In comments to this post, Stacey (who refers to herself as "in the genetics community") talks about her personal experiences and knowledge about Dr. George Tiller and his work. For those that don't know, Dr. Tiller was one of the few physicians in the U.S. who performed late-term abortions and was murdered while at church on Sunday. A disturbing amount of justification for Tiller's murder have appeared in various outlets, including comments here at Blue Oregon--Carla
I am in the genetics community and for those of you that don't understand the difference between Dr. Tiller and early-term abortion clinics, I would like to offer some insight. Dr. Tiller was one of 2 or 3 physicians that were able to help women in desparate situations. They DID NOT perform abortions at a whim . . . much like many false, unsubstantiated reports would lead you to believe.
I have had the life-changing and mentally opening experience of knowing the women (and their families) that have lost their dream of having their baby. I was there to deliver the news that this dream wouldn't be, and that either the baby or the mother could suffer and/or die. These situations are relatively rare in comparison to the number of women getting pregnant and having babies everyday. But 2% of all women getting pregnant would be more than 2 doctors could ever handle . . . if 98% of abortions are really elective. What I learned from my job, is NEVER to judge before you yourself have been in that situation, because I guarantee you, you have no idea what you will do until you are forced to make that decision yourself (even if you are positive you will). I have seen strong pro-life couples (whether for religious reasons or due to personal beliefs) faced with these situations that have made very different decisions when in these dire situations. I have never met anyone who was excited to go to Dr. Tiller . . . but he was there to gently help these families through a horrific experience. People that wanted a baby, that were losing their dream . . . and being chastised for this by people who don't understand what they are talking about. Another motto I live by . . . don't talk all-knowing about things you do not fully understand. I have met Dr. Tiller and he is a kind and gentle man that forged on under much adversity. Sure he made money . . . as do all physicians, but that doesn't make him a bad person. And, I don't know about you all, but getting my clinic bombed and 2 gunshots in my arms in previous years would have been enough to give it all up . . .
Families who have been forced into these desparate situations have lost a great physician and good soul to help them through the process. Dr. Tiller honored the memory of each baby, allowed the parents to hold the baby, view the baby and give the baby a funeral (whatever the parents wished). These babies were not "tossed in the trash" and the loss of their life was not an "elective" disregard for life. I was touched at how Dr. Tiller and his staff helped the families embrace the life and death of their babies, and helped them make the decision that was right for them and helped them preserve the memory of their much loved baby . . . a baby they had lost.