George Tiller - Abortion Doctor - Murdered on Sun May 31 2009

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Ken Burch

I'd suggest amending that to "The CHILDREN OF THE WEALTHY and THE AFFLUENT SICK tended free of charge".

The anti-choice movement have not been noted for their support for universal healthcare(with the exception of the "Seamless Garment" movement, of course, but that group usually doesn't go around wasting abortion providers).

The right-wing, misogynistic, market-worshipping majority of the anti-choice movement are perfectly content to have the children of the poor and the impoverished sick left untended..

martin dufresne

I don't understand your point. Mine is that both poor and rich children and the sick in the family ARE tended with no pay by mothers.


Yeah, it ain't just the rich whose mothers and wives do unpaid domestic labour.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that poor wives and mothers do a lot more unpaid domestic work than rich ones!

Ken Burch

Ok, fair enough.  I misunderstood what Martin was saying.  I thought he was making a point about low-wage labor in the healthcare industry, not mothers. 

Although, as long as the rich are tended, I don't think the right-wing anti-choicers care if the poor aren't.


A lot of right-wing anti-choicers are poor too, unfortunately.

remind remind's picture

Thanks martin, I got that much later when in bed thinking over this thread and comments made.

At this point I would say that, "if we accept that Canadians, are complicit in Afghanistan with the crimes against them undertaken by NATO and our military, then it is not a stretch to realize that anti-abortionists at all levels are equally as complicit in DR Tiller's murder, as we are by allowing our military to stay in Afghanistan, and within the NATO framework."

Snert Snert's picture

Canada's complicity in Afghanistan derives from our troops, actually in Afghanistan, actually doing those things we oppose.

Canada would not be responsible for the situation in Afghanistan if all Canada did was believe that the Taliban should be engaged and stopped, or if all Canada did was NOT intervene when the U.S. or others invaded Afghanistan.

I think that anti-choice nutbars are about as wrongheaded and hateful as they come, but I really don't see attempts to make each and every person who has ever opposed choice into a de facto partner in this crime is ever going to have legs.  And as Michelle notes, if it did, we'd have a lot of new accessories to murder.


There is a Christian site called Full Quiver, I won't link to it again but I did spend a couple of hours yesterday there and what I found astonishing and frightening was the willingness some have to so clearly support the violence.  Some go further, one suggested executing women who have had abortions, he pointed out just showing them the pictures of the "dead babies" might make them feel bad but facing death as a consequence might change their mind.

I think Bill O'Reilly and anyone else engaged in that kind of talk, such as the person above, should be charged.

remind remind's picture

Yes, I was reading elsewhere online, comments from Stephen Boissoin, whose claim to fame is spewing hate against gays in AB, basically state, it was God's will that Tiller be murdered, and that if it is God's will it cannot be judged as being wrong, in fact he even goes so far as including women who have had abortions as those who should be receiving God's wrath, as much as Tiller.

No snert they are de facto, as they encourage others, by either tacit acceptance "something" should be done, or outright support of actions like the type of this whackjob, in their taking actions against Drs, and indeed such is the case with Dr Tiller. They are simply passively aggressive, and know quite well what actions of this type will do for women's rights. If Drs are too terrified for their own life, they will not undertake proceedures that may cause their demise.


A good but sad summary of anti-choice terrorism and its supporters in the US from Rachel Maddow -


remind wrote:


At this point I would say that, "if we accept that Canadians, are complicit in Afghanistan with the crimes against them undertaken by NATO and our military, then it is not a stretch to realize that anti-abortionists at all levels are equally as complicit in DR Tiller's murder, as we are by allowing our military to stay in Afghanistan, and within the NATO framework."


I don't accept that "Canadians" are complicit in Afghanistan. I am not allowing "our military" (it's not mine!) to stay in Afghanistan or within the NATO framework. I oppose both. But I have no power. The vast majority of us have no say in these matters at all. 


p.s. to ennir: It's "QuiverFull". 

remind remind's picture

It is yours, and of course we are, if we are not calling our MP's daily and demanding withdrawl and protesting en masse in the streets.

