Archive for dr george tiller

Judge rules bomb threat letter is "free speech" in anti-abortion case


what's the matter with kansas

Call me crazy, but I'm guessing our founders didn't think free speech meant writing a threatening letter to someone warning them that they were being watched and that their car would be bombed should they decide to continue their (legal) abortion training.

Did I say threatening? Pfft! Oh please. Nonono, there's no evidence of such a terrible, unChristian thing. The First Amendment covers all that, and besides, God said He was cool with it. We're good, go away.

Of course, this appalling story centers on the very same location where abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered (in his own church, by the way).

Via CJOnline:

WICHITA — An abortion opponent’s letter to a Wichita doctor saying someone might place an explosive under her car is constitutionally protected speech and not a “true threat” under existing law, a federal judge ruled Thursday. [...]

It was a great victory for the First Amendment,” said her attorney, Don McKinney. “Obviously, we agree with the opinion. I appreciate the court held the U.S. Department of Justice accountable to the law and the evidence.”

Letter-writer Angel (yes, Angel) Dillard included this:

They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live,” the letter said. “You will be checking under your car every day <0x2014> because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.

Who could possibly interpret that as a threat?

But Dillard included her return address, see, a fact that the judge, in all his judgy wisdom, used to support his ruling.

Here's an excerpt from Dillard's deposition:

“I did what the Lord asked me to do. He impressed upon me that I needed to write the letter and I did.”

Well, hey, if the Lord asked you to threaten a life, who are you to say no? So much for that whole "pro-life" premise, huh "Angel"?

Please read the entire story here. And for some background: Kansas women’s clinic follows in Dr. George Tiller’s footsteps.


Kansas women's clinic follows in Dr. George Tiller's footsteps



Back in January, I posted this Rachel Maddow Show video: Despite murder threats by anti-abortion extremists, new clinic aims to serve Kansas women.

As “illegal, violent, threatening behavior” continues from anti-choice, right wing zealots, a few very brave (read: heroic) physicians and their staff have dug in their compassionate heels and are following in Dr. George Tiller's equally heroic footsteps. If you're not familiar with him or his work, here is a brief recap:

Because he was one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions, Tiller had long been a target. He was shot in both arms in 1993, and his clinic was bombed in 1985. Called "Tiller the Baby Killer" on national TV, he wore a bulletproof vest and rode in an armored car. He was gunned down as he served as an usher at his church one Sunday morning.

Scott Roeder was sentenced to life for assassinating Dr. Tiller, whose clinic, renamed South Wind Women's Center, will now reopen under heavy security after shutting down for four years. Julie Burkhart bought the building last summer through her foundation, Trust Women; she was Tiller's spokesperson and political liaison for seven years.

Via the L.A. Times:

The passage of new restrictive laws makes the reopening of the Wichita clinic all the more remarkable, said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, a New York nonprofit research organization that supports abortion rights.

Burkhart struggled with the idea of returning to Kansas, but finally made the move saying, "Why should I or any other woman have to go without medical service and be deprived of our rights just because of where we live?"


She was able to get a couple of doctors to agree to work at the clinic, but they have to jump through insane hoops just to get to work without their lives being endangered:

Every other week a driver will pick her up at an undisclosed airport, and she has been told to lie down in the back seat so no one will see her. "It would be much easier not to do this. That's what almost everybody says, so that's why I will," [one doctor] said.

No late term-abortions will be done at the clinic, only up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Other gynecological health services will also be offered.

Burkhart knows her life could be in danger. She worries most for her 12-year-old daughter's safety in their home. Protesters have been there twice. Last month one held up a sign: "Where's your church?"

Burkhart sees it as a reminder that Tiller had been killed in his church. Neighbors have been given wanted-style leaflets that say: "Let's bring Julie to the Lord."

She takes her strength from Tiller's memory. "He used to say he felt he owed it to women. He would say, 'Everyone needs a little help sometimes.'" She figures it's her turn.

Burkhart is another real hero, as opposed to the nutcases who aggressively threaten and harass physicians who are legally doing their jobs by providing women with the care they need... opposed to these people: $$ for Dr. Tiller’s assassin- For sale: Abortion clinic-bomber’s prison cookbook.

"Pro-life" my ass.


VIDEO: Despite murder threats by anti-abortion extremists, new clinic aims to serve Kansas women


tiller cartoon anti-abortion

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I seethed, cried, smiled, and kept my fingers firmly crossed as I watched these two segments of The Rachel Maddow Show.

"Illegal, violent, threatening behavior" from the right seems to have become their signature conduct, yet it is allowed to continue. Loudly. Dangerously. Recklessly, via ardent spokespeople and mobs like those mentioned in the video as well as other hostile, aggressive groups.



Admiration doesn't begin to express what I feel for those involved with reviving Dr. George Tiller's women's health center against all odds and faced with such enormous, intimidating challenges.

I do have one question, though. Now that the clinic is planning to continue service, will Dr. Mila Means be involved in any way?


Guardian: Human fetus feels no pain before 24 weeks, study says


Pfft, what do scientists and doctors know? It's belief that counts, not facts and findings! Just ask anyone on ClusterFox:

Finding in major review of scientific evidence strikes blow to those seeking to reduce upper time limit for abortion.

The human foetus feels no pain before 24 weeks, according to a major review of scientific evidence published today.

The connections in the foetal brain are not fully formed in that time, nor is the foetus conscious, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The findings of two reports commissioned by the Department of Health strike a blow to those seeking to reduce the upper time limit for having an abortion, currently at 24 weeks.

The studies suggest that late abortions, permitted for serious abnormalities or risks to a woman's health, do not result in foetal suffering because of increasing evidence that the chemical environment in the uterus induces "a continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation".

It often feels like extremists are also in a continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation. This is a touchy subject, and it should go without saying that many with opposing views are not extremists. By extremists, I'm referring to the Scott Roeders of the world, those who call themselves "pro-life" when they're clearly not.

When there is evidence on one side and belief on the other, one would think that actual evidence would make a difference in altering even long-held attitudes when it comes to cases in which the mother's health and/or life are factors

Of course the argument is that a human life is being terminated. That is a debate that will continue, but at least the pain argument seems to have been knocked down.

By the way, assassinations terminate life, too, and we don't need scientific evidence to prove that.

H/t: physiologyprof