive and he’d be making lots more money. Ob-gyn is a difficult specialty with very high insurance rates for both doctors and hospitals, and it isn’t particularly lucrative. Just one more example of the extreme misrepresentation of the anti-abortionist nutcases.

  59. 80 Jn0el, Portland OR
    June 2, 2009 at 17:22

    Dr. Tiller was brave, and I am sad for his death. However, I refuse to say what any person “should” do. Should women praise him for his bravery? It is not my place to say because unlike the man who murdered Dr. Tiller in his place of worship, I am not a fascist. We cannot and must not force our personal, religious or spiritual beliefs on others.

    We all have an ability to make choices and live with those consequences, and the women who came to Dr. Tiller were at the end of a long line of decisions. The abortions he performed SAVED THEIR LIVES. Let me repeat that. Dr. Tiller saved the lives of woman already on this planet. How can we value the unknown life over the life of a woman that is here, breathing, living and loving? I don’t mean to get preachy, but that is my personal belief. You are entitled to yours.

  60. 81 Mark Sandell
    June 2, 2009 at 17:29

    Thankyou for all these comments but please – no essays- thanks.

  61. 82 Assiya
    June 2, 2009 at 17:30

    Was he a hero or a zero?: it depends on weather I am the aborted or the abortee…

    Assiya
    from Mozambique

  62. 83 jamily5
    June 2, 2009 at 17:48

    Just wondering:
    to all of you who do support choice:
    In a consensual situation:
    since both woman and man have chosen to have unprotected sex and a fetus is created:
    do you feel comfortable being the only one who makes the decision on what to do with the fetus?
    If both of you created it, shouldn’t both of you decide what to do with your creation?
    do pro-choicers also support the choice of the man’s desire to continue the pregnancy?
    If you feel uncomfortable with the man’s right to control your reproductive rights: wouldn’t you also feel uncomfortable with your right to dominate the situation by claiming that it is only your right since it is your body?
    Is this just a battle about control?

    • 84 Tom K in Mpls
      June 2, 2009 at 18:07

      jamily5, you and others are confusing early term ( often convenient ) and late term ( most often medically required to save the mother ) abortions. Please everyone, keep this in mind as you post.

    • 85 ~Rhoda in the United States
      June 2, 2009 at 18:36

      Dear Jamily,
      I can only answer for my self.
      I feel very comfortable making that decision and this is why. A womans body goes through hormone changes. These changes are something I can’t explain to you unless you are a woman you would not understand it; If I am the one having to go through that, then yes it is my decision and mine alone, period. With me it is not a control battle because there is no battle. If he wants kids then I suggest he go find someone who wants kids. That is just me, I can’t speak for all women.

  63. 86 Dee in Chicago
    June 2, 2009 at 18:07

    The coward who murdered Dr. Tiller is clearly NOT pro-life. That some of these anti-choice fools consider murder acceptable but abortion unacceptable is backward, illogical and utterly unacceptable. I hope he gets the ultimate punishment.

  64. 87 Katie in Nashville, TN
    June 2, 2009 at 18:08

    To Roy in Washington, I would like to say that your comment about the date of cenception is right on.

    I know that many abortions are done before 10 weeks, I will point out that the Bible says that life is not created until blood is flowing through the veins and that does not happen until several months into the pregnancy.

  65. 88 jamily5
    June 2, 2009 at 18:09

    You wrote:
    If he had been in it for the money, as so many people accuse, he would have ditched ob-gyn and gone into a more lucrative surgical specialty.

    Not exactly so.
    Many ob/gyns make tons of money: especially on surgical procedures.

    And, if the baby could have been born naturally, why not deliver the baby instead of abort it?
    I know children who have survived at 24wks and even 20: with some medical assistance.
    Maybe the woman just wanted a perfect little bundle of joy without disabilities.
    What would have changed these “wanted pregnancies,” into “unwanted pregnancies?”
    Did the Good doc tell these women that there was an option of delivery: all be it, a bit difficult for the child afterwords?
    This makes it sound like the women had no choice.. … their lives or the child’s.
    But, I don’t think that many situations are “either – or.”
    I know at least two cases where the doc said that the fam should get an abortion, but not because of the life of the mom, but because of the perceived disability of the child.
    And in other cases, the mother’s condition is equally in danger: whether abortion or c-section. So, why would one choose abortion instead of C-section: if they wanted the baby?

  66. June 2, 2009 at 18:11

    I would say he is one of the brave person, he is one of the sources of remedy for the illegal affairs and illegal pregnancy.

