Monday, June 8, 2009

More on Dr. Tiller

The Kansas City Star ran a lengthy article on Dr. Tiller’s life, “The Complex Life of George Tiller” on June 7, 2009, . I was particularly moved by this piece:

In September 1991, after the protests ended, Tiller granted a rare interview, saying he was tired of the rumors circulating about his practice. He said that contrary to the contentions of abortion protesters, he did not perform elective abortions up to birth. He opened a desk drawer and pulled out a three-ring notebook.
`These are the things we do, ’ he said, pointing to color snapshots of aborted fetuses. `Hydrocephalus, spina bifida, fused legs, open spine, lethal chromosome abnormality. Nature makes mistakes.’
He flipped the page. `This is the brain coming out of the back of the head. This is a baby that’s allergic to itself. Look at this. There’s all water; no brain whatsoever. The skull’s just completely collapsed. This is a foot coming off the hip. You tell me that if you had one of these, you wouldn’t be devastated.’ ”

I was particularly disgusted by what followed:

“Dave Gittrich, state development director of Kansans for Life, said he had seen Tiller’s photos of abnormal fetuses.
‘They all still look like babies to me,’ he said.

If these all look like babies to Mr. Gittrich, and his colleagues – just read what the previous paragraph says – he is blinded by his prejudice.

Gittrich continued:
“‘And I think many of those children could have led healthy, productive lives if they were given a chance.’ ” I have no idea where Gittrich would get such an idea, but that he thinks so is prima facie convincing evidence that he, and his colleagues who believe similarly, should not be involved in any way in making the decision.

Actually, he – and those who believe as he does -- never should. He – and so often it is a “he” -- is not the woman who is pregnant. He is not facing the heartbreaking conflict of wanting a baby but having a fetus that cannot survive. Indeed, he is not facing any consequences whatever regarding any decision made by any woman about her abortion, and has absolutely no standing in it, and should be ashamed to voice his ignorance and arrogance. When he gets pregnant, he can make any decision he wishes. If someone who values his input gets pregnant, then they can solicit his input. Otherwise he has nothing to say that anyone else needs to listen to.


ggstephens said...

What must it feel like to live in Wichita nowadays. A killer has come to town and killed a family doctor who has performed legal abortions for thirty odd years. Most people are aghast that it has finally happened, but probably not really surprised. They recoil in grief but they do not rise up in anger. They are weary of the relentless conflict that most citizens did not choose to wage. But history has been thrust upon them as it was at Ossawatamie, Lawrence, Little Rock, Kent State, Selma, Birmingham and Jerusalem, and thousands of other places more or less well known. It's hard to urge action that is more heroic than oneself has ever demonstrated. That's where I am today.

Paige said...

I agree with your assessment that most often the most vocal anti-abortion are "he". What I wish everyone could know is that the waiting room at Tiller's clinic was always filled with girls, married couples, and most likely the wives, sisters and daughters of the same people looking to restrict womens' choices. I feel like this must be similar to homophobia.

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