The Attacks on Dr. Tiller Continue

drtiller.jpg Dr. George Tiller, one of the few late-term abortion providers in the U.S., has pleaded not guilty to 19 misdemeanor charges brought upon him by the state of Kansas.
Dr. Tiller has a long history of being harassed by anti-abortion activists. He has faced protests at his clinic incredibly frequently, other trumped-up criminal charges, physical threats and constant intimidation. His clinic is currently closed, thanks to severe vandalism. He has also been shot. Attacks have escalated to the point where his is a frequent pet cause of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
The current charges against Dr. Tiller revolve around a Kansas law which requires that two legally and financially uninvolved physicians sign off on any late-term abortion procedure. The charges against Dr. Tiller allege that he has an improper financial relationship with one of the doctors from whom he regularly receives authorization. As a result, he faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine for each charge.
Any pro-choice individual should be outraged at the harassment of Dr. Tiller– and that includes the criminal charges he’s currently facing. Kansas Attorney Generals have a history of baselessly attacking Dr. Tiller. Not only that, but the law itself seem to have been created specifically for the purpose of making the lives of abortion providers more difficult.
Requiring written approval of any late-term abortion procedure from two independent physicians is not only requiring the abortion provider to seek permission to practice medicine, it’s also essentially requiring that the woman get permission to successfully request medical care. Her choice, along with the medical advice of her doctor, is not enough. Late-term abortions, contrary to what anti-abortion activists constantly profess, are not undertaken lightly. The women who receive medical care at Dr. Tiller’s facility come from all over the country; Dr. Tiller is hardly going to be their first medical consultation. They seek their abortions either due to health risks to themselves or severe fetal deformity. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who likes late-term abortion, and that includes the women who need them.
This law implies that doctors who provide abortions are somehow less scrupulous than doctors who practice any other type of medicine. It implies that the women seeking late-term abortions are too stupid to make the effort to seek a second-opinion on their own, or that their physicians would not recommend this to them. Even worse, it requires that a woman’s medical records be shared with other doctors whom she doesn’t even know, so that she can obtain what is likely to be an emotionally-painful treatment.
Lastly, Dr. Tiller is in no way being charged with improperly or unethically practicing medicine. He’s being charged with a minor infraction under a bullshit law. I somehow find it hard to believe that this law and these charges hold absolutely no relation to the other constant tactics of intimidation used against him. The effect, after all, is the same: money, time and resources are being diverted from providing women with medical care that many desperately want to wipe out of existence.
Update: There are requests for how to contact and help financially support Dr. Tiller. His address is:
WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE SERVICES
5107 East Kellogg
Wichita, Kansas USA 67218
For obvious reasons, there are not any publicized means to electronically contact him or the clinic, but I’m sure that any checks and words of encouragement by mail would be greatly appreciated.

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38 Comments

  1. SarahMC
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Awww, that’s Dr. Tiller? I seriously, seriously appreciate that man’s work and feel bad that he’s been put through so much. Anyone know if there’s some way to help (donating somewhere, etc)?

  2. Posted August 6, 2007 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I actually looked for that information, Sarah, but couldn’t find anything on Dr. Tiller’s site or any current campaigns on the Feminist Majority Foundation. If anyone else can, please leave it in the notes, and I’ll even update the post. I’m hoping that FMF will do a new campaign for him, since the heat has been on him so badly these last couple of months.

  3. Ann
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the address for Tiller’s clinic. I’m sure you could send a check here:

    WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE SERVICES
    5107 East Kellogg
    Wichita, Kansas USA 67218

  4. Posted August 6, 2007 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Is there any way we can show our support for him either online or thru snailmail?

  5. Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    ugh, someone’s defaced all the headlines on feminist.org. *sighs*

  6. Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, unfortunately their site was also hacked and completely shut down the other week, too. Bastards.

  7. EllenV
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    As someone born and raised in Kansas, I’m rarely shocked at the kind of bullshit people, particularly attorney generals, come up with to make the lives of women who get abortions and doctors who perform them more difficult. Yet even this one blows my mind. On behalf of my state, I apologize for this ridiculous asshatery.

  8. L-K
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Last week, Feminist.org was badly hacked. So they are in the mist of recovery.