  67. 90 Helen
    June 2, 2009 at 18:13

    No one ever has rights over another adult’s body. We should not
    concede the term “pro-life” to these people who are really “pro-fetus”
    and “anti-women” . These anti-choice crusaders are nothing but
    religious terrorists.

  68. 91 Scott [M]
    June 2, 2009 at 18:14

    ANTI-ABORTION-ERS

    This is the sad reality, but the correct one: If people truly believe that abortion is murder (in the normal sense we think of murder), then the moral course of action would be to stop abortion, even with violence.

    You could perhaps, even argue it is their obligation to use violence to stop it. This argument is often used against people who are anti-abortion. If people are anti-abortion and really think it is the equivalent of human murder, then they have a moral obligation to stop it—in the same way we have a moral obligation to stop genocide or a holocaust. Because, anti-abortion groups generally don’t go to this extreme, perhaps it means they don’t really view abortion as the equivalent to murder.

    (I posted this elsewhere yesterday)

  69. 92 Ramadhar
    June 2, 2009 at 18:14

    What does being pro-life mean? A fetus that is a few weeks old is considered to have same rights as a human when an animal (a mammal with fully functional central nervous system and emotions for its family) is eaten by these same pro-life people.

    How do you explain that?

  70. 93 ~Rhoda in the United States
    June 2, 2009 at 18:15

    The extremists once again has brought their nose into business that is not theirs.

  71. 94 Venessa
    June 2, 2009 at 18:17

    Dr. Tiller was a brave man willing to perform a task even after being assaulted before. He is not a killer; he performs a procedure that is legal. Late abortions are not typically done unless there are extenuating circumstances. Opposing the doctor’s legal work is not an acceptable reason for anyone to be killed.

    This event also seems a bit counterproductive for the pro-life movement. It’s an oxymoron how pro-lifers are protesting for the rights of these aborted fetuses yet are willing to kill the people who perform the procedures.

  72. 95 Nathan Marks
    June 2, 2009 at 18:21

    Dr. Hearn’s (sp?) comments comparing the anti-abortion militants in the US to the Taliban are absolutely correct and need to be said more loudly. What other word would you call a group who advocates and tolerates violence other than “terrorist”?

  73. 96 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 18:21

    So there’s been 8 murders of abortion doctors in the US in the past 20 years. I think more people have died from lightening strikes, a lot more people have died from lightening strikes, and it pales in comparison to the numbers of americans who have died in terrorist attacks in the past 20 years. Or is 8 somehow more than thousands? Maybe my math is bad.

  74. 97 Mikel
    June 2, 2009 at 18:22

    I love how the majority of pro-life groups in the United States are more interested in punishing women for having sex than actually reducing abortions.

    If they wanted to reduce abortions, they would be handing out condoms and teaching about contraception on the street corners. But they only stick to abstinence, which is a failed policy.

  75. 98 Liz, Seattle WA
    June 2, 2009 at 18:23

    Dr. Tiller is definitely a hero and a martyr. Regardless of one’s beliefs concerning the ethics of abortion, how can those who claim to be “pro-life” still condone murder?

  76. 99 Lisa Metzbower
    June 2, 2009 at 18:25

    I totally agree with the doctor who just described the anti-choice groups as fascist movements. I was involved with several for many years here in the southeastern US and while they publicly denounce violence/killing, they refer to these incidents in their small private group meetings to rally the troops. They glorify the killers, calling them martyrs; they just do it amongst themselves only, never on radio or tv shows. I was one of them; I know this firsthand. While they believe that life in precious and begins at conception, they seem to forget that life after birth is also precious. The reference to groups like the Taliban was not far off–they want their views to govern other people’s bodies and rights. And again, they DO condone killing, despite what their practiced mouthpieces say in interviews.

  77. 100 Carole
    June 2, 2009 at 18:25

    If the anti-choice position becomes dominant in the US what then is the legal consequence of providing or obtaining an abortion?

    Who goes to prison?

  78. 101 Raydan
    June 2, 2009 at 18:27

    I’m sorry but I cannot read all that came before this.I would like to say that Jesus himself said abour the person who would betray him ” It would be better for him if he had never been born” he didn’t say never concieved I believe jesus in saying that. he knew of the abortion era. and there were compensations made to accomidate everyone. Everyone is so tense I don’t understand how nobody tries to talk to GOD in the name of your holy spirit.

