Tiller’s Clinic Will Be Shut Down.


Dr. Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, Kansas has been shut down according to his family.

“The family of Dr. George Tiller announces that effective immediately, Women’s Health Care Services, Inc., will be permanently closed,” according to a statement issued on Tuesday morning by the family’s lawyers. “Notice is being given today to all concerned that the Tiller family is ceasing operation of the clinic and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic.”

This is awful. And can someone explain to me why the NYTimes is so concerned about where all these murdering pro-life “activists” will go? I didn’t realize that by balanced coverage we were going to highlight terrorist organizations as having a legitimate mission and goals.
Thanks to commenter Jovan1984 for the heads up.

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33 Comments

  1. Alessa
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    What about all the women in the area? I respect Tiller’s families wishes, but isn’t this what his murderer wanted? Wouldn’t this just be giving the message that murder works?

  2. Brianna G
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, the protesters did not murder Tiller. They are guilty of harassment, threats, etc, but they didn’t want him dead, and that’s part of the point– they didn’t want his clinic to shut down because he was killed, they wanted his clinic to shut down because he was arrested, or he chose to shut it down. They wanted to be somehow vindicated that they were right– instead, the way the clinic shut down, they don’t know where the women who would go to Tiller will go instead (if they go anywhere, it will likely be too far for them to get involved), they don’t know how to get their message across, all their efforts to use Tiller as an AntiChrist are useless, and they look like the evilest group of people imaginable, to kill a doctor who only performed abortions to save the mother’s life or because the fetus was severely damaged or ill.
    They’re evil because they try to prevent women from getting lifesaving care, but accusing them of wanting or celebrating Tiller’s death is dishonest.

  3. Brianna G
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think they can find another doctor, is the problem; if they could find someone else they might transfer it over to that person’s responsibility. And I certainly don’t blame any family involved for not wanting to have anything to do with the movement ever again; that kind of trauma is very hard to recover from.

  4. Alessa
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh of course. Like I said, I respect their wishes.
    It’s just terrible that it comes down to this.

  5. loser_sneeze
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Just finished reading the article for the second time. I’m not sure how an article about anti-choice folks could seriously take the stand of “Oh dear! Who ARE they going to harrass now? what a shame for them!”
    Seriously?
    And I’m confused by the ‘ I don’t want the clinic closed because of this’ statement made by the Operation Rescue guy. As someone pro-life you would think that the closing of the facility, even if it is due to this heinous crime, would be a victory. Now it just seems as if they only want the clinic closed in a way that fits their agenda. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. But if life is so important to these groups and individuals then they can regret the murder and still be ok with the closing of the clinic.

  6. betty
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Briananna, you are the one being dishonest. In the very New York Times article, an anti-choice activist admits that her group is divided in their response to the killing. Look at the comments from local Kansas people who call themselves pro-life in the press after the terrorist act. You’ll find some blatantly positive about the killing, some ambivalent, and leaders in the movement who believe it was justified. Many are very out about it in public, many more are so in private. Others just shrug their shoulders.
    On Bill Maher’s show last week, two of three guests could not bring themselves to call it terrorism. We have an ugly problem here to be honest.
    Too many DO celebrate it and all you have to do is look at the commenters on the Tiller stories and do a quick Google search for “anti-choice” “pro-life” and “Tiller.” When anti-choice sites post tidings of gladness and previously posted Tiller’s home address and church address and called him a killer justifying in their religion self-defense by murder, by calling themselves the army of God, they did intend the death of Tiller.
    They showed that terrorism works in this country. In the heart of the country where they condemned the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, it’s sorta okay to bomb and kill women’s health providers because it’s the lord’s work. Even the local FBI refused to arrest this terrorist when he was caught red-handed in the days before. The local press in Kansas and elsewhere refused to post images of the signs carried at Tiller’s funeral that the killer was sent by God. What do you think when people are so out about it that they’d carry a sign at the funeral saying so? It is dishonest to NOT say these folks are glad about the killing.
    The federal government thinks they can just be quiet about it and it will go away. To confront it would stir it up. This is what they said about the KKK in the South, but until they confronted and prosecuted the thugs, it did not go away of it’s own accord by being quiet about it. Terrorism works is the message being sent now and also, that women’s rights are the raw meat being thrown at them because it is held in such low esteem by the power players. They will not stop acts of terrorism now and this guy is not a lone gunman.

