Never Forget.

by matttbastard

Yes, this:

I am tired of a public debate that treats seriously the claim that pregnant women, mothers, and the people who support them are killers. I am tired of a debate that trivializes genocide by saying that what women do to deal with their reproductive lives is worse.

What I want instead is to honor George Tiller, a man who honored women. And I want instead to honor those who value fetal life, but who do not lose sight of the women who give that life, and who would never dream of murdering a doctor who was among the few to give those women the services, respect, and dignity they deserved.

Never forget.

See more people who honour women (and life) at IamDrTiller.com.

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Frank Schaeffer: “This is what helps unhinge a society.”

by matttbastard

That, Bill, is what’s called ‘accountability’.  You should try it sometime.

As pogge notes:

Schaeffer confesses that when he and other leaders of the movement in the seventies and eighties were moving to ever more radical rhetoric and tactics, they knew perfectly well what they were doing in the process: egging on those who would do exactly what Tiller’s murderer did.

And you knew it, too–which, despite your bilious protests to the contrary, makes you and all who unrepentantly continue to indulge in the ugly rhetoric of demonization and dehumanization just as culpable.  And no,  THE KOS! did not direct me to say that.

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Quote of the Day: Inevitable Consequences

by matttbastard

The Wichita Eagle:

Warren Hern, a Colorado physician and close friend of Tiller’s — who described himself now as “the only doctor in the world” who performs very-late-term abortions — said Tiller’s death was predictable.

“I think it’s the inevitable consequence of more than 35 years of constant anti-abortion terrorism, harassment and violence,” he said.

When Obama was elected last fall, Hern predicted that anti-abortion violence would increase, he said. Because Obama supports legalized abortion, Hern said, its foes “have lost ground…. They want the doctors dead, and they invite people to assassinate us. No wonder that this happens.

“I am next on the list.”

Related: Must-read article from the always-excellent Ann Friedman, in which she puts the assassination of Dr. George Tiller into the broader context of the concerted criminal harassment (sometimes deadly) of US abortion clinic workers:

It’s apparent that we need someone at the federal level who is paying attention. After all, Tiller’s assassin was not acting in vacuum. Even if no national anti-choice group directly ordered him to fire that gun, he is a product of a culture that thrives on systematically threatening reproductive health care providers and women who seek abortions. Militant anti-choice groups like Operation Rescue — which has endorsed intimidation tactics in the past — released statements yesterday condemning Tiller’s assassination.

But after years of sending the message to its avid base that Tiller was a sub-human monster, a press release expressing dismay at the killing does little good. On the sidebar of the Operation Rescue blog, near where the press release appeared, was a small image featuring Dr. Tiller’s face, some very sinister-looking flames, and the words “America’s Doctor of Death,” linking to a detailed dossier about all of Tiller’s offenses. Other groups keep databases of reproductive health providers’ addresses and phone numbers, all but daring their members to conduct harassment campaigns.

Elsewhere: Contra the disingenuous spin (h/t Mandos) from the forced-birth set, Jill Filipovic and former Religious Right icon Frank Schaeffer both join Friedman in placing the blame for Dr. Tiller’s murder squarely on the collective shoulders of the ‘mainstream’ anti-abortion movement. As Schaeffer (who readily acknowledges his role, along with his late father Francis and former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, in establishing the anti-abortion movement) puts it:

The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as “murderers.” And today once again the “pro-life” leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I’d like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.

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BREAKING: Dr. George Tiller Assassinated

by matttbastard

Oh, fuck:

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.

h/t Atrios

Update: Via Ann Friedman, Cara writes at Feministe:

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.

Signed. Off.

Update 2: Via Sylvia, KC Star columnist/blogger Mike Hendricks effing nails it:

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.

The kind of hate that is on full display over in Freeperville (h/t AJ Strata, a right-of-centre individual who can smell the fucking coffee.)

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:

Roeder Cap

Lovely.

Update 4:  Must-read posts from Antonia & dbO.