  79. 102 Tom D Ford
    June 2, 2009 at 18:28

    It has turned out that the “Pro-Lifers” aren’t, they murder people in church just like Al Qaeda does in Mosques in Iraq.

    President Obama should have the US Justice Department investigate the murderer of Dr. Tiller. The FBI ought to investigate everyone who he ever had contact with, round ’em all up and thoroughly question them all. They are terrorists in our midst and they need to be stopped!

  80. 103 Anne
    June 2, 2009 at 18:28

    Dr. Tiller’s murderer was fueled by words. We must examine the way the debate over a woman’s right to choose is discussed, beginning with the terms used. No one is anti-life, so why do we use the term pro-life? No one is pro-abortion, so why use the term anti-abortion? We are either pro-choice or anti-choice. If we start there, we can begin to have a more meaningful debate and discover solutions we can all agree on.

  81. 104 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 18:29

    Donnamarie’s situation is COMPLETELY different. She didn’t have an abortion. That she saw signs, well, we all see signs every day. Should people lose their freedom of speech so she doesn’t have to see signs that didn’t apply to her? If those people can have their rights taken away, why can’t she have her right oto abortion taken away if we’re allowed to pick and choose what people can have rights?

    Again, she didn’t have an abortion if it was already dead. Any ban on abortion wouldn’t have even applied to her.

    • 105 Venessa
      June 2, 2009 at 18:45

      Steve – did you hear the part where she was hit on the head with the signs? That kinda crosses the line of free speech don’t you think?

    • 106 Tom K in Mpls
      June 2, 2009 at 18:45

      Two things steve. These people attacked her with their signs. The on air anti-abortion woman would probably condemn them for this too. Also, you are assuming these people would allow laws making the distinction related to dead tissue and then that lawmakers would act reasonably on this.

  82. 107 martin
    June 2, 2009 at 18:33

    As crude as this sounds, there are 6 billion people on this planet – far too many. The hypocracy of the religous right is astounding. This is not a world of limitless resources, this is not a world where every life is sacred. If a woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy that is between her and her doctor. Instead of killing over people yet to be born these people could spend more time helping the hundreds of millions of children living on the edge of death throughout the world.

  83. 108 Peter sc
    June 2, 2009 at 18:35

    Its a myth that mothers love their offsprings unconditionally . This debate convince me.

  84. 109 Kimberly in Oregon
    June 2, 2009 at 18:36

    I am disturbed by this latest act of violence and am concerned that it signifies the beginning of a renewed wave of aggression against providers, staff and activists who are working to ensure a woman’s right to make decisions about her body.

    Further, I am left wondering what these anti choice people hope to achieve. Certainly a ban on abortion will not stop the need for it.

    Dr. Tiller, his staff and his family should all be commended for putting their lives on the line to further the rights of women; they have all demonstrated an incredible amount of bravery and heroism.

  85. 110 Mary from Ohio
    June 2, 2009 at 18:37

    Pro-life workers should move their efforts to social services and effective birth control education if they really want to make an impact. It sickens me to see people holding up signs protest abortion but not caring what happens to the babies that are actually born. If social services to help mothers were actually effective and viable then there would be significantly less abortions in the first place. Women have abortions because they know they can’t give the child a good life, and will most likely doom themselves to life-long poverty. If they knew they could get help: QUALITY daycare, job training, parenting classes, etc, then they would feel they could go through with the pregnancy.

  86. 111 ecotopian
    June 2, 2009 at 18:38

    Dr. Hern’s comment about the difference between the extremists here and the Taliban reminded me of something Andrew Sullivan said. He said that the person who killed Tiller attacked Christianity. A place that was once considered a sanctuary. A place you could go to be safe from outside violence because, depending on the era and how bloody the outside violence was, there would be very few people who cross the threshold and violate the sanctity of the church. Which what the attacker did in this instance.

  87. 112 a woman
    June 2, 2009 at 18:39

    hero or not,,,, the doctor was doing his job,and by the looks of what i can deduct from the callers he seems a genuine guy,,,,.

    What did the killier or his organisation prove.If they are so against abortion and call taking life then what are thye doing ? How would they justify their action?

    Abortion is only the business of the person who is pregnent. If the lady in concern wants to have the kid she has it .If not she does not. Right wrong does not matter,,,,,,,,,,,,, .

    Noone understands what the lady is going through unless u are that person.

    So people butt out.