  9. L-K
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Cara beat me to it!

  10. SassyGirl
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    This is horrible! I have a friend who had a late term abortion, there were many issues with the fetus and her health was at risk. She had two children already and was not ready to leave them. Another friend was facing the decision when she found out, at six months, that her fetus had some deformity (can’t remember what it was), that would have killed her within a month or so if she made it through the pregnancy. She thought about it over the weekend and decided to have it done. She went in to tell her ob her decision, they did another ultrasound and found out that the fetus had died over the weekend.
    It is Doctors like this one who deserve a big “THANK YOU” because they are working to improve the lives of women who are facing this horrible situation. I get so pissed off when I hear some anti choicer spoutin’ out about how horrible they think that “partial birth abortion” is. They seem to think that it is heartless women who suddenly change their minds when they are close to delivering.
    I wish I had a million dollars to send to him.

  11. lgrf4evr
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    instead of trying to pass laws hurting woman, why don’t kanses focus on why it have such economic failure, and make it safer for a woman to bring life in to the world, also, the protestor should spend more time at the orphanage than protesting, they might accomplish something.

  12. Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m ever hopeful Tiller’s constitutional challenge to the law will be successful because the standard of what constitutes an improper financial tie is unconstitutionally vague.
    Of course, oddly enough, this claim stands a much better chance before the Kansas Supreme Court than before the U.S. Supreme Court, assuming his challenge goes that far. I think it will.
    Also, the fact that Morrison went forward with bringing new charges against Tiller concerns me and indicates to me the possibility that there might be some merit to the charges. When Kline brought the initial charges, I assumed it was a psycho, anti-choice witch hunt. Now I’m not quite as sure.
    FWIW, I’m a Kansan, a feminist, and a staunch pro-choice advocate.

  13. Posted August 6, 2007 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m ever hopeful Tiller’s constitutional challenge to the law will be successful because the standard of what constitutes an improper financial tie is unconstitutionally vague.
    Of course, oddly enough, this claim stands a much better chance before the Kansas Supreme Court than before the U.S. Supreme Court, assuming his challenge goes that far. I think it will.
    Also, the fact that Morrison went forward with bringing new charges against Tiller concerns me and indicates to me the possibility that there might be some merit to the charges. When Kline brought the initial charges, I assumed it was a psycho, anti-choice witch hunt. Now I’m not quite as sure.
    FWIW, I’m a Kansan, a feminist, and a staunch pro-choice advocate.

  14. SarahMC
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Hey Bethany, is that your art that’s featured in the website your name links to? I might have to get me some of that.

  15. Posted August 6, 2007 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I just sent my thank you card to him and all of his staff. It just hurts me to see this…it really does.

  16. Joe
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Why are all abortion doctors male?

  17. Genny
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s times like these I wish I wasn’t a poor college student. I’d love to pass along some cash to help this poor man and his family fight these charges.
    Joe, I don’t know where you get the impression that all abortion doctors are male. This doctor is male, but since “Dr.” is a uniquely gender neutral prefix, it’s hard to say whether any doctor is male or female just based on their title. If you’ve got some information on the subject that would make your question more clear I’d love to hear it.

  18. Posted August 6, 2007 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Very many doctors who provide abortions are, in fact, female. I can’t give a percentage, and could not say if women are in the majority or minority, but the notion that “all abortion doctors are male” is definitely and clearly bogus.

  19. PamelaV
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Participating in demonstrations myself, I do see the merit and understand why people protest.
    However, violence to postpone or stop what you perceive to be violence is completely counterproductive. I have never understood anti-abortion violent attacks, as their whole thing is “all life is sacred” but many have no problem with killing certain people. Say what you mean!
    Also, using “all” or “always” in a question posted above is silly. That is like saying “why do all men ask stupid questions?”.

  20. PamelaV
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    clarification- I do not participate in anti-choice demonstrations.

  21. anorak
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Joe – The doctor who performed my abortion was a woman. Just so you know.

  22. Posted August 6, 2007 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    You can also really help Dr. Tiller by donating to his PAC, ProKanDo. They really need money to help elect pro-choice politicians and defeat zealots like Phil Kline, go to http://www.prokando.org/ and sign up and donate too if you can!

