Dr. Tiller’s murder: What you can do

In comments to my previous post on the killing of Dr. George Tiller, AnatomyFightSong asked,

I would love to hear people’s thoughts on how we can mobilize to
(non-violently) fight back. How can we turn this terrible tragedy into
an opportunity to strengthen the pro-choice movement?

It’s hard to know how to respond to something like this with more than just sadness and anger. A few suggestions on what to do with that energy:

Attend a memorial vigil for Dr. Tiller.

  • Wichita, KS: Meet at 8pm on Sunday in Old Town Square.
  • Lawrence, KS: Meet at 8pm on Sunday at the South Park Gazebo
  • Washington, D.C.: Meet at 9pm on Sunday at the fountain at Dupont Circle. Also at 6:30pm on Monday at the White House.
  • Boston, MA: Meet at 6pm on Monday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.
  • Seattle: Meet at 6pm on Monday, Details TBA. (Follow @ProChoiceWA on Twitter for details.)
  • Portland, OR: Meet at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Monday at 8:00pm
  • Ottawa, ON: Meet at 8:00pm on Tuesday, June 2 at the Human Rights Monument @ Elgin & Lisgar
  • Kansas City, MO:Meet on Monday at 8pm at the JC Nichols Fountain (near the Plaza).
  • Yakima, WA: Meet at 6pm on Monday at Millennium Arts Plaza
  • St. Louis, MO: Meet at 6:30pm on Monday at St Johns Episcopal Church
  • New York, NY: Meet at 6pm on Monday, Union Square Park – South End – near 14th Street.
  • Dallas, TX: Meet at 6:30pm Monday at Robert E. Lee Park (corner of Turtle Creek and Hall)
  • Chicago, IL: Meet at 4pm on Monday at the State of Illinois Building (Thompson Center)
  • San Francisco, CA: Meet at 7pm Monday at City Hall
  • Atlanta, GA: Meet at 7pm on Tuesday at Woodruff Park
  • Columbia, MO: Meet at 6:30pm Tuesday in Peace Park
  • Greensboro, NC: Meet at 6pm on Tuesday at the corner of N. Elm and W. Bessemer streets (in front of 917 N. Elm)
  • Minneapolis, MN: Meet at 9pm Tuesday in Loring Park
  • Philadelphia, PA: Meet at 5:30pm on Tuesday in Love Park
  • Hayward, CA: A memorial will be set up between 9am and 6pm on Wednesday at the Cal State University campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. People are welcome to come bring balloons, poems, photos, rocks, candles, etc

More vigils listed at NARAL’s site. If your city/town isn’t listed, plan a vigil yourself! 

Vigil photos are posted here and here.

* Also, NOW is urging people to wear white armbands in memory of Dr. Tiller today (Monday).

Donate to a pro-choice organization.

Discuss how this is connected to the daily intimidation of abortion providers all over the country.

  • Write letters to your local media when you see this framed as an isolated incident, or as the act of just one extremist. Explain how this is connected to the broader issue of threats and intimidation against women’s health care providers.
  • Encourage your friends and family members who aren’t pro-choice to reject groups that endorse or support extremist behavior.

Thank an abortion provider!

People who work and volunteer in reproductive health clinics (both those that provide abortions and those that don’t) risk their lives every day to ensure women’s health and freedoms are protected. They also deal with a lot of harassment and crap that might not be physically dangerous, but is a huge mental burden and daily stress. Let’s use this as an opportunity to recognize their commitment, and say THANK YOU!

UPDATE: Ask Obama to commit to reviving the National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers.

Write to the Obama administration and ask that the Department of Justice work to enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. FACE was enacted after the murder of Dr. David Gunn in 1993, but the task force to ensure its enforcement was basically dormant during the Bush years. Ask Obama to revive it to protect reproductive health care providers and women who seek these services. More info here.

Other thoughts on how to respond — both individually and as a pro-choice community?

Some moving commentaries:
A Heartbreaking Choice

Awearness Blog: Dr. Tiller Assassinated in His Church (Read the first comment.)
A commenter at Balloon Juice on his experiences with Dr. Tiller

The Compassion of Dr. Tiller

Guest Book for Dr. Tiller

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