  88. 113 Maria NC
    June 2, 2009 at 18:39

    just heard that one doctor compare the anti abortion movement to the Taliban and after thinking about it, i agree with him

  89. 114 Bill
    June 2, 2009 at 18:40

    Tiller killed babies. Exactly how is that heroic ?

  90. 116 Jay in Oregon
    June 2, 2009 at 18:40

    Its sad that some crazy person with an agenda killed Dr. Tiller but he is no more a hero than any other health care provider. What about hospital nurses that selflessly care for patients day in and day out?

  91. 117 julianna
    June 2, 2009 at 18:41

    Who is this moderator? Please let the people talk and stop interrupting and asking questions? This program is not for you, it is for the listeners. You have no right to ask people how much an abortion costs or interrupt people question how they know a fact. PLEASE act professional.

  92. 118 A.J.
    June 2, 2009 at 18:41

    Dr. Tiller was an abortion provider. But, just as most doctors in his field, he also provided healthcare, reproductive and other services for women. Because he unapologetically did late-term abortions he was the perfect poster boy for anti-abortion groups. He was also the perfect example of unflappable courage in the face of possible assault or worse. His kind of dedication is admirable in any circumstance. Everyone should be defiant when it comes to doing what they feel they are meant to and have a right to do so long as it is within the law. Whether he is to be lauded or shamed is not the point. Anti-abortion groups use intimidation bordering on terror in their efforts to rid the world of something that, although may be heinous to some, is legal. Their dispicable tactics are apparent at every new clinic or women’s health facility due for opening anywhere in the U.S. His practices may be disgusting to some, but were legal and murder is NOT the answer when other means seem futile. “Thou shalt not kill” goes both ways. “Do unto others” solves nothing.

  93. 119 Colleen
    June 2, 2009 at 18:42

    I believe that hero is too strong of a word to use; but I feel that Dr. Tiller is deserving of respect for his work, for his committment, and for his standing for his beliefs despite harsh adversity by anti-abortion extremists.

    You did say that you wanted to hear from women who’ve had abortions or who’ve faced the decision – so, here you go:)

    I had an abortion after I graduated from high school. I wish to let it be known to those who believe that abortion doctors ‘prey on poor and desparate’ are misguided in their thinking.
    The clinic I went to had me fill out forms; the patients also were made to watch a video about their decision – the alternatives and the procedure; they were interviewed and counseled and were allowed to change their minds at any time.
    Ladies are given plenty of information and time to consider their decision before it is actually performed.

    And for the record, my unwanted pregnancy was not created by lack of responsibility – it was one of those tiny percentages that methods used were not effective. My decision to abort was not tormenting and regrettable as some anti-abortion commercials would have the public and more importantly – women – believe. At that point in my life; it wasn’t the right time or the right situation – there are already so many kids who’ve been born into poverty and inept parenting; I wasn’t going to bring another one into it.

  94. 120 a woman
    June 2, 2009 at 18:42

    It is always better not to bring a life in to this world,,,,,,,,,,,,than to ahve it and not care for it and make the living a hell for all.

  95. 121 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 18:43

    Your pro abortion people sound rather extreme. Mental health as a reason to kill your child? What, you might have post partum depression, so you’ll have an abortion?

    I’m curious, why don’t men have any rights here? Last I checked, a woman can’t get pregnant herself. But if I were self absorbed, I would think the world revolves around my selfish desires as well.

    • 122 Kimberly in Oregon
      June 2, 2009 at 18:54

      Men who are anti choice should have either discussed and known their partners stance prior to sleeping with her or used a condom. That is their right, but it should never extend to someone else’s body.

  96. 123 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 18:45

    Gotta agree with Peter. Unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy, I have no faith in humanity if mothers can kill their own children and think it’s a right. We’re the only species that murders, we’re the only species that kills it’s own young out of selfishness.. We’re evil, this is just one aspect of what a horrific species we are.

    • 124 patti in cape coral
      June 2, 2009 at 19:30

      You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean, if a few drops are dirty, it does not make the ocean dirty – Mahatma Gahndi

  97. 125 steve
    June 2, 2009 at 18:46

    Dr. Tiller a saint? Interesting to hear people in the religious community cheapen that word. He may have been providing a legal service, but a saint? Please.. Give me a break.

