George Tiller, the Wichita doctor who became a national lightning rod in the debate over abortion, was shot to death this morning as he walked into church services.
Tiller was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. An anonymous police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.
NOW do all the pearl-clutching conservative bloggers get why that fauxtroversial DHS report on far-right activity was so goddamn pertinent?! As GallingGalla just said on Twitter, “forced-birthers are TERRORISTS on US soil.” This latest killing of a health care provider, martyred for daring to provide women with a vital medical service (in the same week that, here in Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police decided to let another anti-choice assassin evade accountability), only reinforces that all-too-clear fact.
Seriously, this is supposed to be an expression of ‘pro-life’ sentiment?! Look, Operation Rescue can offer hollow denunciations all they like. They are still morally complicit and should rightfully be held accountable for their inflammatory rhetoric and tactics.
Fuck them and their deadly, pro-natalist fanaticism.
This is the first time an abortion provider has been murdered in over a decade. I have friends who work in abortion clinics. This is terrorism. And right now, I just don’t have the words.
As my co-blogger (and Wichita resident) Sassywho just said over IM,
[Tiller] was a prisoner to [Operation Rescue's] tactics. And because “abortion is a divisive issue,” he wasn’t protected. I just fucking hope (!) that Obama gets that fucking message how framing it as such opens windows.
Sebelius better make sure he gets that fucking message.
Also, what Ann said:
I am also worried about what Tiller’s murder means for women in Kansas and elsewhere in the country who need the services that he provided. The simple fact is there are almost no doctors who provide late-term abortions, especially in rural parts of the country. I was in Nebraska several years ago to interview Dr. Leroy Carhart (whose challenges to abortion-restricting laws went all the way to the Supreme Court), and Carhart and Tiller were the only two late-term providers in their region. If one wanted to go on vacation or got sick, the other had to fill in. There was no one else. Perhaps it would be a fitting memorial to Dr. Tiller to contribute to Medical Students for Choice, and encourage more doctors with a deep commitment to reproductive rights to become abortion providers.
At mid-day, police were still trying to figure out who pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller at his church on Sunday morning.
I’m betting they’ll find that person soon enough.
As for the murderer’s accomplices, we know them already.
They include every one who has ever called Tiller’s late term abortion clinic a murder mill.
Who ever called Tiller “Tiller the Killer.”
The groups who spent decades fomenting hate toward a man who simply believed that he was serving a purpose by being one of the few doctors in the country performing late-term abortions.
Hate. Not heated opposition. Not strong disagreement.
But blind hatred.
The kind of hate that would prompt some maniac to take a gun into a church and shoot a man to death in front of friends and family.
Update 3: Police capture suspect in Tiller murder:
Police are not releasing the name of the suspect, but numerous media sources are reporting that a man named Scott Roeder has been arrested in connection with the crime
In addition to the links provided @ DKos, a quick google search brought forth this additional gem:
Is truly inspiring to see so many conservatives take a firm stand against racism. Truly.
We must fight. Today, a white male child will be born into an oppressive society where the color of his skin will only be a great advantage, not an incomprehensibly powerful advantage. That child will see that there is now extra competition out there between himself and his dreams. That child will be born into a society that – while understanding his cultural values and belief systems – will no longer automatically fearfully submit to them. That child will be destined for a life of dreams and promises that will only very likely be fulfilled. The guarantee is now gone, and we must get it back.
As they say, read the whole damn thing.
Despite repeatedly getting spanked by provincial courts, apparently New Brunswick’s provincial government STILL fears women’s reproductive freedom enough to consider taking Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s 7-year-old lawsuit over public funding of private clinic abortions in the province all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada:
The New Brunswick government is reviewing the latest Court of Appeal ruling that cleared the way for Dr. Henry Morgentaler to sue the province over its refusal to fund abortions performed at his clinic in Fredericton.
The government has argued it only has to pay for abortions approved by two physicians and performed in hospitals.
Attorney General T.J. Burke told reporters on Friday that his staff will use the next 30 days to decide whether they will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“Our office will review the procedural decision made by the Court of Appeal to determine whether there’s any palpable or overriding errors in law and determine whether or not we should appeal,” Burke said.
Morgentaler wants medicare to cover the $750 fee for abortions performed at his clinic, which currently are paid for by the patients themselves.
The province argued Morgentaler couldn’t sue on the issue because it affects women, not him. In January, after a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled in Morgentaler’s favour, the province appealed the decision.
On Thursday, three appeal judges also ruled in Morgentaler’s favour. The province had argued it would be better if the lawsuit was launched by a woman who had been forced to pay for a clinic abortion.
Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau said that argument doesn’t pass muster. None of the many women who have had abortions at Morgentaler’s Fredericton clinic in the past 15 years has come forward to file a lawsuit, he noted.
Gee, wonder if the consideration of yet another appeal reflects the personal anti-choice zealotry of New Brunswick’s Health Minister?
New Brunswick’s health minister says his personal view on when life begins makes him “not entirely” comfortable administering the province’s laws and policies on abortion.
Michael Murphy was among several Liberal and Progressive Conservative MLAs who attended an anti-abortion rally [!] in front of the legislative assembly on Thursday.
Murphy told the crowd of more than 300 that he believes life begins at conception.
“It is my own personal belief that the unborn, at any stage, is human life, and I believe in human life, and I support it,” Murphy said.
That personal view is at odds with provincial regulations that allow abortions in hospitals, he said.
Medicare funds abortions in hospitals if two doctors agree the procedure is medically necessary.
When asked, Murphy admitted his personal beliefs do not make him comfortable in administering some of his duties as health minister.
“Not entirely, but that’s the way it is,” he said.
Plus, y’know, Morgentaler might keel over soon — and that means EPIC WIN FOR TEH INNOCENT BABIES!
Peggy Cooke, who works at the [Morgentaler] clinic, hopes the province will stop stalling the legal process.
“So I think they’re kind of waiting for him to give up and waiting for him to be incapable of doing it anymore,” she said.
Morgentaler is 86 years old and there have been reports his health has been declining.
Morgentaler’s name is on the lawsuit. His death would force another plaintiff to restart the legal process.
Also, with regards to the province’s oft-refuted contention that a woman should have initially tendered the suit, Cooke once again layeth the smacketh down:
As Cooke points out, the reason Morgentaler is suing is because no woman has been willing to take on the provincial government.
“There’s so much stigma with abortion, and secondly the money is a huge problem. It costs thousands and thousands of dollars to do this,” Cooke said.
Yeah, because, um, if one doesn’t have a spare $750 to terminate their pregnancy it’s highly unlikely they’ll have several grand kicking around to take the freakin’ government to court over said $750.
Oh, and speaking of that oh-so-contentious procedural cost and the public purse, deBeauxO nails it in comments @ DAMMIT JANET (h/t):
Before the shrieeeking starts about the cost of this medical intervention, it’s important to to note that root canals can cost over $1000.
Also, the New Brunswick government is running up quite a legal tab by refusing to accept the judgement of its own courts. Taxpayers will be footing that bill.
Women’s health and bodily autonomy? The law of the land (as confirmed by TWO provincial courts)? The proper allocation and utilization of taxpayer dollars?
Pshh. Wevs. Clearly New Brunswick stubbornly and steadfastly serves a HIGHER power.
The president took his decision under the pressure of time. Had he not acted, the 44 photos would have been released next week as per an order from a New York court. It was a decision the White House had originally approved. But the timing of the release would have been problematic — the images of rape and torture would have conflicted with Obama’s travel plans. On June 4, Obama plans to give a keynote address in Cairo in which he intends to unveil a plan of reconciliation with the Muslim world. The legacy of the Bush era includes an us-versus-them mentality from which Obama seeks to distance himself, and which he has already begun to reverse.
Whether true or not, it certainly makes more sense than David Ignatius’ repulsive, straight-from-the-Beltway-cocktail-circuit speculation that the sudden reversal was meant as a ‘Sister Souljah moment’ (though would still be no less inexcusable).
One bone of contention, Antonia: saying that anything spawned by the gliberati who rule USian cable NOOZ networks and talk radio even remotely constitutes ‘news commentary’ is akin to earnestly declaring that Barack Obama is an unreconstructed Marxist.
Er, ok–never mind. If America didn’t already exist The Onion would have to invent it.
I probably threw up in my mouth about 8 times while looking at this.
The sight of my beloved Scrabble bedecked in bubblegum pink, and ornamented with goddamn flowers is enough to make me retire my vocabulary and subsist on grunts and monosyllables for the rest of my days. Fucking FASHION? Seriously? Every word is a winner? Obviously some words are blatantly more valuable then others. That is how you win at Scrabble. It is a game of skill and strategy. Why bother selling boardgames at all? Just hand out pink, glittery, Participant gemstones that come with a passcode to play a computer game where you get to dress the gemstones up in trendy prom gowns online. After all, as long as it involves dressing up and looking pretty-pretty-pretty, then girls HAVE to like it, right? Everything else is superfluous!
