Despite President Obama's recent call for a "fair-minded" debate in the continuing national struggle over abortion, those on the Far Right have once again resorted to horrific violence and terror.
This morning, Dr. George Tiller, the Medical Director of Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, was shot and killed as he entered his church to worship. His wife, Jeanne, was sitting in the choir as her husband was killed. In 1993, Tiller had been shot in both arms by an anti-abortion zealot, Rachel Shannon More, and in 1985, his clinic was bombed.
Dr. Tiller, a former member of the United States Navy, a husband, and a father of his adopted nephew, was one of the few doctors in the nation who would provide legal and safe late term abortions to women facing "serious or lethal health problems." In providing those abortions, Tiller's clinic would compassionately provide counseling for the parents and funeral services for the fetus.
Dr. Tiller is the eighth doctor to be killed for ensuring that women are given safe and appropriate access to an abortion.
This act of terrorism follows a week of base and disgusting attacks on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Instead of a constructive discussion of her qualifications and the future of the Court, we get to listen to G. Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh impale her in what ways that can only be described as primitive and sordid.
So, yes, we should all approach issues like abortion and judicial nominations from a "fair-minded" place.
But for those on the other side, when, I ask, will "fair-minded" ever be possible?
UPDATE: Since writing this, I've learned that Dr. Tiller was the father of not one, but four children.