Despite being shot once before and feeling so threatened that he had to wear a bulletproof vest to work every day, Dr. George Tiller, an abortion doctor in Kansas, was shot to death on Sunday while serving at an usher at his church.
The man who killed him was charged with murder today. If convicted, he’ll face a mandatory life sentence and won’t be eligible for parole for 25 years.
Tiller was a hero. He provided a difficult service that saved lives:
Susan Hill, President of the National Women’s Health Foundation, who knew Dr. Tiller for over two decades and referred girls and women to his clinic, said in a phone interview, “We always sent the really tragic cases to Tiller.” Those included women diagnosed with cancer who needed abortions to qualify for chemotherapy, women who learned late in their pregnancies that their wanted babies had fatal illnesses, and rape victims so young they didn’t realize they were pregnant for months. “We sent him 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds who were way too far along for anybody [else] to see,” said Hill. “Eleven-year-olds don’t tell anybody. Sometimes they don’t even know they’ve had a period.”
A couple who had to make the difficult decision to abort their conjoined twins said:
The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff.
The brave clinic staff will resume regular services beginning monday.
If you wish to honour Tiller’s life in some way, consider making a donation to a pro-choice organization.