Posts Tagged Dr. George Tiller

Roeder Trial in Wichita Gets Stranger by the Day

I tried to follow the logic of the anti-abortionists supporting Scott Roeder as his defense argues that he was compelled to kill George Tiller to “save the babies.”   Donna Holman rode the TruthVan to Wichita, joined by Michael Bray (late of Virginia, having served time for bombing a clinic in the 80′s), but is very critical of the rest of the anti-abortion groups for not being as visible as their van is.

Supporters of Abortion Doctor Killer Roeder

I didn’t make the following up, but quote it from an email from Holman, who complains that the local anti-abortionists aren’t supporting Roeder publicly:

“Mr. Roeder acted as if the children Tiller killed were worth defending, a big “NO-NO” in pro-life circles. Pro-lifers cannot come up with a logical argument as to why the double standard? Why is it OK to use force, even deadly force, to protect a classroom of kindergarten children, but it is forbidden to use force to protect pre-born children slated for abortion? Are pre-born children worth less than post-born children? If so, we have tacitly admitted that a mother DOES have a right to kill her unborn child! Her unborn child is somehow sub-human and NOT entitled to an inalienable Right of Life.

The past 3 days Truthvan has been prominently parked at the entrance of the Sedgwick County Courthouse. The despised children pictured on the van are junior prosecutors; their tortured bodies are an indictment to the authorities sanctioning their demise. Tiller should have been judiciously hung like “Chemical Ali.” George Tiller might be alive today if these authorities did not protect his baby-killing operation.”

It’s hard to know where to start with this, but let’s go for the last point that the “authorities” protecting George Tiller were responsible for his murder.   George was shot at close range twice, the second time fatally by Scott Roeder on May 31.  His clinic, home, staff, and patients were constantly harassed for decades, with an all-out assault starting in 2001 by Operation Rescue, whose leader, Troy Newman, moved to Wichita with the sole purpose of “taking out” Dr. Tiller.

The authorities did not protect George.  The whole “pro-life” cabal played their separate parts in leading to his murder; the thousands who gathered to surround his clinic in 1991 and 2001, threatening him and the patients; those who came more regularly to surround the clinic, and picket the homes and businesses of his staff and their families.

How about the former Attorney General of Kansas, Phil Kline, who took George to court, twice, unsuccessfully, on completely bogus charges, but in the meantime tried to get the records of thousands of his patients?

Check this out: that same Phil Kline, no longer in office, and living out of state, will be in court testifying for Roeder’s defense Thursday.

The “authorities” may not be directly pulling the trigger to kill abortion doctors as Ms. Donna Holman wants, but they’ve played their own role in making abortion dangerous for women and doctors.

Elective pregnancy termination remains the most widespread, and safest, of all minor surgical procedures in the U.S. and in fact early abortions aren’t surgical at all.

The danger comes from the raving anti-abortion lunatics on the streets outside doctor’s offices, in the halls of Congress, and spread around the U.S. in “authority.”

The anti-abortion movement is not about saving babies.  It’s purpose is to keep women locked into forced motherhood.

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San Francisco: Standing for Women’s Lives & Abortion Rights

"Anti-Choice Bigots Unwelcome in San Francisco"

Saturday, January 23, a west coast “March for Life” brought thousands of people against abortion into San Francisco.  A few dozen pro-choice supporters infiltrated the beginning of their march, and staged an action that briefly halted the march. People from 20 to 81 years old held a banner reading “Anti Choice Bigots Not Welcome in San Francisco” crosswise, until police roughly yanked them off the street.

On Friday, in Oakland, pro-choice activists surrounded the area’s largest abortion clinic, as anti-abortion activists protested there.

See the East Bay Express coverage.

Bea Johnson spoke for World Can’t Wait at the rally of about 100 pro-choice people.

Every year the ominous drumbeats grow louder and closer: we are up against a dangerous, highly organized movement backed from top levels of government and society, that’s out to overturn Roe and to destroy women’s humanity – by destroying our right to make for ourselves the most fundamental decisions that affect our lives and the lives of all around us.

Whether it’s the Catholic Church misleading its flock – or the Christian Fascists who believe women’s bodies and lives are the property of men or of the white male dominated bi-partisan congress attaching anti-abortion amendments to phony health care reform bills….  we must defeat this danger.