  98. 126 Chuck Hulsey
    June 2, 2009 at 18:49

    Women have the right to choose. The “Right to Life” organizations are no better than the Taliban. In that they want to take away a persons’ right to free-will. When extremists are allowed to flourish then we have a huge problem. This is where religion, in my view, has caused much more harm than good in this world. When people think that their god WANTS them to kill in his name. Anyway…

  99. 127 Jennifer
    June 2, 2009 at 18:49

    Terminating a pregnancy is probably one of the most difficult decisions a woman has to make and one that is her own right. I commend Dr. Tiller and his colleagues in making this very heart breaking process easier to deal with. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family.

  100. 128 Anthony
    June 2, 2009 at 18:50

    I’d like to see these anti-abortion “crazies” put a funny cartoon of the prophet Mohammed in their pamphlets….lets see how brave they are, and how proud they are of their freedom of speech.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  101. 129 Jay in Oregon
    June 2, 2009 at 18:51

    The reverand is full of it…My father spent 35 years in community outreach as a pastor and helping the sick and downtrodden. He died at 52 from cancer and only his friends and family will remember him. His life work makes Tillers work seem small and yet nobody will ever know. How dare she call him a Saint. I grew up Episcopal and though its the Churches stance to support Pro Choice the majority of people in the church don’t feel the same. Get your facts straight and stop blabbing just to try and make a point.

  102. June 2, 2009 at 18:51

    This is an issue to be decided between a woman and her physician. It is a medical procedure. It was completely wrong for this doctor to be murdered. He was a doctor! He died at a murder’s hand.

  103. June 2, 2009 at 18:53

    some years ago I had an abortion in England – when I was eighteen I may well represent all the worst of the Catholic sinners but I tell what I recall and regret most was not the fact that I was too young, scared and naive to believe that I could have had the child – most of all, instead – in my nightmares, I recall the shouting and screaming of Irish accents outside the clinic telling me I was a murderer and on my way to hell. They had cameras and were taking my picture – brandishing images of bloody babies in buckets. I had my doubts about going through with the procedure allright but Those women’;s rabid anger, intolerance and condemnation decided me FOR IT – It is the same intolerance and I kenw to expect as a single unmarried mother. Abortion is illegal in Ireland and 4000 women or more go abroad aevery year to abort – I’m sorry I made the decision at the time but I would not ever condemn a woman for making it or for the doctor for providing it. the decisions are personal on the one hand and professional on the other.

  104. 132 Robby Evans
    June 2, 2009 at 18:55

    Fetus =

    midle english Latin act of bearing young , offspring, akin to latin fetus newly delivered, fruitful BABY
    Date 14th century

    Terminate =

    Midle English. from Latin terminatus, past participle of terminare,
    from terminus
    Date 15 century

    : coming to an end or caple of ending,
    to kill to take life.

    A wonen’s choice to do what ?

    To terminate a fetus

    TRANSLATED into modern english : TO KILL HUMAN OFFSPRING

  105. 133 john in Oregon
    June 2, 2009 at 18:57

    yes, this man was heroic. He provides a perfect template for how one should react in the face of terrorism.

    • 134 Jay in Oregon
      June 2, 2009 at 19:01

      Its called doing your job. Since when was conviction the same as heroism. Stop flinging that word around and save it for the REAL heroes. I’m a pro choicer but to call this man a hero isn’t fair to the true heroes.

  106. 135 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    June 2, 2009 at 18:58

    The question posed on this blog is generalized as if abortion applies to everyone – men included. Some women yes may salute the doctor because of the successes they presumably got through his assistance but probably the rest suffered post abortion trauma and won’t care to remember him.
    Abortion lobbyists include men and women who will never know what abortion is all about. The point is that applicable to just a handful of women who do not have a choice medically. We continue to lobby for the right of abortion as if there is no way to avoid pregnancy. Do we conclude that the right to abortion is akin to the right to free speech and open to everyone? If so, on what basis do men support abortionists?
    I feel our healthy mental facaulties can handle this issue without the requirement of the lobyists on both sides as well as the physicians to conduct this horid operations.

  107. 136 Suzanne
    June 2, 2009 at 19:01

    I discovered I had a Trisomy 18 baby at 5 months. I decided to carry the child to term and to deal with his handicaps because I felt it was morally the right thing to do. At 8 months we discovered the he had died, and I delivered him like a normal pregnancy (I had two prior children). It was the most important and best decision I had ever made in my life – to not have an abortion. I began seeing the world in a more compassionate light during those last months. It made me more sensitive to others, but more important than that, it made me feel stronger because I knew I was doing the right thing. I would never recommend an abortion to anyone after this experience. A person can justify any decision – whether it is to cheat on taxes or lie to get personal gain, but I think these things are moral struggles because we sense in our hearts that they are wrong – no matter what the positive outcome may be. Doing the right thing takes more energy and effort, and most people don’t want to be bothered. Hence we have abortion.

