As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, June 05, 2009

FBI Comes In To Investigate The Tiller Murder

The FBI has taken on an investigation into the murder of Dr. George Tiller.

A federal investigation has been launched in connection with the fatal shooting of George Tiller, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today.

The department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for Kansas are investigating the case [...]

"The federal probe will consist of a thorough review of the evidence and an assessment of any potential violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) or other federal statutes," according to a news release issued today by the Justice Department.

The FACE Act was enacted by Congress in 1994 to establish federal criminal penalties and civil remedies for violent, obstructionist or damaging conduct affecting reproductive health care providers and recipients.

Making this a federal crime just ups the ante, and increases the penalties, I believe. Plus it's a good symbolic show of support for the FACE Act. Maybe they can investigate incitement as part of that damaging conduct affecting reproductive health. Those who would put forward false equivalences need to understand the words of Mary Alice Carr:

O'Reilly is being incredibly disingenuous when he claims that he bears no responsibility for others' actions in the killing of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday. When you tell an audience of millions over and over again that someone is an executioner, you cannot feign surprise when someone executes that person.

You cannot claim to hold no responsibility for what other people do when you call for people to besiege Tiller's clinic, as O'Reilly did in January 2008. And this was after Tiller had been shot in both arms and after his clinic had been bombed.

O'Reilly knew that people wanted Tiller dead, and he knew full well that many of those people were avid viewers of his show. Still, he fanned the flames. Every time I appeared on his show, I received vitriolic and hate-filled e-mails. And if I received those messages directly, I can only imagine what type of feedback O'Reilly receives. He knows that his words incite violence.

That is why I made a personal pledge to no longer sit across from him after he called for people to converge on Tiller's clinic. I realized that appearing on the show with him would only legitimize his speech and that no good would come of my efforts.

And I'm glad that, in the wake of this tragedy, people are coming out with stories of how Dr. Tiller helped them. A sample.

To the Tiller family;
When I was 6, my mom was pregnant with a child she really wanted. The doctors told her, abut 4 or 5 months in, that if she carried the child to term, she had a 90 percent chance of not surviving. She of course, got an abortion, and I got my mom for an extra 14 years. Mom died when I was 20, and I have such gratitude for doctors like your husband who gave me my mom for those 14 extra, precious years. My heart goes out to you. May you find healing and may his memory live on in those that he loved and those that he saved.


In 2002 I found out I was carrying triplets. My husband did not want me to have them. The day of my appointment I was scared and not sure this was the right decision. They took me back and did an ultrasound. I asked if they all had heartbeats and the nurse said yes. I asked if I would have the chance to talk to the doctor and right away she went and got Dr Tiller. He came in and looked at my babies on the screen. Then he looked at me and said “God gave you these babies, it’s not my job to take them away.” He asked if I agreed and I immediately said yes. He told the nurse to take me to the counter and have them give me my money. You know that day was a turning point for me. I ended up having a great pregnancy and three healthy baby girls. I can never thank Dr. Tiller enough for sending me away that day.

Late-term abortions are 1% of all abortions total. But the examples here, the personal stories, build a picture of what those medical actions are all about. They're about medical necessity.

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