Ken Burch

Michelle wrote:

A lot of right-wing anti-choicers are poor too, unfortunately.

And they've allowed their obsession with this one issue to lead them to back politicians who are basically content to leave them to rot in the sun and freeze in the dark.  That's the sad thing.  They've let a hate-based creed turn themselves against themselves.

martin dufresne

Well said. There is an infinite number of small and not so small gestures to affirm our responsibility - from a few words on a radio call-in show, to a vote away from the warmongering parties, to a heartfelt conversation with a family member, to a donation to a pacifist group, to writing an article or a book, to yelling in defiance at a gladhanding politician, to running for office, to refusing to pay income tax, to setting oneself on fire on Parliaent Hill, etc. - just as there are any number of gestures that can attempt to deny that responsibility.

I am impressed by the process the Germans went through after W.W.II when instead of denying their collective responsibility - Hitler had, after all, subverted democracy and TAKEN power - they chose to struggle with and acknowledge collective responsibility for Nazism, a process that had also been controlled by very few people but had implicated many. Shall we ever come to do the same for imperialism?

martin dufresne

I dont subscribe to the "if they only knew..." brand of political analysis.





p.s. to ennir: It's "QuiverFull". 



martin dufresne

Is Bill O'Reilly Spawning Killers?
By Nathan Robinson, AlterNet
Posted on June 4, 2009


The killing of Dr. George Tiller is, of course, the second recent politically-motivated church shooting. The first occurred in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on July 27th of last year. And although one was targeted at a doctor, and the other at liberals in general, both share a common element: Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly had targeted Tiller repeatedly on his show, claiming he ran a "death mill" and quoting a description of him as "Tiller the Baby Killer." And as for the Unitarian killing, the shooter infamously had a copy of O'Reilly's book in his home, and wrote a vitriolic screed about his hatred for liberals.

Of course, the factors motivating each killing cannot be boiled down simply to the influence of Mr. O'Reilly. However, Mr. O'Reilly bears a unique responsibility for this kind of violence, not only because his show and opinions reach millions of viewers, but also because he is a figure who not only disagrees with but dehumanizes his opponents. Using words like "evil" and "villain" to describe his targets, O'Reilly turns political spats into sweeping moral crusades.

A large part of The O'Reilly Factor's success can be attributed to this righteous anger and the creation of villains for the audience to despise. Bill O'Reilly has a spectacular ability to create caricatures out of cherry-picked details and heavily edited interviews, and to portray himself as a noble warrior against the forces of injustice. Whether it's a small-town mayor or a circuit judge, whoever O'Reilly feels has committed a sin is professionally and personally demonized. Of course, anyone who has ever spent a minute watching the show knows this, and it can usually be written off as a sensationalistic ratings-grabbing act. But when events like today's happen, it is important to examine the damage that this relentless pursuit of viewers can create.


martin, that is ridiculous. It is the same type of mindset that insists that all Muslims are responsible for actions done in their religion's name - and that they need to speak out and apologize. You cannot hold an entire movement responsible for the actions of extreme elements. Is the anti-war movement responsible for William Long's murder?

There are many pro-life groups that have spoken out strongly against this murder. There are in fact pro-lifers that are anti-war and anti-capitol punishment. Dr. Tiller's killer has a good chance of receiving the death penalty.


martin dufresne

I realize that the killing of Dr. Tiller puts many opponents of choice in an uncomfortable position. But they are not alone. Supporters of choice that had been content waiting for "progress" are also being put on the spot. Playwright Cindy Cooper addresses this feeling of growing responsibility.


Tiller Leaves His Attitude, For Us to Carry On

Thursday, 04 June, 2009
Women's eNews (U.S.)

Cindy Cooper met the slain Dr. Tiller during performances of her play, "Words of Choice." Many people, she says, silently depended on him, but didn't do enough to defend him from attacks. In his memory, it's time for everyone to speak out.

