Friday, June 12, 2009

Continuing Intimidation by Anti-Choice Groups

In the aftermath of Dr. George Tiller’s murder, the future of Dr. Tiller’s clinic has come into question. On Tuesday, Dr. Tiller’s family announced the clinic will be permanently closed. For more than 35 years, Women’s Health Care Services, Inc. provided women from Wichita and around the world with high-quality abortion care. The murder of Dr. George Tiller has been a devastating loss not only for his family, but for abortion providers and countless women who relied on his clinic for care. We respect the family’s decision to close the clinic, and our hearts go out to them as they grieve during this very difficult time.

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman quickly and thoughtlessly responded with interest in buying the property and turning it into “a tribute for the babies,” arguing that the clinic “is hallowed ground” and comparing the site to Auschwitz. Bear in mind this is the same organization that claims it has no culpability in the harassment and eventual death of Dr. Tiller, despite laying siege to the clinic for several years and using inflammatory rhetoric such as “Tiller the Killer.”

This aggressive reaction is especially troubling considering reports from clinics that antiabortion harassment is escalating in the wake of the murder and claims by alleged killer Scott Roeder that more attacks are planned. Troy Newman and Operation Rescue’s disgusting comments, tactics, and responses to this tragedy continue to show that they are callous extremists. Check out Susan Hill of the National Women’s Health Organization discussing the clinic closure, the issue of clinic violence, and the safety of providers on The Rachel Maddow Show.

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