    • 137 anonymous
      June 2, 2009 at 19:16

      Suzanne – You sound like a very strong person and that is a beautiful story, but not everyone is that strong, and a lot of people would be shattered by going through this kind of experience. “Doing the right thing” was the right thing for you, and I don’t think the decision to have an abortion is always because people “don’t want to put forth the energy and effort and don’t want to be bothered”.

  108. 138 Gloria in Oregon
    June 2, 2009 at 19:02

    The murder of Dr. Tiller is so profoundly sad. So tragic. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Dr. Tiller.

    This was a heinous act. An act of a zealot who is so fervent about ” My beliefs are better than your beliefs. My God is better than your God, and I shall prove it by slaying the enemy in their own house of worship.”

    So awful, so sad, so tragic. A loss of a compassionate human being, a doctor who cared for his patients, and served them legally.

  109. 139 Scott [M]
    June 2, 2009 at 19:03

    Give me a break with the “were the only species nonsense.” What does that even mean? Nothing! Were the only species that does or doesn’t do a lot of things, it speaks to nothing. Not to mention that the argument isn’t even correct—other species do indeed kill each other. What other species feel selfish in the way humans do?

  110. 140 John
    June 2, 2009 at 19:07

    The dead doctor and the shooter are each at an extreme position on abortion. The shooter can not claim to be pro-life while taking one. The doctor knew his business was taking lives. Neither would move and tragedy followed. There are no winners here.

  111. 141 Colleen
    June 2, 2009 at 19:07

    steve – pro choice people aren’t extremists – although both sides of any issue will always have their extremists.

    i don’t disagree with the idea that men should have a say. the high school boyfriend who was half responsible when i had my abortion – agreed to it. he was already interested in someone else anyway and would not have been around if i did have his child. but, what ifs were not a factor; what was at the time – was the consideration. he wasn’t ready, i wasn’t ready and it would not have been a productive and positive environment to bring a child into. no regrets.

    on a side note steve; i don’t agree with girls who have babies against the boyfriend’s wishes either… depending on the situation. nor do i think that abortion should be considered a form of birth control. it should be considered an alternative to when birth control doesn’t work.

    one thing that would make poverty affect fewer people is for birth control to be made more available to those people. if you can’t afford the one you have; you don’t need to be having more.

  112. 142 citizen dan
    June 2, 2009 at 19:10

    Proper response to the death of Dr. Tiller‏

    I oppose any so-called ‘War on Terror.’ But surely , when the prison sentences of several young Americans were multiplied ten times and more by simple act of elevating their charges from vandalism to so-called ‘eco-terrorism ,’ then Dr. Tiller’s murderer also qualifies as a terrorist , bt anyone’s definition , and he deserves a similar draconian punishment .

    I doubt this will be so much as considered by the prosecutors , since , this ‘terrorism’ cuts against the interests of their political base .

  113. 143 Anthony
    June 2, 2009 at 19:11

    @ steve

    -Not only do other species kill their own offspring, they kill others offspring too.

    -Men don’t have to go through what women have to go through, thats why.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  114. 144 anonymous
    June 2, 2009 at 19:11

    I had an abortion when I was 20. I was pregnant, already had two children, and my husband had just left me. I had an abortion because I loved the children I already had, and I wasn’t sure how I would take care of them.

    When I went to the clinic I was very upset and felt like I had no other options. After a long and painful interview with one of the providers, she very gently suggested that maybe this was not the right decision for me. I did not feel coerced or brain-washed, quite the contrary, it seemed that they based their advice on the individual. It was a painful process for me, even though I think I made the only decision I could at the time.

    If I had know of any service given by anti-abortionists that would help me keep that baby, I might not have had the abortion. It’s very ineffective to condemn the act, but do nothing to assuage the circumstances that make it necessary.

  115. 145 Lily
    June 2, 2009 at 19:18

    As someone who works in the high risk obstetrics world and who has seen babies at all different gestation points, Dr. Tiller is not a hero. A hero is selfless. The choice to have an abortion is a very difficult decision and I understand that women alone have to make this choice and live with their choice. My heart goes out to them. However, what he did was not “hero worthy.” He had good qualities I am sure. He is not a hero nor should he be looked as one. He also was not worthy of being murdered. That is a terrible thing and I grieve for his family.