(WOMENSENEWS)--"ATTITUDE Is Everything." (...)

remind remind's picture

Ghislaine, they are NOT "pro-lifers", they are anti-choicers, do please stop using  anti-choice fetus fetisher jargon in this thread.



You cannot hold an entire movement responsible for the actions of extreme elements.

Anti-choicers aren't a movement any more than White Supremacist are. They are one-trick ponies. They fundamentally hate women just like white supremacists hate anyone who isn't white. We don't let some white supremacist off the hook when a POC colour is a victim of a brutal hate crime. You want to lie down with dogs you get fleas.

There are many anti-choice groups that have spoken out strongly against this murder. There are in fact pro-lifers that are anti-war and anti-capitol punishment. Dr. Tiller's killer has a good chance of receiving the death penalty.

Many? Really? Does "strongly" include the added the disclaimer that at least he won't be killing anymore babies? Cause that's what I have been reading. Maybe the majority say they don't condone his murder but most aren't saddened by his death at all and are mostly concerned with the optics of it all. How bad it's going to make them look.

I think being "pro-life" yet anti-war and anti-capitol punishment as about as asinine as being pro-life and a war-mongering, executioner. Anti-choicers only care about the life of the fetus, they could give a shit about what damage forced pregnancy can do - they don't care about the woman involved just the fetus. So the idea that the "pro-lifer" is ever actually pro-life is ridiculous at best at worst it's a delusion people tell themselves so they can pretend they aren't as bad as the majority of pro-lifers. Its fine to not want to ever have an abortion yourself, but it's fascist to think you can have a say in anyone else's health care choices because you think being pregnant gives the state dominion over a person's body. You can't claim to be pro-life but only care about some lives.

Don't want one, don't have one. It's simple. People need to mind their own damn business and get a life.

remind remind's picture

here here scout!

martin dufresne

I want to add to the list of things people can do: Write the PEI government and tell them they are off your places to visit list as long as they boycott women's right to access reproductive health services.

Fantastic post, Scout, thanks!

remind remind's picture

Actually I am also going to write to them and tell them I will also be boycotting PEI produce/potatoes, which we get here frequently actually, and I love PEI potatoes.

Thanks for the link!

remind remind's picture

have written my letter to the Premier and the Opposition, which basically states, that as a woman I cannot visit a province nor support their GDP, as long as they deny women within the province their Charter Rights.


Considering PEI is at the very most a 1.5 hr drive from another province, there are many many more areas of Canada you will have to add to the boycott of our goods.

Also, considering that virtually NO DOCTORS in Canada will do what Dr. Tiller as doing and the governments paid to send women to him who needed a late-term abortion - perhaps you will boycott every single Canadian province's goods?

martin dufresne

It is clear that with 82% of Canadian hospitals denying essential reproductive health services to women, the problem is widespread, and lobbying should take on a lot of other targets. (Do you know what is the access situation in your neck of the woods?) 

But PEI - and New Brunswick for other reasons - are especially egregious in maintaining over the years provincial policies that harm women. So there is good reason for applying extra pressure on these provincial governments that count on tourism and the sale of their goods (great idea, remind!) to balance their budget. If they feel the pinch, they might reconsider their smugness when it comes to blocking access.


But, martin no province provides the services that Dr. Tiller did. I think it is unfair to single out PEI for boycott in the thread discussing his murder. His death is a tragedy, but also leave a huge void of services in N. America.

remind remind's picture

 I am sure the boycott against PEI will grow as their depriving women of their Charter Rights cannot continue.  And I have already sent out calls to boycott through my email lists.





There are many medical services not offered on PEI, abortion is one of many. This is due to our very small size and very close proximity to other provinces. I am not saying I agree with his, but you have to go"over across" for a multitude of health services.

This is nowhere near the inconvenience of fly-in communities and other remote places where there is far long than a 1.5 hr drive for medical services.

martin dufresne

It is sad to see you dismiss the ideological component to PEI's decision to deny women abortion services. Denial is not a river in Egypt...

