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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Tiller Murder Wasn't a Lone Killer's Sick Plot; It Came Out of the Radical Anti-Abortion Movement

George Tiller, a Kansas physician, was shot to death in church on Sunday. He was one of only a handful of doctors in the United States providing late-term therapeutic abortions for women in need -- women whose pregnancies threatened their lives or their health, and women who learned that they were carrying fetuses with severe abnormalities. Women traveled across the country to see Tiller when their own physicians and local medical providers couldn't help them. For many women, Tiller was, as one of his patients put it, "the one shining light in the worst week of my life".

He was also a major lightening-rod in the abortion wars. Anti-choicers harassed his patients, day in and day out. They bombed his clinic. They shot him once before. They filed lawsuit after lawsuit and even convinced local prosecutors to launch criminal investigations and trials (none were successful). They published his home address and the full names of his family members on their websites. They posted information about anyone who did business with him, from where he got his coffee to where he did his dry cleaning.


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