Who was Dr. Tiller?
Dr. George Tiller was a physician based in Wichita, Kansas. He was one of three physicians in the US who performed abortions past 21 weeks.
He studied at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and graduated from there in 1967. His parents and sister were killed in an accident and he was left to take care of his sister’s child which required him to relocate to Wichita where his family’s practice used to be. His father performed abortions there and Tiller intended to close the clinic and move on but after hearing about a woman who died from an illegal abortion, Tiller kept the family practice open and became an abortion provider (he originally wanted to be a dermatologist).
Tiller became a prominent pro-choice advocate in the years that he practiced medicine and never wavered from his stance on reproductive rights.
Dr. Tiller performed abortions for nearly 40 years before his murder on May 31st, 2009.
What did Dr. Tiller do?
Tiller performed abortions past 21 weeks, unapologetically. He performed them on fetuses that were not viable due to birth defects but also on healthy, viable fetuses. Tiller did not just perform late-term abortions, he performed first and second trimester abortions as well. In addition to that, he was the medical director of his women’s health clinic and provided reproductive care to his patients with a number of various services (pap smears, pelvic exams, breast exams, etc.)
How did anti-choicers target Dr. Tiller?
The anti-choice terrorist group, Operation Rescue, made it a goal to target Tiller. A branch specifically moved from California to Kansas to target his clinic and his work. Operation Rescue’s efforts to shut down the clinic by protesting, harassing, and attacking it did not work so they began to target Tiller with lawsuits in the hope that the cost of the numerous lawsuits would cause Tiller to no longer be able to keep the clinic open financially.
A notable case was that of the death of a patient that received a late-term abortion at Tiller’s clinic who later died from sepsis. Tiller was investigated by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and it was determined that no wrong-doing was done by Tiller. Operation Rescue formed a petition to have a grand jury investigate Tiller. Once the investigation had been completed, no indictments against him were filed.
Bill O’Reilly, the host of Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor, featured Tiller’s work on his show numerous times before Tiller was murdered. He often referred to Tiller as “Tiller the Baby Killer” which fueled anti-choice rhetoric even more. O’Reilly held a featured segment on his show that included documentation showing that mental health issues were sometimes used as justification for a late-term abortions at Tiller’s clinic and the implication was that mental health is not a justifiable medical issue to abort a pregnancy.
Bill O’Reilly does not have a medical degree, a psychology degree, or a psychiatry degree.
In 2009, Tiller was charged with 19 misdemeanors and investigated for allegedly consulting an unaffiliated physician to certify a late-term abortion abortion (Kansas law only allows abortions past the point of viability if two unaffiliated physicians certify that the pregnant person will experience substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function). He was found “not guilty” of all charges almost 2 months to the day before he was murdered.
The Kansas Board of Healing Arts, however, also investigated these claims and, in 2012, revoked one physician’s license for not physically examining patients that she referred. Tiller had been murdered three years prior to the board’s decision.
Were Dr. Tiller or his clinic and staff subjected to violence?
The clinic staff, including Tiller, were all harassed at home and at the clinic. Their addresses were circulated in anti-choice groups and in some cases, posters were hung in neighborhoods that the staff lived in to “alert” neighbors to the work the staff members did.
In 1986, his clinic was firebombed by anti-choicers and had to be rebuilt. In 1993, Tiller was shot by an anti-choice activist. He was shot in both arms and returend to work the next day. The woman who attacked him had been found guilty of several violent attacks on abortion clinics. She is serving 33 years in prison for her attack on Tiller and her convictions for clinic violence.
In 1998, Tiller began wearing body armor in public due to the FBI alerting him to being targeted by anti-choice militants.
In 2009, Tiller was shot while attending church. He was shot in the head and died. His murderer, Scott Roeder, was arrested shortly after murdering Tiller and was convicted of first-degree murder in 2010. Roeder had a history of being connected to attempting to bomb an abortion clinic (he was arrested for the having the explosives in his possession but was unable to follow through with the planned attack).
Wow. Just, wow. Quote of the week.
temporarily breaking my tumblr hiatus to tell you about my experience on the bart today:
i was chillin on the richmond line, on my way home from dinner, and like the only seat left was behind this really nasty lookin white guy with even nastier lookin dreads….lmao they were so fucking ugly and they were right in front of me i couldn’t help but stare. literally they were the most pathetic attempt i had ever seen, and hella long and stringy. they were so bad i even considered taking a photo because it was so fucking unreal.
anyways he noticed me staring and turned around all defensive and shit and was like, “i don’t appreciate being treated like an animal in a zoo. i am not a specimen. stop objectifying my body. i see you staring. these dreads are part of my religion. i am rasta.”
and like all i could do was laugh tbh. i straight-up laughed at him to his face. it had to be a joke that a young white male was telling me to stop objectifying him and treat him like a human. like LMAO WHAT
but more importantly after I laughed he was about to say something else defensive and dumb and all the sudden this dude with actual dreads standing across the aisle yelled out, AYO CRACKA SHUT THE FUCK UP NOBODY CURRS BOUT YO RACIST WHITE BOY CULTURAL APPROPRIATION STRUGGLES AND YO NASTY ASS HAIR SIT IN YO DAMN SEAT AND ACCEPT YOU THE MOST VANILLA MUHFUCKA IN THE MUHFUCKIN BAY
omg it was the best and funniest thing that has ever happened to me on bart
—my straight, white, privilege-denying, upper-middle class roommate
Yep, doesn’t matter how many different ways women, poor people, people of color, or anyone in the LGBT community is getting screwed over, as long as her dinner conversation is pleasant and no one is sad.