Here is my letter to PM Joe Ghiz:

June 6, 2009

Mr. Joe Ghiz
Prime Minister
Government of Prince Edward Island
Fifth Floor South, Shaw Building
95 Rochford Street
P.O. Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N8
Facsimile: (902) 368-4416


Mr. Prime Minister,

I imagine you were as shocked as I was by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in his Wichita Lutheran church last Sunday by an anti-choice activist from Operation Rescue.

But are you aware that many Canadian women had come to depend on Dr. Tiller because of the cruelly limited access to reproductive health medical services in our country? They had to fly all the way to Kansas, because Canadian hospitals are unwilling to practice the late term abortions that are often necessary to save their life.

Prince Edward Island stands out as the only Canadian territory where women remain deprived of ANY access to abortion and contraception services. Your province apparently refuses to enforce the Canada Health Act that deems these services essential. You receive health-related federal transfer payments, but PEI women remain shut out of counseling and services by fundamentalist hospital administrators and politicians eager to impose their values.

Playwright Cindy Cooper wrote a very perceptive article this week ("Tiller Leaves his Attitude, For Us to Carry On", ) on our collective responsibility for Dr. Tiller's death : not only that of the anti-choice lobby that rejoices over "one less baby killer", but that of advocates of choice that thought the problem would somehow solve itself and that didn't apply sufficient pressure on hospital administrators and the governments that protect them.

This is what I am doing today by writing you. I am, from now on, boycotting Prince Edward Island - a place I was once happy and proud to visit but that shames me today. I will also boycott your province's products and suggest to all my friends and allies that they do so until your government acknowledges the pain it is creating and agrees to reverses its stand and provide PEI women with full range reproductive health services.

It's the least I can do in honour of Dr. Tiller and all the women that now need even more help. I hope you will come to see your own responsibility in finally ending PEI's government-sanctioned abuse of women's rights.

Feel free to respond if you feel compelled to address this issue.

Martin Dufresne
Montréal, Qc

CC : All members of PEI Legislative Assembly



You may want to note that there is no Prime Minister of PEI.

martin dufresne

Feel free to use, transform or circulate the above letter.

P.S.: PEI's Minister of Tourism is the Hon. Veronique Docherty: [email protected]


martin - the minister of tourism is Valerie Docherty. PEI, like other provinces has a premier - rather than a Prime Minister.

martin dufresne

Thank you. (I had addressed her as Ms. Docherty.)

martin dufresne

Also, it's Premier Robert Ghiz...Embarassed

I sent copies of a 200-wd abridged version of the letter to the national and local dailies (addresses here).


Joe Ghiz was his father - he was premier in the 80s.

Now, will you be boycotting all economically-depressed areas that require women to travel a greater distance than 1.5 hrs to receive an abortion?

martin dufresne

Ghislaine, I think you are the only person here denying that PEI hopital administrators and politicians are making a choice... that of denying PEI women theirs. What happened to the feelings you were expressing in post #27? And me who thought you were coming around to support women's choice in this issue...


Tells one a lot about some church goers.


Ghislaine wrote:

PEI, like other provinces has a premier - rather than a Prime Minister.

Ghislaine, you might be a little more understanding with martin, whose principal language is French - especially since you happen to be technically mistaken. It is acceptable, though unusual, to call provincial premiers "prime minister", [url=][color=red]even in English[/color][/url].

More importantly, why are you making excuses for PEI's decision not to provide abortion services?


unionist, I am not making excuses - just offering my opinion that considering our size and proximity to other provinces a boycott is unreasonable. There are many areas of Canada that are much more than a 1.5 hr drive away from an abortion provider. Why single out PEI? (It is already over-run with tourists here, so fill your boots trying to slow that down btw). Yes we are a province, but we are 140,000 on an Island where  you are never more than 1.5 hrs from the mainland. 

When compared to many areas of this country, that is not an access issue worth singling out for complete economic boycott.


