Evil for the Win…

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I rarely stray into politics in these pages, but sometimes, I feel the need to say something, somewhere.

It is hard to criticize the grief-stricken Tiller family for their decision to close permanently one of the only sources for abortions of any kind in Kansas and one of the only places to get medically needful third-term abortions anywhere in the US.

However, as I know from experience that appeasing murderers out of fear encourages more murder, this is a bad bad thing. I wish other doctors who support abortion rights had risen up to staff and keep the clinic open, much as occurred when the Chabad rabbi of Mumbai India was murdered by Muslim terrorists recently. Rather then accept retreat, within hours after the death was announced more than 100 Rabbis and their families had volunteered to take up the Mumbai posting. It is a hard won lesson but true none the less, that the only way to deal with such violence is to make clear you will never give way before it. The correct answer to terror is defiance…and the murder of George Tiller, whether you agree with his work or not, was terrorism, pure and simple.

Would it have changed the situation if when Dr. Tiller was murdered, 100 other doctors stepped forward to continue the work he was killed for? Absolutely.

I think the entire situation was summed up in the following quote from the story reposted after the jump…

The president of the Kansas Coalition for Life, Mark S. Gietzen, who since 2004 had arranged for daily volunteers to stand outside the clinic and call out to the women going in, said his group might turn its efforts to abortion centers in the Kansas City region now, or perhaps to North Dakota.

“It looks like our prayer was answered,” Mr. Gietzen said of the clinic’s closing.

“We would have liked to have done this a different way though,” he said. “Now we have thousands of people bad-mouthing us, refusing to donate, telling us our Web site incited this.”

The blend of crocodile tears, smug satisfaction, circumstantial justification, self-righteousness and victimized whining is a heady cocktail that many of the anti-abortion activists are drinking deeply from right now. However you feel about abortion, you must agree that the sense that “murder by divine fiat” gets results is a dangerous precedent to set in such polarized times. As long as the killer is condemned but the killing is tacitly applauded, a lesson is being taught to everyone with a cause and a gun.

Expect more blood…expect it soon.

The following is reposted from the New York Times.

Kansas Abortion Clinic Operated by Doctor Who Was Killed Closes Permanently

By MONICA DAVEY

The Kansas abortion clinic run by the doctor who was shot to death in church last month has closed permanently, his family said on Tuesday.

The clinic of Dr. George R. Tiller, in Wichita, had been one of a few in the country to provide abortions to women late in their pregnancies, and for decades, women had traveled there from all over the nation and overseas. The office, Women’s Health Care Services Inc., was also the state’s only remaining clinic, even for abortions performed early in pregnancy, outside the Kansas City area.

“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,” a statement issued by Dr. Tiller’s lawyers read. The lawyers said the Tiller family would offer no additional comments.

After Dr. Tiller was killed as he served as an usher at his church on May 31, national abortion rights advocates had hoped, they said, that others might step in and keep his clinic open to provide late-term abortions. Many of these advocates expressed empathy on Tuesday for the decision of the Tiller family, which had been the target of criticism, protest and attacks for more than 30 years, but they also said the loss of the clinic might prove devastating to families of those few women who learned late in pregnancy of catastrophic health issues.

“It is unacceptable that anti-abortion intimidation and violence has led to the closing of Dr. Tiller’s clinic,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Not only have we lost a fearless defender of women’s fundamental health and rights in Dr. Tiller’s murder, but the closing of his clinic leaves an immediate and immense void in the availability of abortion.”

Warren M. Hern, a doctor from Boulder, Colo., who also performs late-term abortions and was a friend of Dr. Tiller, described the outcome as “horrifying.”

“Where does it end?” Dr. Hern said. “The anti-abortion fanatics got exactly what they wanted.”

Dr. LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska physician who had worked with Dr. Tiller in his clinic at times, issued a statement saying he was “currently exploring every option to be able to continue to make second- and early, medically indicated third-trimester abortions available.” Nebraska law bars such abortions, and Dr. Carhart provided no details about what options he was considering to make them available without Dr. Tiller’s Kansas clinic.

Abortion opponents, who had devoted years to fighting Dr. Tiller’s clinic with criminal investigations, protests and, earlier, blockades of the building, described this outcome as “bittersweet.”

“We are thankful that Tiller’s clinic will not reopen and thankful that Wichita is now abortion free,” Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, which moved to Wichita because of Dr. Tiller’s clinic, said in a written statement. “It is our sincere prayer that threats to open another third-trimester abortion clinic in Kansas will not come to fruition so that the healing process for this state and community can begin.”

Still, Mr. Newman said, “we have worked very hard for this day, but we wish it would have come through the peaceful, legal channels that we were pursuing.”

Mr. Newman and many others in Wichita have said since Dr. Tiller’s death that they firmly believed an investigation by Kansas regulators into possible license violations would have resulted in Dr. Tiller’s losing his clinic in a matter of months. (That investigation, a Kansas spokeswoman said Tuesday, was closed after Dr. Tiller’s death.)

The president of the Kansas Coalition for Life, Mark S. Gietzen, who since 2004 had arranged for daily volunteers to stand outside the clinic and call out to the women going in, said his group might turn its efforts to abortion centers in the Kansas City region now, or perhaps to North Dakota.

“It looks like our prayer was answered,” Mr. Gietzen said of the clinic’s closing.

“We would have liked to have done this a different way though,” he said. “Now we have thousands of people bad-mouthing us, refusing to donate, telling us our Web site incited this.”

Scott P. Roeder, an abortion opponent from Kansas City, Mo., is in a Wichita jail, charged with murder in Dr. Tiller’s death. In Wichita, the anti-abortion groups have said Mr. Roeder was not a member or donor, though some leaders said they had seen him before or received phone calls from him.

In a jailhouse interview on Tuesday, Mr. Roeder told a reporter from CNN that he had received letters of encouragement, and described the closing of the clinic as “a victory for all of the unborn children,” according to CNN.

In the first days after Dr. Tiller’s death, his family said the clinic would close for the moment, but no permanent decision was made public until Tuesday.

In the statement released by lawyers, Dr. Tiller’s family said it wished to assure his previous patients that it would work to keep their medical histories and patient records “as fiercely protected now and in the future as they were during Dr. Tiller’s lifetime.”

The family also said Dr. Tiller’s work would be honored through private charitable work. Abortion rights advocates said they thought the abortion providers nearest to Wichita might now be about three hours away, in Overland Park, Kan.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Tulsa, Okla.

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1 Comment

  1. As long as the killer is condemned but the killing is tacitly applauded, a lesson is being taught to everyone with a cause and a gun.

    And sadly, it’s not a lesson that hasn’t been presented to the US before. For this specific ethical stance–in fact, an abortion doctor was shot in living memory, and when the murderer stood trial, pledged to defend themselves from the Bible–which I have always understood to have a prohibition against murder, specifically, regardless of reasoning.

    However, we have also been taught the value of appeasement, over and over again, and it is another lesson that weights our culture unevenly; along with the fact that most religious people are taught that what these protesters protest, is, in fact, morally wrong–and we are so cut and dried here on some things. If it is termed a wrong, then it cannot be right; if it is termed wrong, than any means necessary to defeat the wrong are also right.

    If I had the power to reform the culture so that no girl child would ever face the choice of giving birth to a sibling; so that no woman was ever raped; so that no medical birth defects would give a loving couple the agonizing choice of the death of the child, or the death of the mother: I would gladly do this.

    But would I ever, ever, fight to repeal Roe versus Wade in any way while these appalling conditions remain in this country? No. A thousand times no. And those who choose to trumpet that every life must be saved, these protesters who come and wave their signs of infant limbs in charnel glory in front of children in strollers and never see the insane irony of their actions…they are in the wrong.

    If you truly seek to banish abortion, to end it once and for all….CHANGE THE CULTURE. Until then, shooting abortion doctors who care enough to stand against their society, and occasionally their God, is just compounding the problem.

    *blinks and picks up the soapbox* Yes, well, I’ll just be over here…


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