I was horrified to learn that Dr. George Tiller, Wichita, Kansas, was gunned down in his Reformation Lutheran Church, during Sunday morning services yesterday. The reason for his killing? He was a women's health advocate and he did perform abortions.
The entire "pro-life" moment has always been marked with violence and misguided individuals or misinformed individuals. Here in St. Louis, outside Planned Parenthood, there is always a line of white people with signs of aborted fetuses. Whenever I drive past there with my kids in the car, I hope they do not look. These people scream and holler at the already emotionally drained women who enter for an abortion. They do not act in love or concern for the mother.
One of the things that has always bothered me is that these same, mostly white, mostly Christian fundamentalist, Republican voting people care very little for the child once he or she is born. They are the same ones that cry against so-called welfare queen, live in exclusive neighborhoods and watch inner city schools deteriorate. They hold hiring positions but will not hire people-of-color or will not pay them more than 68-cents on the dollar for every $1 a white male earns. They are the same ones that cry about Medicaid or SSI benefits or housing subsidies - all things needed by lower income families to provide for the children. They cry sanctity of life but do nothing for the born life. Hypocrisy.
So the man who walked into a place of peace to gun down a man, there ushering as his wife sang in the choir. He was a husband, father, grandfather, member of the community. He provided a service and often a much needed service to spare the unborn child a brief lifetime of severe disabilities. The courts do not rule that a person is actually a person until they are born. The rights of the unborn are not greater than the rights of the already born. A woman's body is still hers.
This brings me to some of the core problems with these right-to-lifers. They also advocate abstinence-only education that has been proven to not prevent teen pregnancy or early sex. Quite the opposite, one of the things Planned Parenthood does is provide information, especially to poor or minority communications - accurate information on women's health, protection, and screening. They do more than abortions and with the decreased funding for routine check-ups, they provide a service on a sliding scale. They were my doctors when I was in college.
I am disgusted by this domestic terrorism. I applaud Attorney General Holder for moving swiftly to provide protection to all the abortion doctors and the clinics. We must preserve the woman's right to choose.