John Yoo has written freelance commentaries for The Inquirer since 2005, however he entered into a contract to write a monthly column in late 2008. I won’t discuss the compensation of anyone who writes for us. Of course, we know more about Mr. Yoo’s actions in the Justice Department now than we did at the time we contracted him. But we did not blindly enter into our agreement. He’s a Philadelphian, and very knowledgeable about the legal subjects he discusses in his commentaries. Our readers have been able to get directly from Mr. Yoo his thoughts on a number of subjects concerning law and the courts, including measures taken by the White House post-9/11. That has promoted further discourse, which is the objective of newspaper commentary.
Will Bunch nails it:
No personal disrespect toward Harold Jackson (a well-regarded colleague with whom I’ve crossed career paths in two far-flung cities, with many mutual friends) but I could not disagree more. None of this is a good enough justification for awarding a column to America’s top defender of such a serious human rights violation as torture — certainly not the fact that he’s now a celebrated Philadelphian (so is disgraced state Sen. Vince Fumo, who could be handed a political column based on this kind of rationale). Sure, his warped viewpoint that the president of our once-proud democracy can assume virtually dictatorial powers is controversial enough to “promote further discourse” (so did George Will’s recent blatantly misleading column on climate change) but that alone hardly makes something worth publishing.
But while promoting public discourse is a goal of newspaper commentary, it should not be the main objective. The higher calling for an American newspaper should be promoting and maintaining our sometimes fragile democracy, the very thing that Yoo and his band of torture advocates very nearly shredded in a few short years. Quite simply, by handing Yoo a regularly scheduled platform for his viewpoint, the Inquirer is telling its readers that Yoo’s ideas — especially that torture is not a crime against the very essence of America — are acceptable.
Hmm, I wonder if Charles Manson is too busy carving swastikas into his forehead to phone in 500 words a month, too? In the interest of “promoting further discourse,” natch. I hear he’s also really knowledgeable about legal subjects.
h/t Sarah via tweet
Ok, after watching her razor-sharp performance last night at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, I’m now firmly convinced that Obama should totally dump Joe Biden at the local Amtrak station and bring aboard Wanda Sykes as running mate for his 2012 reelection bid–if only to FURTHER encourage brisk firearms sales in Real America (and stimulate teh Heartland’s moribund economy without direct government intervention!)
Oh, come on — as if having a NEGRO LESBIAN FEMINIST in the White House (along with a dijon-loving Marxist) wouldn’t send the hyperparanoid teabagger set completely over the border into black helicopter/camouflage pajama country.
First they came for the “queers” [sic], then they came for the (apparently heterosexual) Baptist kid trying to take his freakin’ girlfriend to her freakin’ prom:
A student at a fundamentalist Baptist school that forbids dancing, rock music, hand-holding and kissing will be suspended if he takes his girlfriend to her public high school prom, his principal said.
Despite the warning, 17-year-old Tyler Frost, who has never been to a dance before, said he plans to attend Findlay High School’s prom Saturday.
Frost, a senior at Heritage Christian School in northwest Ohio, agreed to the school’s rules when he signed a statement of cooperation at the beginning of the year, principal Tim England said.
The teen, who is scheduled to receive his diploma May 24, would be suspended from classes and receive an “incomplete” on remaining assignments, England said. Frost also would not be permitted to attend graduation but would get a diploma once he completes final exams. If Frost is involved with alcohol or sex at the prom, he will be expelled, England said.
Frost’s stepfather Stephan Johnson said the school’s rules should not apply outside the classroom.
“He deserves to wear that cap and gown,” Johnson said.
Sez P.Z. Meyers:
I also think the school has stepped way out of bounds when it tries to control activities well outside the domain of the school itself. But sure, go ahead and act like repressive tyrants — Mr Frost may well go looking for a more tolerant religion, or will perhaps leave that body of superstition altogether.
Oh, and just in case you thought this couldn’t get any more like a bad Footloose remake:
The handbook for the 84-student Christian school says rock music “is part of the counterculture which seeks to implant seeds of rebellion in young people’s hearts and minds.”
Speaking as an apostate survivor of a rigid private Baptist high school (c’mon, don’t act so shocked), I can attest from personal experience that these sorts of rock-hatin’, boogie-fearin’ true believers really DO hate us for our sweaty, high-decibel freedoms–and ‘us’ constitutes an increasingly expansive category.
Regardless, whatever you do, always remember the following words of incitement from anti-authoritarian negro hedonist George Clinton: “Free your mind and your ass will follow.”
For srs — just ask iconic Midwestern dance floor rebel Kevin Bacon: