George Tiller was a doctor who performed abortions. Sometimes, he would perform a late-term abortion. Authorities suspect that’s the reason he was shot to death while attending church in Wichita, Kansas, on Sunday. His clinic had been the target of frequent protests – some of them violent – and he was shot and wounded previously by an anti-abortionist. (Photo below shows a protester in front of Dr. Tiller’s clinic.)
The 67-year-old obstetrician was one of a handful of doctors who performed “late-term” abortions in America, and I understand the procedure can be terribly grisly. Some churches make a practice of showing films or videos of babies being sucked from the womb and destroyed. It helps them keep their congregations fired up against “liberals,” I suppose. I could not watch something like that myself. I have a low tolerance for horror. But these shows seem to be popular among some self-professed Christians.
According to “pro-life” propaganda, women who choose to terminate their pregnancies in their third trimester are usually lazy and unfeeling – probably “welfare queens,” who decide that after six months or more of pregnancy they really don’t want to be pregnant and would rather be partying. It’s a picture that might help the pro-life cause, but it defies logic.
Surely, any reasonable person would understand that the vast majority of women who choose a late-term abortion are either facing a disastrous report on the condition of the fetus or a serious threat to their own lives. In many cases, the baby probably would not survive even without an abortion.
Make no mistake: my heart bleeds for unborn babies whose lives are lost in any manner. I find abortion abhorrent, and I cannot imagine having an abortion if I were a woman – unless… Unless I thought I had no other choice. As a reporter in Canada back in the Sixties, before abortion was legal, I wrote about the illegal abortion traffic, and I saw the harm it did – physically and mentally – to the lives of so many young women. So, I favor legalized abortion not only because I think the expectant mother has the right to choose what she does with her body but also because I consider it the lesser of two evils.
Even if I were ardently opposed to abortion under any circumstances, I would certainly not contemplate murder as a means of combating the practice. The irony is that so many of those who advocate violence consider themselves Christians. Scott Roeder, who is charged with killing Dr. Tiller, is apparently a religious man. He reportedly wrote on an anti-abortion web site:
Bless everyone for …. praying … to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp.
And abortion opponents associated with Roeder insist that lethal force is not a criminal offense if it protects the lives of unborn children. One of them, a Kansas City anti-abortion activist named Regina Dinwiddie, told reporters: “I know that he believed in justifiable homicide.”
In other words, these people advocate murder in the name of Jesus. What could be more ironic than that?