Week in Review 5-31-2019

Today is the 10th anniversary of the tragic death of Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider who devoted his life to ensuring that women could get a safe and legal abortion - and then gave his life for that right.

Several years before Tiller was killed JAC had the privilege of speaking with him during our annual Washington DC policy conference. He poignantly spoke about his work and commitment to women's reproductive freedom. Joining him was one of his patients who received an abortion at Tiller's clinic. At that time, the women was carrying a fetus without a brain who would not survive. If she were forced to carry the fetus to term, she would not be able to have any more children. 

Tiller even joined JAC on the Hill to advocate for abortion rights. 

As anti-abortion legislation sweeps across the country, it has become increasingly harder, and dangerous for abortion providers and their patients. A survey by the Feminist Majority Foundation found that instances of severe anti-abortion violence and threats of violence remains dangerously high.

Since 1993, 12 abortion providers, first responders, patient supporters, and volunteers have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists; 30 others have been wounded, some critically.

The President has promised to outlaw abortions. He outright lied about late-term abortions in his State of the Union Address and at campaign rallies, using inflammatory language and imagery.

Dr. Colleen McNicholas, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health who practices in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas, believes that extremists take cues from the larger political environment: "Inflammatory rhetoric in relation to reproductive healthcare has seen a significant uptake since the election of President Donald Trump and we've started to see an increase in violence and targeted attacks against providers," she has said. 

Tiller's commitment to the women he served and their families never wavered even though he faced an assassination attempt seven years before his death.

"This is what I have to do. Women need me. I know they need me," he said.

We need Tiller and other brave, committed abortion providers even more today.

Source: Feminist Majority Foundation