3 years ago today, a friend of ours, Dr. George Tiller, was murdered in his church. Below is a very moving excerpt from one of his speeches that illustrates the type of person that Tiller was. George Tiller was not a murderer, as Scott Roeder – his murderer – and many other anti-choicers claim. Dr. George Tiller was instead a life saver. A brave person who went out of his way to help the patients who needed him, a philanthropist, a man with a sense of humor, and a warm smile. Because of the violence, judgment and verbal abuse towards clinicians, physicians and patients that is oftentimes not taken seriously by the law, we’re missing a physician, and a friend.
“I personally see a society that respects the integrity of its citizens to struggle with complex health issues and make decisions that are appropriate for them and their personal lives. I see a society that respects the religious differences of its citizens. I see a society that rejects hate, rejects judgmental condemnation, and rejects prejudice and racism. I see a government that honors the privacy of its citizens without unwarranted surveillance. I see a society where war is not an option—thank you—and the negotiation with mutual respect is the hallmark, rather than mutual self-destruction. I see a society where the welfare of all—I see a society where the welfare of all is equally important as the riches of the few. I see a world that discusses solutions without demanding its own answers.
We have given war, pestilence, hate, greed, judgment, ego, self-sufficiency a good try. And it failed. We need a new paradigm that consists of kindness, courtesy, justice, love and respect in all our relationships.
Work hard. Be a leader. Your way of life depends on it. And just look at the rest of the world. That’s the way the anti-abortion segment of our population wants the U.S.A. to be. And how do we do that? We do it the way we have always done things: we fail our way forward. We consider defeat a temporary inconvenience. And we never, ever, ever take no for an answer. Never take no for an answer. Work hard. Be a leader. The rest of your life depends on it, and the life of your sisters and brothers throughout the world depend on it. Thank you.” – Dr. George Tiller, 1941 – 2009