  7. Ariel
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sad they couldn’t find another doctor. I feel for the women who need to be helped and require late-term abortions. Sad day.

  8. kate_rin
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    http://shop.cafepress.com/dr-tiller
    I was searching for “trust women” buttons to purchase and came across this. About made me puke- here is the proof that some people are indeed celebrating the murder of Dr. Tiller.
    Sick.

  9. spiral.of.life
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t just the women in the area, either. Dr. Tiller was one of the few late term providers in the country, really. Women from far away came to him when their cases were desperate. Now, Dr. Hern is being threatened in that vague way, though he at least has federal protection, I believe.
    Anyway, this isn’t just Kansas.

  10. Newbomb Turk
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Another win for thuggery.

  11. Newbomb Turk
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Looks like another win for cowardly thugs.

  12. Ori
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    My heart sank when I read this. Where are women in crisis going to go? While I respect the wishes of the Tiller family, I fear that this clinic closing is exactly what radical anti-choice factions want. I hope that more late-term abortion providers step up to the plate to fill the vacuum left by this terrible tragedy.

  13. Athenia
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I took the nytimes article to mean that since his clinic is closed now, they have no reason to exist now….and they have a problem with that…cuz their raison d’etre is being anti-abortion.

  14. Joy
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    It seemed in the past that the most that many people (even those who considered themselves progressive) would say on the topic of late-term abortion was something along the lines of “Oh, it doesn’t happen that often.” That may be true, but framing the discussion in that way doesn’t affirm the necessity of access to this kind of care. It doesn’t affirm the courage and compassion of the few doctors who are willing to provide it.
    Now the issue is being forced into the media spotlight, and my hope is that it might inspire students going into the field of Medicine to consider one day providing these life-saving services.
    That’s all I’ve got for a silver lining. What happened to Dr. Tiller is tragic in so many different ways. Tragic for his family, tragic for the former staff of his clinic, and tragic for the women whose right to choose has effectively been stripped away.

  15. jcm1981
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    That is repulsive. I am working on a response to those horrible shirts- something along the lines of a memorial to Dr. Tiller with all proceeds going to a pro-choice organization. I opened the store front, I just need to play with the images. People make me sick.

  16. Siby
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    “Well, the protesters did not murder Tiller. They are guilty of harassment, threats, etc, but they didn’t want him dead”
    I strongly believe that this is not just one radical anti-choicer. This isn’t just an isolated case. I believe that anyone who has harassed women, protested at clinics, or maybe even just branding themselves with the label “pro-life”, has contributed to Dr. Tiller’s murder. They’ve contributed to the tension that has built up around abortion, they’ve added to the stigma. This wasn’t only the actions of one person- this was the consequence of an entire movement.

  17. Siby
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe this. I had faith that the clinic would remain open.
    Another win for the anti-choice terrorists. How sad.

  18. jellyleelips
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I have not personally seen anyone actually celebrating Dr. Tiller’s death, but I’m sure it’s happening, and with great intensity and emotion, though since I have not seen it with my own eyes and I refuse to read anti-choice blogs, I could be wrong.
    However, I will stand behind the assertion that many anti-choice activists certainly wanted Dr. Tiller dead. These people believe that everything from a born child down to a fertilized egg is a full human being. Because of this, they see each abortion performed by any doctor as an act of murder. Since Dr. Tiller generally aborted fetuses who were viable (only in the sense of the number of weeks along, not necessarily because the fetus would have actually survived outside the womb due to some devastating health problem), he was even worse as far as abortion doctors are concerned, since he was aborting fetuses who looked more like born babies.
    Since anti-choice activists believe Dr. Tiller and other abortion doctors are literally mass murderers, they believe that doctors should be punished as murderers generally are, with death. Anti