  116. 146 Githira Daniel Njoroge
    June 2, 2009 at 19:33

    Abortion is wrong! I don’t support him, but let’s face it: We condemn it but it is happening in millions. I think we should be discussing on how to tackle abortion that burry our heads in the sand as if nothing happened at at all! I listen to that Kenyan woman and i can confirm that is what happens here. It is a sticky issue!

  117. 147 Githira Daniel Njoroge
    June 2, 2009 at 19:40

    Hi bbc,
    From a moral or religous point of view, the doctor was just a devil, but if we face the facts, he deserves some respect! Abortion happens in million but we burry our heads in the sand and shout aginist it in public. I listen to that Kenyan woman and i can confirm that whatever she says is true.

    Njoroge
    Kenya

  118. 148 amajama from nigeria
    June 2, 2009 at 19:54

    this is not about the doctor being a villain or an hero,he did what had to be done at critical times..period.

  119. 149 Malcolm Hounsom
    June 2, 2009 at 21:18

    Anybody who takes a life as his murder did is guilty. What Dr Tiller did , in a small number of cases is not what we would like to happen, is done for the preservation of a viable adult human life is distasteful .Those who claim all feotuses should maintain to the detriment of the adult life are forgotting ,who that adult is already be responsible for and may have to support. None of these decisions are easy. What must be remembered buy those who are against abortion , is that it will be cared out legally or not if a women decides she does not want or cannot support the child . It better carried out if clinical safe conditions than non clinical unsafe conditions.

    This point seemd to missed buy those who are anti abortion.

    It would be better that all babies were concieved and wanted , but that is not the case and has not been since the human race began.

  120. 150 Alby
    June 2, 2009 at 22:04

    Only problem is a lot of children who do get to be born in the US don’t get their human rights either.

    Seems to strange to me that all these Christians and Religious people who value unborn life so much at conception, don’t lift a finger to improve life for the ‘born’ once they get here.

    Today with poverty like it is for more than 20% of US kids and rising, their brains will not be able to fully develop because of the stress of poverty, poor nutrition and lack of pre-natal, neo-natal or adolescent healthcare. That combined with failing public schools everywhere, and rising unemployment for uneducated and educated people alike, they are already doomed to a life of under-class status in this the so called ‘richest’ country in the world.

    We’re not living in the years after the great depression anymore where the world was our oyster…and we would dominate it economically without question.

    If every young couple could make a life for themselves with a living wage, there wouldn’t have to be 800,000 abortions a year in the USA! When will the clerics get that through their narrow minded heads? And start teaching that message of compassion and connectedness to their flocks?

  121. 151 Straightline
    June 2, 2009 at 22:19

    Tiller a hero? You set some very low standards for your hero’s.

    Sigh America…..the place where making terrorist uncomfortable is torture and destroying a million infants per year is health care.

    Justifying abortion as women’s rights is just plain self centered selfish. Rape, incest, deformities, the mothers life etc. are reasonable reasons for abortion. But these represent just a tiny fraction.

    There are just too many forms of birth control for infanticide to be used as birth control. It’s barbaric enough without Tillers speciality.,… late term infanticide.

    I would rather that Tiller had been charged with his crimes against humanity and punished accordingly than murdered but…he was a stain on humanity and not worthy of grieving

  122. 152 Sick and Tired in VA
    June 2, 2009 at 22:33

    What sicken me are those healthy people who attack late-term abortion. This is a medical procedure done in rare cases where the mother’s life is in danger, due to chronic illness, disability, or onset of a new disease.

    So how dare you healthy people condemn these women to death, greater disability, and hardship just to satisfy your smug sense of morality…of course these are the same people in the U.S. who oppose stem cell research and universal health care, all which would protect the lives of the chronically ill and disabled…funny how these people seem to support every policy that would kill us off as quickly as possible without troubling their pocketbook or sense of moral superiority.

  123. 153 Lynda Finn
    June 2, 2009 at 23:12

    I am astonished how stupid some people can be.

    Do the enemies of Dr Tiller think he went out into the street and dragged unwilling pregnant women into the clinic?

    No doctor would perform a late term abortion unless it was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, for reasons these critics will not or cannot understand or accept.

    If they disagree with killing a viable human, then they should condemn his killer. But they don’t, so clearly they DO think killing is acceptable in some circumstances.

    Can’t have it both ways.

