The murder of Dr. George Tiller is horrific. It is an act of domestic terrorism at its worst. Gunned down at his peaceful place of worship in Wichita, Kansas, Dr. Tiller was targeted as he served as an usher in church and his wife sang in the choir.
He was an unassuming man who did not choose his destiny. Rather he was drafted to fill the shoes of his father in providing desperately needed health services to the women of Kansas, and those across the nation. As he spoke in a small gathering in San Francisco several years ago, after finishing medical school he was to be off to Beverley Hills where he would work in dermatology. The call came for him to come home and he did. It seemed he was needed to take over the family medicine clinic in Wichita. Not only did he leave the promise of a lucrative practice to return back to Wichita, he was catapulted into one of the most high stake areas of medicine -- reproductive rights and late term abortion services. Many would have retreated, but Dr. Tiller did not. He stepped up to his destiny, embraced it fully, and proudly began providing abortion services in 1973.
His family care practice is one of only three that performs abortions after the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy. He was shot in the past in both arms, his clinic was attacked, and he worked with armed protection throughout the years for himself and his patients. Fox News wrote this afternoon, "he acknowledged abortion was as socially divisive as slavery or prohibition but said the issue was about giving women a choice when dealing with technology that can diagnose severe fetal abnormalities before a baby is born."
Remarkably, the FOX coverage was thorough, factual, and did not exploit the emotions of the polarizing issue of late term abortion. It would have been easy, but they choose the high road and it is to be commended. Eight years of the provocation of the religious right have come home at a great cost to this country. Stirred up and fueled by the hysterical voices of those like Rush Limbaugh, fear and paranoia continue to reign as evidenced in this assassination.
President Obama we pray for you. This is not a kind world and we have lunacy running rampant through the Main Streets of our own country. May others pick up the fallen gauntlet, and heroic work of Dr. George Tiller; may his family find solace in his good works; and may he rest in peace.