No one should ever refer to the killer of Kansas gynecologist Dr. George Tiller as being pro-life.
Any person or group that resorts to killing doctors as a means to an end of medical abortion is certainly advocating death.
The gunman who stalked Dr. Tiller in the lobby of his church was a murderous terrorist, plain and simple.
I can’t change your mind if you feel potential for life, and not life absolutely, is what matters.
There’s little I can say to a person who sees human existence in such black and white terms. I can’t sway anyone from the belief that some lives are more valuable than others. Some people just value life in reverse proportion to its weight and innocence; the smaller the more valuable.
I can’t expect them to understand a parent who doesn’t want to watch their children suffer and die over the course of a few minutes or more years than they have on this Earth to care for them. It’s a cost that will haunt them, too.
I know they have their reasons for believing what they do just as surely as I have my reasons:
I am pro-life, I am for medical privacy and I am pro-woman. It is not my place to decide what is best for anyone else regardless of what I would decide for myself.
I am not walking in their shoes.
Putting aside our most fervent moral beliefs, the giant irony in all of this – beside the horrible, tragic terror of such an unconscionable act in the name of life -- is that no babies would likely have been saved in the killing of Dr. Tiller, even if the gunman had leveled his gun and hit his mark 30 years ago.
Late-term abortions – clinically referred to as Dilation and Evacuations - are rare, and the people who have them are not women who waited too long to decide they didn’t want to be mothers. They are women who desperately want the babies they’ve carried. They have hoped beyond all hope for healthy, squalling newborns.
Instead, their babies were given a grim prognosis, perhaps one that determined a condition that might be incompatible with life outside the womb, or one that would present a lifetime of suffering. They may have found themselves in a hospital fighting for their own lives, perhaps battling preeclampsia, a pregnancy-related hypertension that can set in after 20 weeks of gestation.
The Preeclampsia Foundation estimates that globally hypertensive disorders account for more than 76,000 maternal deaths and 500,000 infant deaths each year.
There are many different conditions, each as rare as late term abortions, that can turn a pregnancy from a joyous occasion into a nightmare through no fault of the mother and with no redress by the doctor.
There are genetic maladies commonly detected in the second and third trimesters, such as severe Dandy-Walker syndrome or hydrops fetalis, which can produce babies not meant for this world; babies who will never breathe on their own.
These mothers who would like to choose to deliver a healthy baby, instead are faced with choosing how they will mourn their loss. Some wait and deliver stillborn babies. Some need closure sooner. Some are faced with having to protect their fertility and their mental health the best way they know how.
Those decisions should be every woman’s to make with her family and her doctor in private.
Doctors like Dr. Tiller.
I believe he was willing to pay this price -- enduring more than 30 years of protest lines and lawsuits, suffering bodily harm, ultimately even death -- to make sure women had the best care possible when facing such dire circumstances. I believe he did that out of compassion and a firm belief in what he was doing was necessary and ethically right for his individual patients’ health.
Dr. Tiller was no butcher.
The butchers were the back-alley doctors women turned to before the law of this land protected them.
The butcher was the man who shot him down as he attended church.
You have every right to disagree. But if you call yourself pro-life you must mourn the doctor’s death and see it as the abomination it was. You can not hold that the man who murdered Dr. Tiller was in any way doing God’s work.