Sunday’s shooting of one of the most controversial U.S. figures in the abortion debate has once again thrown the issue into the spotlight.
George Tiller was one of only three doctors in the U.S. performing late-term abortions and was a frequent target of anti-abortion groups.
We’re looking at the implications of his murder on the abortion debate.
Let’s begin with KWCH 12
in Wichita, Kansas. The TV station brings us this perspective from Doctor Tiller himself, showing an interview in 1991 where he discusses his views on legal abortions and attacks protesters.“The only reason abortion was legal is not because people dislike babies, dislike families. The reason abortion was made legal was to keep women from dying of illegal abortions. ... They’re religious terrorists, they are religious bullies. They not only want no abortions, they want complete control of the education. They want complete control of birth control.”
Let’s take a look at two different perspectives on opposite sides of the debate. MSNBC brings us a proponent of Tiller’s work while talks to the founder of anti abortion rights group Operation Rescue.“People don’t understand the need for this service, that women’s’ lives are saved but he did and he was brave enough to keep going.”
“I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.”
(Christian News Wire
’s political analyst suggests there is little chance Doctor Tiller’s death and ensuing debate will have any effect on the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. The court decided anti-abortion laws violate a constitutional right to privacy.“Even some members of the court are critical of abortion rights say it is now settled law. They don’t want to vote to overturn it. In fact, the Court voted to keep it back in 1992. And there’s no indication that Judge Sotomayor is going to be inclined to say anything that would indicate she wanted to overturn the Roe v. Wade.”
To take a look at an international perspective - a BBC
article examines why abortion elicits a stronger response in America compared to other countries.
“The debate in the US has been couched in the terms of defending the defenceless. That gives some people a feeling that violence is therefore justified. That sort of debate has never taken off in the UK. There is a feeling that it should be left to the government [of the UK].”