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In case you haven't heard, Dr. George Tiller was murdered yesterday while serving as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller was a staunch advocate of women's rights - his motto was "trust women". In his death we have lost not only a kind man but a physician who put his life on the line for his patients. His compassion has been rewarded with violence.I have to confess, I thought the anti-choice movement had moved beyond this kind of violence, recognizing that the way to change people's minds about their issue is not go to around taking lives - the very thing they claim to oppose. However, in the articles that have been written since Dr. Tiller's murder yesterday, several folks have pointed out that the rhetoric of anti-choice people has not done anything to prohibit this from happening, as much as these groups claim to be against this.Salon has an article specifically targeting Bill O'Reilly's multiple mentions of Dr. Tiller as "Tiller the baby killer" and claiming that Tiller was guilty of "Nazi stuff". More recently O'Reilly stated:

"No question Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands. But now so does Governor Sebelius. She is not fit to serve. Nor is any Kansas politician who supports Tiller's business of destruction. I wouldn't want to be these people if there is a Judgment Day. I just -- you know ... Kansas is a great state, but this is a disgrace upon everyone who lives in Kansas. Is it not?"

Check out the rest of the article for more on how O'Reilly put Dr. Tiller in the spotlight.The Guardian notes in another article that anti-choice groups posted the names and contact information for Dr. Tiller as well as his� family members and listed the business that he went to and his church, the place where he was killed. The article sums up the root of this violence clearly:

Pro-life organisations routinely refer to abortion as "murder", a "genocide" and a "holocaust". They post the full names abortion providers on their websites, along with their addresses, their license plate numbers, their photos, the names of children and the schools those children attend (sometimes with helpful Wild-West-style "Wanted" posters offering $5,000 rewards).

When you convince your followers that abortion providers are the equivalent of SS officers slaughtering innocents by the millions, tell them that "it's all-out WAR" against pro-choicers and then provide the home addresses and personal information of the "monster" "late-term baby-killer" abortion providers you're supposedly at war against, you can't act surprised when those followers conclude that it's morally justified to use the information to kill doctors.

Christina Page at RH Reality Check notes that we may be seeing an increase in violence because a Democrat sits in the White House.

During the entire Bush administration, from 2000-2008 there were no murders.

During the Clinton era, between 1994-2000 there were six abortion providers and clinic staff murdered, and 17 attempted murders of abortion providers (one of these attempts was on Dr. Tiller who was shot in both arms.) There were 12 bombings or arsons during the Clinton years.

In the last year of the Bush administration there were 396 harassing calls to abortion clinics. In just the first four months of the Obama administration that number has jumped to 1401.

Dr. Josh Freeman, a colleague of Dr. Tiller's had this to say:

Life is not always as we would like it to be. Goodness knows, it sure isn?t and hasn?t been always how I would like it to be. But whatever you want to be true, the fact is that people get pregnant who don?t want to be and didn?t intend to be and can?t see how they can birth and raise a child. And no matter how much you believe in adoption, look around you and see the number of orphan children and children in foster care, not to mention the children in unsafe and abusive homes. No matter how much you are against abortion, no matter how hard you make it, women will have them.

So far, the anti-abortion movement in the US has not largely suggested or pushed for the punishment of women who have abortions. We are not, yet, the Taliban. So we kill the doctors instead. I know that most people who are active in the anti-abortion movement would not commit such a murder, but they have to take responsibility for creating a situation in which a murderer would think they were doing the right thing. We all have to take personal responsibility for the implications of our positions.Feministe has a collection of patient's stories about their experiences with Dr. Tiller:

One can only imagine the pain borne by a woman who happily carries a child for 8 months only to find out near the end of term that the children were not to be and that she had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy and go against everything she had been taught to believe was right. This was what my wife had to do. Dr. Tiller is a true American hero. The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff. Dr. Tiller understood that this decision was the most difficult thing that a woman could ever decide and he took the time to educate us and guide us along with the other two couples who at the time were being forced to make the same decision after discovering that they too were carrying children impacted by horrible fetal anomalies. I could describe in great detail the procedures and the pain and suffering that everyone is subjected to in these situations. However, that is not the point of the post. We can all imagine that this is not something that we would wish on anyone. The point is that the pain and suffering were only mitigated by the compassion and competence of Dr. George Tiller and his staff. We are all diminished today for a host of reasons but most of all because a man of great compassion and courage has been lost to the world.

