I am writing to mourn the loss of the extraordinary doctor who on a daily basis courageously faced down the terrorists who harassed him, threatened him, even injured him, and now have murdered him. At the Family Planning Clinic where he helped women, often in desperate circumstances and traveling long distances, obtain abortion services, among other health care services, he and his staff were subjected to constant threats of violence and yet they persevered in order to help the women of this country. Dr. Tiller was a man of great courage, compassion, kindness, and dedication and deserves a place of honor in the hearts of women and men everywhere.
His murder—actually assassination as it was politically motivated– is a tragic statement of the lengths to which these fascist zealots will go in their attempt to control others and try to force them to live according to their dogma and it is an outrage that they refer to themselves as “Christian” or “pro-life”. They are nothing like Jesus, who preached tolerance and forgiveness, resembling the Pharisees and Sanhedrin of his time far more than the Christ. This terrible act certainly makes the case for gun control so that guns don’t fall into the hands of fanatics. His killer and the people that believe this kind of conduct is justified are a disgraceful, unrepentant, self-righteous bunch of criminals, no better than the Al Qaida and ought to be imprisoned in Guantanamo alongside their fundamentalist Islamic counterparts.
I will remember him best as the gracious doctor who coined the phrase, “Trust Women”, as he knew women know what is best for them and are the only ones whose opinion on whether to bear or not to bear a child matters.