  19. jellyleelips
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Oops, meant to delete that last “Anti” :)

  20. Brianna G
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    well, they wanted him dead, but they didn’t want him dead in this way. Most antichoicers are horribly upset at this; not because they don’t feel Tiller was evil enough to deserve death, but because they wanted him executed by the state or by an act of God (ie, struck by lightening), so they could know they were vindicated.
    I have seen people celebrating this (I read Free Republic the morning this happened– moribd curiousity). They said something positive about this, and were quickly shot down, as people pointed out that this was bad, Tiller was a martyr, and now they were the crazies and Tiller would never get “justice” in a court of law. The people who wanted Tiller murdered in THIS way are few and far between, even among the antichoicers.

  21. betty
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I wonder why no journalist looks the required “fair and balanced” anti-choice person in the eye and ask, “so..you’re against medically necessary abortions?” Because they frame the discussion, as one did today on CNN as “saving babies.” No one ever probes their beliefs and asks if they are against medically necessary abortions. There is no state in the nation where you can get a third trimester walk-in abortion. All of them are done because the fetus is not viable or to preserve the health of the mother. There is a supernatural belief that good women are under the divine protection of the lord and pregnant good women are favored. I suppose like the old witch trials where, if the woman drowned and died it proved she was not a witch, if a woman pays a price in her health or dies due to a full term pregnancy, then she is not a witch and you can say at that point, she needed an abortion. You can never be sure if she actually needed one until something horrible happens…which is why she needed an abortion….The federal government ought to audit every pro-life organization as throughly as they audit planned parenthood, and if they are politically active they should lose their religious status. They also ought to crack open where the money actually goes and whose pocket it ends up in. That would be a scandal. Then they ought to prosecute all collaborators in violence as throughly as they do any terrorist organization and subject them to terrorist federal treatment.

  22. fatima
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    that must have been such a difficult decision to make. im sure dr tillers family knows all too well how necessary his work was, so im sure it was really hard for them that it came to this.
    im sending lots of positive energy to them right now as they mourn the loss of their family member but also the loss of this clinic.

  23. Brianna G
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Yes, but the movement himself only wanted him dead through the hands of God or the government, NOT one of their own. They are bemoaning this more than we are, actually, though for less innocent and altruistic reasons.
    There ARE those who are celebrating this. They’re being shot down, fast, by the majority who are pissed as hell that he was killed before they made him stand trial.
    They may have caused it through the stigma and hate they created, but they sure didn’t want it, not like this.

  24. Brianna G
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Obviously some are happy about it (like I said, I read Free Republic the day of the murder, and it made me sick). But the majority seem to be pretty upset; not because they didn’t want to see him dead, but because they can never make him stand trial, they can’t use him as a test case, they’ve lost their AntiChrist and now he’s a martyr. And they get what this has cost their movement. So they don’t feel it’s terrorism or even really murder, necessarily, and some even feel it’s justified, but they didn’t want it to happen and they regret that it did, at least in this way.
    These people want abortion doctors to die, but not shot in front of their families in a church by a radical antiabortionist; instead, they want them to die by God’s will as vindication, or at the hands of a government that has finally acknowledged the actions as sinful. It’s the manner and timing, not the death, that they are unhappy about.

  25. jellyleelips
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I understand that most people wanted Tiller dead in some poetic and symbolic Biblical smiting, but by wanting him dead in the first place they open the door for crazies in the movement to think it’s okay to shoot him. If entire organizations of activists want someone dead, it doesn’t matter to them how it happens. I agree that the Biblical smiting would have done more for the anti-choice image, since pro-choicers wouldn’t have had another piece of evidence to prove that “pro-life” activists are actually domestic terrorists, and Tiller wouldn’t have become a martyr, but the fact remains that Tiller is dead, these people wanted it, and their want contributed to his death. Period.