Lastly, Megan Evans, a medical student, writes about what this murder means to her as a future physician and future abortion provider:

It is no surprise that so few medical students intend on becoming abortion providers. �This life path can be dangerous-you and your family are targeted by radicals, your clinic picketed, and your patients harassed. Often, abortion providers can't even discuss that�part of their practice with their family and friends for fear of back lash. �Those that become abortion providers do it because they believe in a woman's right to choose and feel access to abortion is a basic right. Providers like Dr. Tiller, Dr. Carhart, and Dr. Hanson have shown us courage in the face of personal risk. �They are truly inspirational leaders to those of us contemplating entering the field.

Rest in Peace Dr. Tiller. We honor your memory and you will be missed. If you would like to honor Dr. Tiller's work, might I suggest making a donation to Medical Students for Choice? They are working on training the next generation of providers because without providers, there is no choice.2009/05/31/the-murder-dr-george-tiller-a-foreshadowing" target="_blank">RH Reality Check notes that we may be seeing an increase in violence because a Democrat sits in the White House.

During the entire Bush administration, from 2000-2008 there were no murders.

During the Clinton era, between 1994-2000 there were six abortion providers and clinic staff murdered, and 17 attempted murders of abortion providers (one of these attempts was on Dr. Tiller who was shot in both arms.) There were 12 bombings or arsons during the Clinton years.

In the last year of the Bush administration there were 396 harassing calls to abortion clinics. In just the first four months of the Obama administration that number has jumped to 1401.

Dr. Josh Freeman, a colleague of Dr. Tiller's had this to say:

Life is not always as we would like it to be. Goodness knows, it sure isn?t and hasn?t been always how I would like it to be. But whatever you want to be true, the fact is that people get pregnant who don?t want to be and didn?t intend to be and can?t see how they can birth and raise a child. And no matter how much you believe in adoption, look around you and see the number of orphan children and children in foster care, not to mention the children in unsafe and abusive homes. No matter how much you are against abortion, no matter how hard you make it, women will have them.

So far, the anti-abortion movement in the US has not largely suggested or pushed for the punishment of women who have abortions. We are not, yet, the Taliban. So we kill the doctors instead. I know that most people who are active in the anti-abortion movement would not commit such a murder, but they have to take responsibility for creating a situation in which a murderer would think they were doing the right thing. We all have to take personal responsibility for the implications of our positions.Feministe has a collection of patient's stories about their experiences with Dr. Tiller:

One can only imagine the pain borne by a woman who happily carries a child for 8 months only to find out near the end of term that the children were not to be and that she had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy and go against everything she had been taught to believe was right. This was what my wife had to do. Dr. Tiller is a true American hero. The nightmare of our decision and the aftermath was only made bearable by the warmth and compassion of Dr. Tiller and his remarkable staff. Dr. Tiller understood that this decision was the most difficult thing that a woman could ever decide and he took the time to educate us and guide us along with the other two couples who at the time were being forced to make the same decision after discovering that they too were carrying children impacted by horrible fetal anomalies. I could describe in great detail the procedures and the pain and suffering that everyone is subjected to in these situations. However, that is not the point of the post. We can all imagine that this is not something that we would wish on anyone. The point is that the pain and suffering were only mitigated by the compassion and competence of Dr. George Tiller and his staff. We are all diminished today for a host of reasons but most of all because a man of great compassion and courage has been lost to the world.

Lastly, Megan Evans, a medical student, writes about what this murder means to her as a future physician and future abortion provider:

It is no surprise that so few medical students intend on becoming abortion providers. �This life path can be dangerous-you and your family are targeted by radicals, your clinic picketed, and your patients harassed. Often, abortion providers can't even discuss that�part of their practice with their family and friends for fear of back lash. �Those that become abortion providers do it because they believe in a woman's right to choose and feel access to abortion is a basic right. Providers like Dr. Tiller, Dr. Carhart, and Dr. Hanson have shown us courage in the face of personal risk. �They are truly inspirational leaders to those of us contemplating entering the field.

Rest in Peace Dr. Tiller. We honor your memory and you will be missed. If you would like to honor Dr. Tiller's work, might I suggest making a donation to Medical Students for Choice? They are working on training the next generation of providers because without providers, there is no choice.