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Kansas Middle School Displays Student-Made “KKK Board Game” During Open House

by matttbastard

Wow.

Just…wow.

A KKK Board Game. Proudly on display at a Kansas middle school open house. In 2009.

Seriously?!

Yes, seriously–a KKK board game:

Er, huwhut?!

Clean your...wha?!

Ok, that's just straight up motherfucking DOIN IT RONG!

Oh, and just to fully complete the cycle of racefail, meet the motherfucking asstacular principal of the motherfucking school:

Andover Middle School principal Brett White said today that a seventh-grade student who created a board game based on the Ku Klux Klan as part of a class assignment was not trying to be offensive.

Kevin Myles of the Witchita NAACP Blog nails it:

Given that this was a middle school, you could surmise that the student who created the “game” was probably between 12 and 14. So while it is distrurbing that he or she may have thought this appropriate, the problem is not the student, the failure clearly rests with the school. They should have challenged the students thinking, they should have corrected him or her and explained why this was inappropriate, they should have taken advantage of that “teachable moment” and helped the student understand the real lessons of history.  But to the contrary, they chose to reinforce the students cultural and historical myopia by displaying the “game” at a public forum, an Open House, to be ‘appreciated’ as something representative of their body of work.

And simultaneously reinforced deep-seated cultural stereotypes about endemic racial injustice in rural communities.

Way to be, folks!

h/t Sassywho via email

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“The best gift you can give your child is another sibling”

by sassywho

That’s the tagline of Women Influencing the Nation. One of its directors was quoted recently in the Kansas City Star:

Pat Adair, director of the anti-abortion group Women Influencing the Nation, said she’s been “very impatient” to see Kline file the charges [against Planned Parenthood].

“Let them have their day in court,” she said.

“If they haven’t done anything wrong, then they have nothing to be afraid of.”

Name sound vaguely familiar? That’s because Johnson County DA Phill Kline is her (absentee) tenant:

Adair and his wife Pat own the storage facility in Stilwell and said Phill Kline paid $400 a month to rent an upstairs apartment from them.They are also both clearly Phill Kline supporters.

“He’s one of the greatest heroes we know,” said Earnest Adair.

The Adairs say Kline lives in one of three apartments they have on site.

Pat Adair says Kline works most of the time but does in fact sleep at the Stilwell address.

“Yes, he sleeps here. Yes, absolutely sleeps here,” she said.

Surely Pat would expect her county’s District Attorney (and her lease holder) to comply with the law, since in the past she has demonstrated her very high expectations regarding how tax-payers’ dollars are spent:

For Immediate Release Women Influencing the Nation
November 7, 2007 Pat Adair, Kansas State Director
Media contact: 913-484-7749Olathe, KS-“Women Influencing the Nation applauds Kansas Senator Sam Brownback for standing with 12 other U.S Senators in a call for Federal Funding suspension for Abortion until it is determined if Planned Parenthood is complying with state laws. While many folks can vary in their opinions on abortion,” said Pat Adair, Kansas State Director for Women Influencing the Nation, ” we all can agree that everyone should be bound to obey the same laws. Therefore, it is very significant when 13 United States Senators step forward and do something like this as a direct result of a District Attorney’s 107 criminal charges after probable cause has been determined by a judge. It shows that these Senators not only see the merits of this case but also believe that no person or organization is above the law. Furthermore, it shows the taxpayers that these Senators understand that we do not want one dime of our taxes to go to an organization that could be breaking the law “.

This show of support from this many U.S. Senators (2 from Kansas and many from across other states) is another indication of the strength and momentum behind Kline’s criminal charges.

Strong words coming from a woman renting a crummy $400 apartment. Been a while since I lived in good ole JOCO but $400 hardly seems market rate, even for a shithole in Stillwell. Way to go Kline, I’m sure there are a lot of struggling families in the area that would appreciate such a deal for a place.