We live in the most powerful country on earth, which is unleashing the most violent military advance in history on impoverished people in 3 different countries as we speak, and torturing people in prisons in Afghanistan as well as Guantanamo. One war is now escalating, partly in the name of defending women’s rights – while in Afghanistan; the pro-US President Karzai oversees massive electoral fraud – and new laws that legalize marital rape

All this devastation began with Bush, and is continuing under the leadership of the first Black president, who just won the Nobel Peace Prize, after a campaign that mobilized women, people of color, queers, people against the war, and progressive people who believed that electing this president would move the country in a new direction.

The U.S. is wracked with division over the crimes initiated by the previous Bush regime and over the continuing strain on its military and economy and the culture wars now boiling… over the social position of women, people of color, immigrants, queer people, and the role of traditional marriage in cementing a stable imperialist society. The rightwing teabag types who enthusiastically embraced the Bush presidency and everything it represented, now howl and rage against Obama, who they call “fascist-socialist” (sic) — “the anti-Christ” – and the “N” word.

Meanwhile democrats, led by Obama, preach that “we must seek common ground” with these rightwing lunatics. The most prominent abortion doctor is shot while in church, and in response, violence and threats against clinics around the country increase. Armed racists gather outside Democrat organized public meetings without police intervention, while students in Pittsburgh are gassed and beaten during the G20 meetings for the world’s elites.

The “progressive president” says he’s against gay marriage on the basis of his religion, and who in power calls him out for it?  Obama promises that the health insurance reform he wants will not become an “abortion bill” or provide coverage to undocumented immigrants. He violates the constitutional separation of church and state by appointing an anti-abortion, anti-birth control Catholic activist to direct the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and yet…we are told to have faith that this system will work. That we must be willing to compromise. That we must have the stamina to suck it up and work on the next congressional race, and “push” the Democrats into fulfilling  one of the basic planks of their own party platform: abortion and birth control rights for women.

I say for World Can’t Wait: NO, NO, and NO!

What’s really at stake here? Your government wants to make abortion a crime, for which women must suffer, repent, and sometimes die.  Jane Fonda long time radical activist said in response to Stupak:

“People are often surprised that we are still fighting this battle for freedom of choice after so long. I’m not. I’ve come to understand that anti-choice and opposition to contraception has nothing to do with pro-life or pro-fetus; it has everything to do with power and who has it. It represents a mindset that values women mainly for their services as wives and sexual partners to men and as producers and rearers of children.

“Reproduction and sexuality are keys to women’s empowerment. If a woman is able to determine the reproductive and sexual aspects of her life, it means she can also control and determine other aspects of her life. When women are robbed of reproductive health and contraceptive decision-making, they lose an essential element of what it means to be a full human being.”

There is energy out there right now crying to be marshaled. What are we going to do?

There can be no common ground with maniacs.  Stop tying our dreams to what is politically expedient, start speaking the truth, and start acting like human beings with some passion and principles!

We want Abortion on demand and without apology…

Without this basic right, women can never be free.

Dr. Tiller, we will never forget you and we will never go back!

Right to Life – your name’s a lie!  When abortion is illegal, women die!

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For George Tiller: Never Back Down, Never Stop Telling the Truth for Women

Susan Wicklund MD

Dr. Susan Wicklund

Susan Wicklund, M.D. sent this for the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision which removed federal and state laws against abortion.  The National Organization for Women in Wichita KS is holding a vigil in honor of her friend George Tiller, M.D. who was assassinated in May 2009:

None of us can pretend to know what Dr Tiller would say to us right now. We know what he used to say about understanding the heart of a woman. We know what he believed about each woman having the knowledge to really understand what was best for HER. We know, tragically, that he gave his life for what he believed in. We know that his family lost a husband, a father, a grandfather, We know that the Pro Choice movement lost one of our biggest heroes, a compassionate, extremely competent physician, a voice that spoke truth, a rock we all thought could never be moved.

What we DON’T know is what will become of the women in this country if the right to safe, legal abortion continues to be eroded and compromised and marginalized and becomes even more inaccessible. We don’t know to what extent the anti-choice forces will go to deny even more women the right to control their own destinies. We don’t know how many more clinics will be burned, staff terrorized or doctors killed. We don’t know if our government will actually step up and make sure abortion is treated as the basic health care we all know it is.

