Monday, June 01, 2009

The Day After the Assasination of Dr. Tiller

The President issued this short statement last night:

"I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."

I'm hoping today he says more about what the federal government will do to make sure that medical providers and clinics are safe.

What some of my younger readers may not know is that at least seven abortion providers were murdered in the 1990's...and bombings of clinics was not uncommon in the 1980's. I was the director of community affairs when one of the clinics I worked with in metropolitan D.C. (which provided contraception NOT abortion) was bombed in the middle of the night. I remember only too well how violated we felt, how shocked the staff were, the staff who felt they had to quit their jobs after the bombing. This was truly domestic terrorism, designed to intimidate those who provide family planning and abortion services.

My heart and prayers are with the people who are going to work at clinics this morning. I imagine they all feel a little less safe. I hope you'll reach out to the providers in your community with your support. And that regardless of your position on abortion, you'll speak out against violence.

1 comment:

Rev. Dan King said...

Your recent posts lead me to join in endorsing the RCRC statement, for personal as well as ethical reasons.

A few years ago, I had the honor of meeting Dr. Tiller at a dinner for the Medical College of GA chapter of Medical Students for Choice organized by a member of the congregation I served.

His diffident and self-deprecating manner was consistent with his long professional history of focusing on the needs of the women and families who sought his advice and help despite the overt and covert violent acts which threatened him, his family, his medical staff, and his personal associates, even past the door of his church.

His untimely loss diminishes us all.

It is tempting to condemn not only the person who has taken his life so cruelly, but also the radical elements of the so-called "pro-life" media opinion leaders and organizations who literally condemned Dr. Tiller for his compassionate work.

May we all resolve to work together to demonstrate that there must be better ways to engage in nonviolent dialogue about our differences in ethical perspectives and principles without resorting to extremism.

And may we do all we can to honor and protect those who serve our human and social needs within the bounds of enlightened ethical awareness.

Rev. Dan King, MA