  23. SarahMC
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips, everyone! My next donation will be to prokando or Dr. Tiller’s clinic directly.

  24. Posted August 6, 2007 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    My gyno is female and does abortions. Same with my previous gyno before I moved.

  25. Posted August 6, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Tiller has a PAC:
    ProKanDo at
    http://www.prokando.org
    He’s an old friend of mine and a truly great guy. He would also appreciate cards and letters of support sent to the clinic. For security reasons, be sure to put a name and return address on the envelope so that they’ll know you’re not an anti-abortionist trying to send hate mail.

  26. AdaHaze
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I wish that more women who have had late-term abortions felt like they could speak out about them. It always astounds me how easily the anti groups paint late term abortion as a frivolous irresponsible decision, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

  27. Joe
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Fine, fine. My bad.
    But it sort of strikes me as odd that some people – namely pro-choicers – often refer to abortion as “the best choice”, or “the right choice.” Which makes me wonder if it’s ever “the worst choice,” or “the wrong choice.”
    And thus it strikes me as, oddly, anti-choice, when it seems that when abortion is most staunchly defended, in cases of rape or incest, it’s as if: “What did you expect her to do, carry the child to term? She had no choice!”

  28. camilla
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I just made a contribution to ProKanDo and I’ll send a card to Dr. Tiller as well. Thanks for posting the info!

  29. SarahMC
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Joe, can you direct us to any specific incidents where pro-choicers claimed abortion is always “the right choice” for all women in all circumstances?
    Women who’ve had abortions and are content with their own choice are free to say abortion was the best choice for them. Of course for some women it’s not the right choice. But it’s an option all women should have, in case it IS.

  30. werechick
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I wish that more women who have had late-term abortions felt like they could speak out about them. It always astounds me how easily the anti groups paint late term abortion as a frivolous irresponsible decision, when nothing could be farther from the truth.
    It’s one of those topics that people only broach with others of a like mind set. A closet issue, I guess you could call it. The way no one admits to being an atheist without knowing they were surrounded by atheists.
    In both cases, the opposition not only disagrees with them, but demonizes them with the heaviest of moral revulsion, calling them “murderers” and “godless,” respectively. (though they often give out as interchangable) They believe the other is completely without morality, that they’re sociopaths, even.

  31. micheyd
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    That’s another strawman, Joe. I don’t hear pro-choicers saying abortion is the best choice unless it’s followed by “..for myself.” Hell, either abortion or gestating would be good choices for me, depending on the circumstances.

  32. William
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Maybe this is a bit off topic, but this whole situation makes me wonder. You have a doctor providing a legal and necessary service. You have terrorists attacking him and his clinic. You have regular threats of violence. You have at least one attempt on the poor guy’s life. Now you have the state using it’s coercive power to bring trumped up charges against the man with the specific intent of stopping him from doing something legal. The oppression this man faces is endemic, it runs from the individual all the way up to the government. Whats the response? Write a letter to your reps? Give a couple of dollars to his PAC? Hope against hope that he manages to challenge the law and is only out a small fortune?
    Why, so the same disgusting dance can be danced until the next time some lynch-worthy AG decides to wantonly violate the law again? Wheres the end, whats the goal? Or is this just the best-case-scenario were allowed to hope for? Is perhaps constant harassment and the threat of death the status quo now?
    Why on earth do people like Michale Griffin or Shelly Shannon even get to make it to court? Why don’t organizations like Operation Rescue or the Army of God have to run their mail through bomb detectors? Why don’t churches that support the any-means-necessary rhetoric find themselves vandalized? Why does this AG in Kansas sleep well at night, comfortable in the knowledge that there will be no consequences for his actions? Why the hell does the forced birth movement face no costs? Why does the pro-choice movement accept any horror heaped upon it with barely a shrug? Are we really that beaten down, are we so conditioned to expect the worst that were just going through the motions?
    The civil rights movement had the Black Panthers, where are our champions?
    …sorry about the rant.

  33. SarahMC
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I got a thank-you card from Dr. Tiller today! He is very appreciative of the support (emotional and monetary)… made me feel good.

