Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 3, 2009

Moral Courage

A former pro-lifer who has moral courage: a current pro-lifer without it.

An evangelical Christian with both moral courage and kindness; an evangelical Christian who has neither.

The sad thing is: you could go on forever on the one side, finding examples of pro-lifers and evangelical Christians with neither moral courage nor kindness in them.

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June 2, 2009

Pro-life is what they call themselves

Doctor George Tiller was murdered by a thug who had listened to rhetoric from the pro-life movement that told him over and over and over again that the life-saving medical care Doctor Tiller provided was murder.

The pro-lifers who used this rhetoric are now saying: “oh, this is nothing to do with us. Just because we claimed that women who got late-term abortions were selfish bitches who were murdering their own babies, just because we claimed the doctors who performed these abortions were killers – it’s got nothing to do with us and the language we use that one of our number ended Doctor Tiller’s work and his life by murdering him. We reject that murder! Those people are nothing to do with us! We’re standing right over here washing our hands, and we still think:

What Tiller did was wrong. Make no mistake. He was not providing emergency care to rape or incest victims. He was not treating sick women with appropriate medical procedures. He was performing late-term abortions, which means that he was destroying fetuses that might have survived outside the womb. In other words, he was killing babies.” actual pro-lifer without shame

Face-saving apologies and mouthed regrets: no shame over the rhetoric that led one of their number, a pro-lifer with a gun, to end the life of one denounced by the pro-life movement as a murderer.

George Tiller joins the sad record of others murdered by the pro-life movement for providing health care: Doctor David Gunn; Doctor John Britton, and James Barrett; Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols; Robert Sanderson; and Doctor Barnett Slepian.

We should also remember June Barrett, who was shot by the same pro-life attacker who murdered her husband, but who survived; Doctor Calvin Jackson, stabbed 15 times by a pro-lifer who wanted to kill him; Doctor David Gandell, injured by flying glass when a pro-lifer shot through the window of his home; and Emily Lyons, severely injured in the pro-life bombing which also killed Robert Sanderson.

These are all murders and attempted murders committed by the pro-life movement over the last 26 years.

There have also been 175 arson attacks, 179 instances of assault and battery, 41 bombings (and 642 bomb threats), and 406 death threats. Between 1999 and 2002, pro-lifers sent clinics that provide abortion over 640 anthrax threats. NAF statistics

That’s the pro-life movement. That’s what happens when you use rhetoric claiming doctors and nurses are committing murder, when they provide essential health care for women.

“Quit is not something I like to do,” [Doctor Tiller] said. He said he firmly believed his patients needed him and that he had the “strong support of his family”.

Dr Tiller outlined a conversation he had had with his daughters – two of whom are physicians – in which he said the importance of his work was crystallised.

“My daughters came into my study,” he said. “I was reading. And they said, ‘Daddy, if not now, when? If not you, who? Who is going to stand up for women with unexpected and badly damaged babies?’ I had the support of my family, and we were able to proceed ahead.” BBC

Doctor Tiller was a courageous and noble man: there is now apparently only one other doctor in the whole of the United States who will act to help women in this awful situation. Just one. The pro-life movement have either murdered or intimidated every other doctor who might be willing to help.

From Balloon Juice:

In 1994 my wife and I found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult and unusually uncomfortable but her doctor repeatedly told her things were fine. Sometime early in the 8th month my wife, an RN who at the time was working in an infertility clinic asked the Dr. she was working for what he thought of her discomfort. He examined her and said that he couldn’t be certain but thought that she might be having twins. We were thrilled and couldn’t wait to get a new sonogram that hopefully would confirm his thoughts. Two days later our joy was turned to unspeakable sadness when the new sonogram showed conjoined twins. Conjoined twins alone is not what was so difficult but the way they were joined meant that at best only one child would survive the surgery to separate them and the survivor would more than likely live a brief and painful life filled with surgery and organ transplants. We were advised that our options were to deliver into the world a child who’s life would be filled with horrible pain and suffering or fly out to Wichita Kansas and to terminate the pregnancy under the direction of Dr. George Tiller.

We made an informed decision to go to Kansas. 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.

From the National Network of Abortion Funds:

The Network has also received many requests from women who received care from Dr. Tiller and from activists in the reproductive justice community to set up a Fund in Dr. Tiller’s name. In response, we have established the George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund to assist the women to whom George Tiller dedicated his life. The Fund will assist women in the second trimester to pay for abortion care, as well as pay for travel and lodging en route to providers. To donate to the Fund in Dr. Tiller’s name, please send contributions to:

George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund
c/o National Network of Abortion Funds
42 Seaverns Ave.
Boston, MA 02130

You may also donate online at www.nnaf.org/tiller.html

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