I have been trying to find words to write about the murder of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. But the first words that spring to mind--outrage, devastation, fear, anger--don't begin to scratch the surface for me.
Dr. Tiller provided a service to women in need that few others have the courage to give. Had he died in a car accident, it would be a loss for women and their families. But murdered in his church? It's a loss for humanity.
I can't seem to find answers, or solace in the knowledge that there are other abortion providers who are bravely going to work this week to do the work that is so necessary. I'm only finding endless questions.
Where are we as a nation that anyone can see assassination as justifiable, for anything?
Why can't people trust women to make the best decision for themselves and their family?
Why does the provision of LEGAL medical care put a doctor's life at risk?
What happens to women if abortion providers stop practicing out of fear?
Since my words are inadequate, I'm linking to a site with women's stories, those who have experienced the worst news you can receive about a wanted pregnancy. Those who are making the toughest decision of their lives, and were lucky enough to find a doctor who could give them the care they needed. Activists on both sides of the issue--aided by the media--so often paint all women who receive 2nd- and 3rd- trimester abortions with the same brush. Let these women break out of the caricatures and become real to you.
And I'll end with words from Dr. Tiller, words that I wish everyone who is anti-choice could read and truly understand:
"Abortion is a matter of survival for women. It is a matter of the survival of their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, and their potential. Abortion is not a cerebral or reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart. For until you understand the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all."
* If you want to give a donation, consider: Medical Students for Choice (helping to educate and train the next generation of doctors about reproductive health) and the National Network of Abortion Funds (who help poor women access abortion care).
Photo credit: qwrrty