Murdering the Murderer. I’m sure that will be the justification of Scott Roeder, the man alleged to have gunned down America’s most notorious abortionist, Dr George Tiller – ironically while he was ushering people into church. I heartily disapproved of Dr Tiller, but there is absolutely no justification for the barbarity of this act. It is nothing but a callous, brutal murder by a man whose motives will have little in common with the various anti-abortion groups, no matter how this will be portrayed.
Anita on Kiwipolitico is already likening Tiller’s death to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. Frankly, I think that is a gross insult to the memory of Martin Luther King, who would, undoubtably, have been utterly horrified by Dr. Tiller. Martin Luther King was a selfless man whose ambition was to free both black and white people from the tyranny of racial hatred. George Tiller’s interest in “Woman’s Rights” was entirely motivated by the enormous amount of money he made from it. I do not consider him to be an ethical doctor, let alone a worthy human rights activist.
There is no good medical reason for performing a late term medical abortion. None at all. Every medical problem “solved” by late term abortion could be more safely dealt with by a normal vaginal delivery or a Caesarian section. The only reason to perform such an abortion is to ensure that the baby (for such it is at this stage) is still-born. Therefore those pro-choicers who point proudly to Tiller’s record of performing thousands of these abortions safely have rather missed the point. Every one of these women were subjected to an additional medical procedure to kill their baby in the womb. This procedure has no medical benefit for the woman at all – it does not make the induced still birth easier (evidence suggests the opposite). It is therefore an extra risk undertaken purely to kill the baby. If partial birth abortions are being performed to protect the mother (the only legal reason they can be performed) then this procedure is not only unethical, but illegal.
And for those who wish to point out that Tiller was acquitted of charges of illegality in his Abortion Clinic in March of this year, Tiller was acquitted because the prosecution was accusing him of not using two independent doctors opinions as to whether the abortion was to save life or a major organ system (of which Tiller predominantly used the mental health issue as an “organ system”). It was shown that the other doctor was technically not an employee of the clinic, although most of his income was derived from providing assent for these abortions.
The court case did not address the actual legality of the abortion methods themselves.
The abortion issue is one that always produces very polarised reactions. Inevitably there are going to be marginally sane extremists on both sides of the argument. Anita at Kiwipolitico would like to blame this murder on the anti-abortion lobby, but there is no doubt in my mind that both sides of the divide are responsible for the toxic nature of this argument. Both parties use slogans and inflammatory argument to advance their cause and neither side seems willing to consider the other’s viewpoint. Violence is the shameful result of the lack of sanity in the debate.
Until we all sit down and find a compromise that we can all live with (but that none of us will probably like!), we will not see an end to this internecine battle.