But I personally know this: George Tiller would tell us to never back down, to never stop telling the truth, to never forget the individual woman who walks in the door of a clinic in need of help in ending a pregnancy she is not prepared for. And he knew that this is about us. All of us. And it is about your mothers and wives, your sisters and daughters and granddaughters and best friends. It is about someone else wanting to control us. It is about power.

Please, in honor of Dr George Tiller, use your voices and your presence and your hearts to keep abortion safe, legal and available to every woman, to every family that needs this care. This is not some esoteric concept. This is a matter of life and death.

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When Does Murder Become Manslaughter?

When does a charge of murder get reduced to a charge of manslaughter?  Possibly, when the murder victim is a doctor who does abortions.

Scott Roeder is on trial in Wichita KS for the murder of Dr. George Tiller on May 31, 2009.  Roeder, an anti-abortion activist for many years well known around Kansas, admitted to authorities that he killed Dr. Tiller by barging into the church where George was ushering, and shooting him.  George died immediately; Roeder fled, and was caught within a day.

The drama playing out in Wichita is not whether Roeder will be found guilty, but what he will be found guilty of.  He’s charged with murder by the state of Kansas.  However, his defense team has argued to the judge that they should be allowed to present evidence that Roeder was motivated by his anti-abortion convictions, and therefore should not be convicted of murder.

Jeff Schweitzer in Cold Blooded-Murder: An Angel Made Me Do it on Huffington Post:

Roeder claims that he gunned down Tiller at Sunday church services on May 31, 2009, in order to “save the lives of preborn children.” Based on this claim, Roeder intends to invoke the “necessity defense” predicated on the idea of “justifiable homicide.” If presiding judge Warren Wilbert accepts this defense strategy, and he appears to be leaning that way, he will give jurors the option of convicting Roeder not of premeditated murder but instead of voluntary manslaughter. That lesser crime is defined as “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force” under Kansas statute. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter Roeder could be out of prison in five years.

We are investigating the report that Judge Wilbert was endorsed for his judgeship by anti-abortion groups in Kansas.  If he allows Roeder’s team to present testimony from an array of anti-abortion politicians and activists, it would be an extraordinary departure.

That would not necessarily convince a jury that Roeder was justified in killing Dr. Tiller.  But consider this: yesterday the judge shut out the media from jury selection, saying that abortion is such a controversial topic that jurors would fear to state their thinking on it publicly.

I think it is very relevant why Roeder killed George Tiller.  We’ve made the point repeatedly that he was influenced directly by Operation Rescue who relentlessly targeted George for over a decade, and by the Kansas politicians who harassed George with lawsuits and even criminal charges, unsuccessfully. (George always prevailed in court).  So what if Roeder does actually believe he’s saving fetal life by having killed George Tiller?  He killed a living human being, and that’s murder.

I, along with 5 other anti-war activists, will be going on trial this spring on misdemeanor charges of “disorderly conduct” for protesting in Philadelphia at the entrance to the Army Experience Center.  If we had been outside the doors cheering the Army’s recruitment efforts, we would have been welcomed, as the Army welcomed the pro-war bikers they allowed to jeer us. But because our message was opposition to the war and the recruitment of kids with video games, we were arrested.  It’s relevant to our defense that we were arrested for the content of our non-violent protest message.

We will argue that we should be allowed to mention why we were protesting.  Anti-war protesters Emma Kaplan and Patty Imani may be allowed to speak of their reasons for protesting at their trial on January 25 in Tacoma WA, where anti-war protesters were spied on by the military.

But what happens to the Roeder prosecution should be followed by everyone who cares about the safety of abortion doctors, and the humanity of women seeking abortion and birth control.

The National Organization for Women in Wichita will hold a vigil on Friday night, January 22, for abortion rights.  For the 36 previous anniversaries, of the Roe v. Wade decision making abortion legal, George was in Wichita, providing abortions.

Will the anti-abortion lunatics already be celebrating by the end of next week because in Kansas, you might be able to carry out a political assassination, and get made into a hero?

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I cannot resist urging you to view The Onion’s insightful piece this week on the new abortion laws, designed only to help women through difficult times…

New Law Requires Women To Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion

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