  26. safa
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Oh my, what will these anti-choice groups do with their spare time now that Dr. Tiller’s clinic is closed. I guess they can open their hearts and their homes to the unwanted children that they fought and killed for.
    Maybe they could become foster parents to these children. They can actually see how involved it is to raise a child successfully. But, I don’t think they really want to do this. These people aren’t really “pro-life”–they are anti-woman. More specifically, they are against women having sexual pleasure and freedom.

  27. valencia_o
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    God, I’m scared.
    How dare the press grant any sympathy to anti-choicers!
    What are women in the Heartland going to do? What are any of us going to do if there are only TWO other late-term abortion providers left in the United States?
    I did hear of a bright spot: Rachel Maddow reported a few days ago that a fund (I think a local fund in Kansas) for women who are unable to pay for their abortions had received an influx of $15,000 since Dr. Tiller’s death. There was even a contribution from Dr. Tiller himself; he had mailed the check a few days before being murdered.

  28. Siby
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t know whether most of them “wanted” it or not, although the anti-choicers that I have personally talked to have. My point is that they are largely responsible for causing it. What’s worse, is that these people will never accept responsibility. These people will never even apologize for the women that they’ve harassed, for the hateful things that they’ve said. In fact, these people are probably just going to go on and continue living just as they did before the murder of Dr. Tiller. Although they may say that they’re “shocked and saddened” at Dr. Tiller’s death, they will do absolutely NOTHING in order to prevent anything like this from happening again, even if it just means stepping away from that clinic, and letting women make their own choices.
    Basically, what I’m trying to say is that actions speak louder than words. They may say that they didn’t “want” this to happen, and that they are terribly sorry, but they’re going to continue acting just as they did before.

  29. Siby
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I just visited the Operation Hate (“operation rescue”) website, and the creeps are celebrating this. Words cannot express how much anger I feel towards these disgusting anti-choicers. How can they claim to be saddened at Dr. Tiller’s death, and then go on to celebrate it? I’ve even heard that they’re going to attempt to buy his clinic and turn it into an anti-choice clinic.

  30. Siby
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Exactly. These hateful creeps pretend to care about the “babies”, but if they grow up to be someone that they dislike, they might just have to murder it!
    I have absolutely no respect for any anti-choicer now. Not one.

  31. cyanideandsugar
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I sent an email to the New York Times expressing my disgust with this story being run in what is supposed to be a legitimate news source. It seems obvious to me that if hate speech and all of this right-wing extremist activism led to Dr. Tiller’s death, why would anyone run a story sympathizing with those people?

  32. flickofthewrist
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t a win. This is a cheap shot in a serious situation. They haven’t won anything but some cheap thrills at the death of a much loved doctor. This may have been going on for decades, this debate, but this is far from over.

  33. sara elizabeth
    Posted June 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    oh, you guys are disgusting! can you imagine going to work everyday and “helping” a woman deliver her dead but could have been viable (deformed or perfect) baby? how gruesome! You wouldn’t have
    bad dreams of the dead babies? it’s truly a disgusting job, no matter what the baby was lacking (perfection in health or a mother who wanted it). Fetus means baby in latin. He is killing babies and I feel like puking when I read all of these disgusting comments about how sorry you all are. Poor women they have to let their babies LIVE… that’s just horrific! Why do pro aborts HATE fetuses? I don’t understand? there is this universal disgust for the dreaded fetus… so ignorant. Your FETUS is your BABY. yes, a developing human baby. And get over your whole conspiracy paranoid theory that we don’t want you to enjoy sex (WTF?) or have “control” over your lives. You can suck up your own body through a vacuum, ripping your limbs off. You can shove blunt scissors into the base of your skull. You can be burned by salt solution for 24 hours. BUT us “crazy” prolifers just think you need to keep your MURDEROUS laws off of YOUR BABY’S body!!! Oh, ya, but you don’t even think it’s a baby, right? It’s just a fetus… oh, oops, fetus means baby human…. oops….

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