I’m sure it’s easy for HER to say, since almost anything that occurs in the world of politics will work in her favor.
I’ve found new resources for people in need of access, funds, transportation, and lodging for abortions, so I’m compiling all my posts on the subject into one, for easy reference:
Need Help Paying for an Abortion? - National Network of Abortion Funds and The National Abortion Federation
National Abortion Funds (United States)
Abortion funds cannot cover the entire cost of your abortion, but they will give as much as they can and help you find other funds and ways to pay for your abortion.
Some clinics, including Planned Parenthood, offer their services at a reduced fee for those who can’t afford the regular price. Contact the clinic nearest you to see if that’s an option.
Medicaid covers abortion in 15 states. Check to see if yours is one of them.
Fund Abortion Now has a checklist of ways to raise money for your abortion. If you’re running out of ideas, check it out.
Actually, Friedman is probably right that Obama should just sell his record … and sell it hard and uncompromisingly.
“Miley Cyrus has received a lot of flak over the past few years for doing exactly what she’s supposed to — grow up.
Cyrus was introduced to the world as a plucky 12-year-old on Disney’s “Hannah Montana” and came of age both on television and in the public eye — constantly criticized for growing up too fast, and trying to be too sexy too soon.
The 19-year-old starlet is more than aware of the world’s expectations of her, but says that it’s hard to live up to them when she’s just trying to find herself, she revealed in a new interview.
“I feel I was so trained in my interviews to be All-American or whatever. I just got so set in the way of saying the same things I did when I was 12-years-old… I guess I kind of realized that my whole life isn’t one giant press junket. I don’t have to be smiling all the time and always have the perfect answer,” she said on a recent episode of Lifetime’s “The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet.”
For Cyrus, the natural transition from a young girl to young woman has been fought at nearly every turn — with Cyrus having to defend everything from her belief in same-sex marriage to her views on religion and her “sexier” image.
“For me, what I do [being sexy] is not the point. You’re not sitting there trying to be sexy. If people find that [I am], I take it as a compliment,” she told Cadenet, quickly adding that she knows that some people disapprove, but says it’s just who she is. “People are so scared of seeing a woman being like, ‘This is who I am and you’re not going to change it.’”
Some of Cyrus’ ultra-conservative critics have gone so far in the past as to call her “disgusting,” but she feels as though the entertainment industry has backed her into a corner as to how she’s supposed to behave.
“[It] used to be if you’re a woman you do not sing about sex, and now if that’s not what you’re singing about, if that’s not your entire image, you won’t get played [on radio and TV],” she explained. “The last season of [“Hannah Montana”] I put out “Can’t Be Tamed,” which even just the title of that for a woman to say that she can’t be tamed, and of all people in the world, my face saying I can’t be tamed, when that’s all people really wanted to do — I think that proves how sexist people still really are and judgmental. It’s the whole thing of saying ‘be sexy, but our way.”
The singer, who made headlines just last night at the Billboard Music Awards for her revealing outfit, also got candid about how too many young women value themselves based on their sexual interaction.
“The girls that really base how much they’re worth on the sexual favors they can do for somebody, that makes me really sad. Because sex is actually really beautiful. It’s the only way we create, and it’s the only way the world keeps going. So it’s ignorant not to talk to your kids about it or [not] make it seem as magical or cool as it actually is,” she explained. “[Kids] have a TV, so they know what sex is. So educate them and let them know … it’s a beautiful thing, and it is magic, and it’s when you connect with somebody. And it isn’t how much you’re worth. Your worth isn’t based on that, your worth is based on how you feel about yourself.”
Though Cyrus sounds as if she knows who she is and what she believes in, she admits that the world’s expectations still have taken a toll on her.
“I’ve lost [my sense of self] a lot. There’s times you hear what you should be so much that you lose what you actually are, and that’s really hard,” she said.”
“It’s important to clarify that sex education that teaches about pleasure doesn’t have to teach about technique (though elective college-level sex education that does this is great). Letting teens know that women usually achieve orgasm through the rubbing of the clitoris, whether fingers, mouth, object, or penis, isn’t the same as screening an instructional video on giving good cunnilingus. It’s not the same as writing down the names of sex-toy shops on the blackboard, or handing out diagrams of cool and exciting coital positions. And teaching that lubricants reduce pain and increase safety and pleasure during many kinds of sex should be thought of not as performance advice, but on par with vital lessons about condom use.
Real sex education is not the same as porn education. Instead, it’s about teaching that pleasure is an important part of any sexual relationship. It’s about teaching that there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexual pleasure and seeking it out, so long as it is done safely and responsibly. It’s about teaching comfort with one’s body and a lack of shame over desires, and there is more to sex for all people than sticking penises into vaginas. Real sex education teaches how to go about making intelligent , safe choices, rather than just stating the choices available. I believe there is a big difference. And I believe that teaching teens to make smart choices about sex must involve teaching them that having sex, partnered or alone, can be a smart choice”.” —
Real Sex Education by Cara Kulwicki in Yes Means Yes
Rev. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ (via touchoftea)
(Pastor Moss is awesome, y’all.)