You are right the Prime Minister thing - sorry martin.

martin dufresne

Would you then support the federal government severely curtailing health transfer payments to PEI since people can just go to the mainland for urgent health services - as if this was the simplest thing in the world for all categories of women...?

Highlights of Canadians for Choice report on the huge problems affecting access to services in Canada - you can download the full report too.


Ken Burch

And, if PEI started trying to emulate Irish practice and banned young women in early-term pregnancies from buying ferry tickets,  you would oppose that, right?


Ghislaine wrote:

Yes we are a province, but we are 140,000 on an Island where  you are never more than 1.5 hrs from the mainland. 

Well, I remember living on PEI when I was younger and while it might be 1.5 hours from the mainland itself, I think it's a tad farther to the nearest facility that does provide abortions. PEI has always had this position and yet I'm sure that they are capable of performing D&Cs. These are fairly basic surgical procedures and any facility that offers that service is medically able to provide abortion services. If hospitals insist they are not equipped for these procedures, they shouldn't be performing any surgeries. Since these are relatively simple procedures, why do rural women always have to travel so far to obtain them because their nearest facilities won't do it despite their capacity to do so? It's not equitable and far from equality.

remind remind's picture

Here in our very small rural community, you can access both the morning after pill, and the pharmaceutical abortion, but have to travel 3 hrs for the surgical type, if others fail.

Moreover, Ghislaine we are talking about a province here, denying servcies to women guaranteed under the Canadian Health Act and Charter Rights, it is not some rural community that has NO Drs, or extended health services. They are breaking Canadian laws based on misogyny, it is as simple as that.

I bet women do not have to travel elsewhere to get a hysterectomy, for example!


remind remind's picture

Excellent letter Martin!

martin dufresne

Thanks, but please write your own, folks, if only a few words, asking for an explanation. If they start getting letters from across Canada, they are bound to take notice.

martin dufresne

Why I am an abortion doctor


'I can take a woman, in the biggest trouble she has ever experienced in her life, and by performing a five-minute operation, in comfort
and dignity, I can give her back her life' (Garson Romalis)


Remarks delivered by Canadian ... doctor Garson Romalis, at the University of Toronto Law School's Symposium to Mark the 20th Anniversary of R. vs. Morgentaler


I am honoured to be speaking today, and honored to call Henry
Morgentaler my friend.


I have been an abortion provider since 1972. Why do I do abortions,
and why do I continue to do abortions, despite two murder attempts?

The first time I started to think about abortion was in 1960, when I
was in secondyear medical school. I was assigned the case of a young
woman who had died of a septic abortion. She had aborted herself
using slippery elm bark.

I had never heard of slippery elm. A buddy and I went down to skid
row, and without too much difficulty, purchased some slippery elm
bark to use as a visual aid in our presentation. Slippery elm is not
sterile, and frequently contains spores of the bacteria that cause
gas gangrene. It is called slippery elm because, when it gets wet, it
feels slippery. This makes it easier to slide slender pieces through
the cervix where they absorb water, expand, dilate the cervix,
produce infection and induce abortion. The young woman in our case
developed an overwhelming infection. At autopsy she had multiple
abscesses throughout her body, in her brain, lungs, liver and abdomen.

I have never forgotten that case.

After I graduated from University of British Columbia medical school
in 1962, I went to Chicago, where I served my internship and Ob/Gyn
residency at Cook County Hospital. At that time, Cook County had
about 3,000 beds, and served a mainly indigent population. If you
were really sick, or really poor, or both, Cook County was where you

The first month of my internship was spent on Ward 41, the septic
obstetrics ward. Yes, it's hard to believe now, but in those days,
they had one ward dedicated exclusively to septic complications of

About 90% of the patients were there with complications of septic
abortion. The ward had about 40 beds, in addition to extra beds which
lined the halls. Each day we admitted between 10-30 septic abortion
patients. We had about one death a month, usually from septic shock
associated with hemorrhage.

I will never forget the 17-year-old girl lying on a stretcher with 6
feet of small bowel protruding from her vagina. She survived.