  124. 154 janet
    June 3, 2009 at 05:27

    As a woman that cannot have children abortion is difficult for me when women use it as a method of birth control. And I know of a couple. I have two sisters. One whom elected abortion (Kansas). The other should had an abortion.

    One sister was a young teenager. She was afraid and had the abortion. I know she suffered much guilt over her decision.

    The other sister had a baby which was classified as acontragenic. The World Health Organization reported that she was the only one in the world know to carry this type of baby with congenital birth defects during the perinatal period. There wasn’t even a percentage. Only two other women were known of in the world and only after birth. These babies had water on the brain and the brittle bones which broke as they moved interuterally . The baby was born stillborn. As she was in a catholic hospital (we are protestant) which was a teaching hospital, she was not given a choice to abort. She was more like a specimen to examine. Since the baby was born full term, the baby has a grave. My sister and this baby would have been better to have been terminated due to the pain the baby suffered and the emotional devastation to the mother.

    Third term abortion is very severe and should only be used in specific cases. I do not agree with abortion, although since my parents are in their 90s, my mother has told me stories of backroom alleys in which women died from hemmorraging from quack doctors. My sisters have different stories and the backroom alleys are my rationale for a woman’s right to have an abortion.

  125. 155 T
    June 3, 2009 at 05:29

    Yes they should. Another important point. In the States, the MSM keeps labeling him as “The Abortion Doctor.” Wrong. His office continues to provide a full range of medical services to women. Some to actually help prevent pregnancies. But apparently they can’t be bothered to actually do their job. Nothing new there.

  126. June 3, 2009 at 06:35

    Hi all,

    As far as abortion is concerned I firmly believe that if the foetus is a potential threat to mother’s life then aborting it is better option. Why lose a life which already exist for the one which is yet to come into existance. So a lesser loss can be accepted to avoid a bigger loss. Its logically a correct choice. That mother may have other children to look after, husband and other family members and for those her life will be important. Where as the child is stil unborn.
    I think women should thank this doctor… But what is worrying is that he is no more.

  127. 157 Des Currie
    June 3, 2009 at 06:42

    Dr Tiller, a man so brave he could kill unborn children. Makes one want to be sick. Or did you think that an abortion was not an unborn child?
    Des Currie

  128. 158 Tracy, New Zealand
    June 3, 2009 at 08:10

    We should hail this man as the brave person he was. I have nothing but respect for those that despite threats and bullying, turn up to work each day. People can’t accept that the work he did was wanted, needed by people.

    And for those who continue to say that abortion is a modern practice, try reading the history of contraception through the ages- alongside contraception always were the herbs and practices that forced miscarriage and culturally accepted practices of infanticide.

    Compared to the past, Western women’s options in the event of unwanted pregnancy are not very broad. Abortion laws are notoriously behind the times in this country with contraceptive failure or economic hardship not considered as acceptable reasons for abortion.

    Sexist attitudes by the medical profession will not permit women who do not want children at all to destroy their fertility. If such a woman gets pregnant, no-one should force her to have a child- especially people with placards.

  129. June 3, 2009 at 13:32

    The decision to abort or not abort is weighs heavy on the shoulders of anyone who personally faces such a question. For those who have to decide whose life to keep it is hard to find the perfect answer. The people who gun down doctors for whatever reason certainly do not have one.

    Doctors like Mr. Tiller do their work within the framework of national and local legislation. As many have already pointed out, this work is not strictly limited to abortion but involve the full range of medical services. Killing people like him therefore does not make the world a better place – actually the opposite is true. “There is never a doctor around when you need one” – he was shot by a pro/anti/radical whatever.

  130. 160 Cate
    June 3, 2009 at 13:50

    I would be careful about calling us pro-choicers “pro-abortion”. I don’t want abortions to happen. I wished we lived in a world that didn’t need abortion. But I do believe women should have a choice. That’s a very big distinction.

  131. 161 ojo pius
    June 3, 2009 at 14:52

    For a man who renew the hope of women,and a focus for a better tomorrow for many lives, his indeed a hero.

  132. 162 Jim Newman
    June 4, 2009 at 16:36

    Hello again
    And hello Steve. We are not pro-abortionists we are pro-choice.
    That means that if a woman decides that she does’nt want the baby in her womb, for whatever reason, she should have the right to terminate it. Naturally the father has rights also and if the father decides he wants the baby he must gaurantee it’s successful up-bringing possibly without the aid of the mother.
    So calm down Steve and look at the facts.
    Jim


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