Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On the murder of Dr. George Tiller

When I began this blog I had to decide if I would write about all the unsavory details of having Crohn’s, and at what point I would edit myself. I decided to throw caution to the wind and write what came to me, and anything was fair game: namely poop, in all its illustrious forms.

Although I feel comfortable dissecting my bowel habits, I’ve held back on political and social affronts that I take very personally, in fear of alienating any of my readers. Now, let’s be clear: I have about 15 steady readers at the moment. I have no grand allusions. But when you have a blog and a semi-regular readership, it’s natural to want to cultivate that readership, so I have been steadily avoiding anything acutely controversial.

But I’m done with that now.

This weekend's slaying of Dr. George Tiller was an act of domestic terrorism by a member of the religious right. No matter what your belief on abortion, clearly his murder was not “Godly” in the least. It is terribly frightening to think that doctors who perform abortions and their staff live in bodily fear from those who “value” life.

A woman’s body is her own, and I can't conceive of how anyone can say it is not a woman’s right to choose, whether you personally believe in the right to an abortion or not. “Personal” being the word, here.

I don’t think any woman has a laissez-faire stance toward abortion, and I would think that having one is – particularly late-term – horrifically gut-wrenching. It sickens me that so many opt for condemnation in lieu of support. Imagine: how horrible to have protesters spitting ghastly vulgarities when going through one of life’s most difficult, and wholly personal, decisions.

Candlelight vigils have been popping up across the country, but as Gloria Feldt said so eloquently in Salon, "When it comes to changing a culture that has marginalized abortion by shaming women and hounding, even murdering, the doctors and clinic staff who provide safe abortions, when it comes to changing a culture bent on shaming women who are, in all good conscience, making the most moral of personal decisions -- candlelight vigils alone will never be enough."

And as Merle Hoffman, publisher and editor-in-chief of On the Issues Magazine, echoes, "Reproductive freedom is the front line, the bottom line and the everlasting line in the sand of any definition of women’s transcendent rights that must be continually defended..."

Salon's comprehensive coverage of Tiller's murder and abortion


  1. Great post.

    I never understood how people can take their own personal views and force them onto other people. For example, I am personally anti-abortion, but I am pro-choice. Meaning, I (think) I would never do it myself, but I think that a safe place should exist for women who's circumstances I have not lived through, can have access to this option. Studies have shown repeatedly that when there is no safe, legal place to have abortions performed, desperate women resort to back-alley and do-it-yourself options. Not a good situation.

    Similarly with gay marriage rights. While I am all for it, I don't understand how the people who don't like the idea, can push their own agenda onto others. How does it affect you if two OTHER people chose to get married? *sigh*

    If people want to get passionate about something and crusade for an issue- how about the global poverty, hunger, aids, illiteracy, etc problems. Passionate emotions would have a much more positive affect on the world for these issues.

    Sadly, I never know who to vote for since I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I don't like the options on either side of the USA-CAN border. ;)

  2. Thank you; yes, I completely agree. To push individual beliefs on all other people to the degree where it affects others to the point of denying them equal rights, is unacceptable. The legalization of gay marriage is long overdue. So sad that Obama has to pander to the right, on that one.

    Oh, and you sound like a libertarian! ;-)