I will never forget the jaundiced woman in liver and kidney failure,
in septic shock, with very severe anemia, whose life we were unable
to save.

Today, in Canada and the U.S., septic shock from illegal abortion is
virtually never seen. Like smallpox, it is a "disappeared disease." (...)

remind remind's picture

Chilling to think of how it used to be!

martin dufresne

Chilling to think how it still is... It seems that Scott Roeder is still advocating against women's rights to choice and in supprt of doctor-killers from inside his jail cell, via supportive activists.

Abortion doc murder suspect advocates via mail
Friday, 03 July, 2009
The Associated Press (U.S.)

WICHITA, Kan. -- A man charged with shooting a prominent Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions has been advocating through mailings from his jail cell that such killings are justifiable and communicating with individuals on the fringes of the anti-abortion movement, weeks after suggesting others might be planning similar attacks.

Scott Roeder, 51, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the May 31 death of Dr. George Tiller an attack that reignited the national debate over late-term abortion and gave Roeder icon status among extremists in the anti-abortion movement.

From his cell in Sedgwick County jail, Roeder has been sending anti-abortion pamphlets that laud Paul Hill, who was convicted of murdering an abortion provider in 1994, as an "American hero," and include examples of Hill's writings about how the killing of abortion providers is justifiable.

Hill was executed in 2003 for killing Dr. John Bayard Britton and his bodyguard outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic.

Roeder has also been corresponding with Rev. Donald Spitz whose Army of God group's Web site celebrates Hill and who says he sent Roeder seven of the pamphlets at Roeder's request and Linda Wolfe, an Oregon activist who has been jailed about 50 times for anti-abortion activities and who is close friends with a woman convicted of shooting Tiller in the arms in 1993. She says Roeder mailed her one of the pamphlets.

No one has accused Roeder of breaking any laws because of his jailhouse correspondence. But local and federal law enforcement agencies took seriously a threat Roeder made during a June 7 interview with The Associated Press that there are "many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal." A judge raised Roeder's bond to $20 million, citing his comment to the AP, after a prosecutor argued Roeder's ability to get his message widely disseminated should lead a reasonable person to believe he is engaged in "alleged acts of American terrorism."

FBI and Justice Department officials declined to comment about whether they were concerned about Roeder's jailhouse contacts. The Sedgwick County public defender's office, which is representing Roeder, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. And the Sedgwick County District Attorney's office declined to speak about the matter.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Robert Hinshaw said he has assigned a trusted person to read all of Roeder's incoming and outgoing mail. He said Roeder has received about 100 letters.

Jail officials typically check incoming mail for contraband such as pornography or drugs but do not attempt to read all of the more than 97,000 pieces of mail inmates get each year unless there is a specific concern, such as in Roeder's case. Outgoing mail is normally sealed by inmates and not read by prison officials.

Unless there is a blatant concern in an outgoing letter, such as escape plans, inmate mail is not censored. Less obvious issues are referred to the department's law department for review because of First Amendment concerns, the sheriff said.

"Everyone in this jail has all the constitutional rights, except those I can restrict for the safety and security of the facility," Hinshaw said.

Angel Dillard, a Christian music songwriter from Valley Center, Kan., said she's been questioned several times since striking up a friendship with Roeder after the Tiller shooting.

"They just wanted to check us out and make sure we weren't some nuts that were planning to pick up where Roeder left off," Dillard said. "We have no plans to do anything of violence to anyone. We are reaching out to someone who we know is totally alone right now."

Dillard and her husband have exchanged several letters with Roeder and spoken to him by phone, and she plans to visit him next week. She said Roeder has not spoken about Tiller's killing, and has only shared Biblical scripture and asked her to pray for an end to abortion.

Spitz whose Web site likens Tiller to Adolf Hitler and features multiple essays supporting "defensive action" and justifiable homicide said he had never heard of Roeder until Roeder's arrest and said they have never spoken specifically about the Tiller shooting. (...)