  34. fostermom
    Posted May 31, 2009 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I had an abortion at 6 months pregnancy by an abortionist who abused me. I was harassed by my mom to go in and just talk to the doctor. Once there the doors were locked and for hours I was abused and shoved by the nurses. I was refused access to a phone and my cell phone was confiscated. I eventually agreed to go to examination room on condition that I would only be examined. My signature was forged by my mother. The Dr. and nurses held me down against my will once I realized it was no exam and they started procedure. There was no one at clinic to witness what happened that day. However, after the procedure started I was so afraid to call ER or ask for help since the Dr. told me he would not allow any ER to reverse what he started. I went thru with abortion out of fear and on second day of abortion there were other patients like me there. 2 of the patients I met had perfectly healthy babies and just wanted their freedom and were quite excited to get it overwith. I was very surprised that they were not sad like me. I think that the assumption that all abortion dr’s do this for health reasons alone is not completely true. Unless you know every case individually you don’t know the truth of what goes on behind closed doors. How I wish I could have had 2 Physicians sign a statement that I approved the procedure. Had that been done this particular Dr. could not have abused me. The details of my case are much worse and have more details that I wish not to describe. The Dr. who did my procedure is a millionare these days and he cracked jokes and called me horrible words which I will not mention in this email. There are bad abortion doctors out there. I do think there needs to be more monitoring of clinics so that abuse does not happen. I also want to mention I witnessed a woman at the clinic who did not want to enter procedure and her partner thru a beer glass on floor out of anger. The nurses quickly reprimanded her and told her not to upset her boyfriend and that she should do the procedure. I was shocked but was not surprised since the nurses there were doing the same games with me. The Physician I think wanted to make big money. I support abortion but honestly only in first 2-3 months. The fetuses can feel pain because they have nerves after 2-3 months. Pain affliction and torture are wrong and late term fetuses that are healthy and conscious feel pain. My baby in me was very aware something was wrong and kicked alot in procedure. I was setup really good and tricked into something I did not want. I was young and unable to stand up to my mom and the Dr. because I was not experienced enough to know how to use my words to fight back. Had I used proper verbal threats I would have been better off.

  35. Nation Health
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    That not abortions it was necessary to propagandise means of contraception and oral sex…

  36. Nation Health
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    It proves is nothing simply establishes the fact. “What to do” – generally not my business. I not the citizen of the USA also do not live at all there, but opinion have stated. Apparently it is necessary to continue to move from religious fundamental obscurantism to culture and the liberal rights which so America values. The right to abortion – one of the fundamental laws of the woman. And men to it – I will repeat – have no relation.

  37. Frenchwoman
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    It proves is nothing simply establishes the fact. “What to do” – generally not my business. I not the citizen of the USA also do not live at all there, but opinion have stated. Apparently it is necessary to continue to move from religious fundamental obscurantism to culture and the liberal rights which so America values. The right to abortion – one of the fundamental laws of the woman. And men to it – I will repeat – have no relation.

  38. Life
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    In view of the important role which communications assumed in the management of the Olympic Games, the Organizing Committee set up, within the Special Facility Committee, a Telecommunication Subcommittee made up of representatives of the Ministry of Postal Services, the NTT, KDD, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation and other related organizations, thus enabling the Organizing Committee to have the benefit of expert advice and coordination in proceeding with its preparations. Inasmuch as the various communication plans required specialized technical knowledge, the Facility Division of the Secretariat was assisted by two employees of the NTT in their basic communications facilities planning. The work of this section expanded as the Games drew near, necessitating the attachment of six additional specialists from NTT and one from KDD.
    In January 1964, a Communication Section was set up within the Transportation and Communication Division of the Secretariat to take charge of the operation of communications facilities and other related work.
    Communication facilities made use of for the Olympic Games were installed in coordination with the overall planning of the Games, and in consideration of the estimated requirements for transportation of athletes and officials, administration of Games sites, traffic control and reporting activities, as well as the services for visitors and spectators.
    The overall communication network, which systematically connected the various Olympic facilities to the Headquarters, the Olympic Villages and Games sites, was planned and private branchexchange telephones, direct dial telephones, leased lines and interphones were installed at points where they were considered to be most useful. Mobile communication equipment of the Self Defense Forces was made use of in providing communica tion services for some of the events.

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