In fact, I’d bet that you would have to be a super-special guy willing to go the extra mile to swing that kind of deal. Maybe, oh I don’t know, file charges against Planned Parenthood? Nope, already did that. Wait! Wait! You could do it again? Nah, that’ll never work.

Everything Kline does is smarmy. Shame he hopped on the (D)A-train. He could have made a killing defending drug companies.

But I digress.

One final note: even though the aforementioned tagline was giggle-worthy, it was the WIN manifesto that provoked outright fits of laughter:

Yet we truly believe that ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’. Women Influencing the Nation sees the devastation that the radical feminist movement has brought down upon the family in the last 40 years and it is our challenge to uncover the lies, reverse the damage, and reclaim the respect for women that has been lost in America today. We hope to once again instill a love for children and to re-ignite a desire in young women, especially, to have large famlies [sic] again. Truly, we must spread the word that “the greatest gift you can give your child is another sibling”. We are losing this concept today. In America we have subconsciously adopted the China mentality. Sadly, most young people believe they should only have one or two children. One way to un-do this attitude is to expose the misconceptions out there of who Planned Parenthood really is and to show the extensive damage they have done to women over the years. Our challege is to create a positive love of all children again. God does not create any mistakes. Women Influencing the Nation believes in the right to Life from natural conception to natural death, and that God has supreme rights over all of us.

This is probably the most honest site I’ve seen with regards to the “pro-life” agenda. It’s refreshing in a sense: no pretense of “women have the right to control their fertility, blah blah blah,” all that stuff that you know, uh, feminists and Planned Parenthood believe in. No, according to Adair and Co., women are Holy baby factories, divinely employed to produce at the mercy of management their husbands.

Better pray for impotence or infertility; otherwise you’ll be spending a good part of your life manufacturing boxes.

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At Least The Acronym Was Right

by sassywho

Former Kansas Attorney General and current Johnson County D.A. Phil Kline is making good use of his concession position, continuing to demonstrate a complete lack of trust for elected officials and duly appointed regulatory agencies. Despite losing his reelection bid last fall, Kline is once again up to his old tricks, using his new position of (reduced) authority as a political and ideological platform to once again put the screws to Planned Parenthood in Overland Park. Of course, these latest charges (107, including 23 felonies) would seem completely reasonable– if one believes that the entire state of Kansas is under the spell of malicious elves who eat fetuses for breakfast, lunch and dinner (alas, stillborns are mere snacks).

If only such elves existed outside of Kline’s imagination.

During his Attorney General days, Kline abused public funds to harass those who respect reproductive rights, flaunting his embarrassing control/savior complex in the process. Klein’s successor as state AG, Paul Morrison, cleared Planned Parenthood shortly after taking office. Morrison, to my knowledge is not receiving kickbacks from fetus-fattened elves.

Most reasonable citizens would give more weight to the case if the evidence had not been collected under the aegis of an obvious phishing expedition.

Where did Kline obtain the information that he used to file charges – from the regulatory agencies that are responsible for monitoring medical records? Via a patient complaint? Or was it from the files that Kline made copies of on his way out the door when he was democratically demoted?

Planned Parenthood is an important resource not only to women of a certain socioeconomic class but also society as a whole, one that equally values women, children and family. Of course, for the poor souls who actually believe in blood-thirsty, fetus-hungry elves, there is an efficient way to put a wrinkle into the number of abortions that Planned Parenthood performs: support PP financially, so it can afford to focus on its birth control efforts, rather than wasting funds defending itself in court. From a purely economic standpoint, a live birth is 30 x’s more profitable (apparently P.P. is in the wrong business). It’s a challenge for those who value penance over prevention to make that distinction.

However, having children should never be a punishment. A District Attorney has no business determining for women or their health care providers whether or not medical procedures meet the qualifications of arbitrary considerations, but rather legal considerations. And, as far as I’m concerned, the top law official of the state has already spoken — in direct contradiction to D.A. Kline’s conclusions.

But what does that matter in a world full of elves who love the blood of tasty aborted babies?

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