With the shooting at the Holocaust Museum yesterday in DC, the continuing stupidity of people like Randall Terry and his comments on Dr. Tiller’s murder, and the sensational talk around the services his clinic performed I thought I’d put something out to give more perspective.
Kansas Stories are stories of women and families who sought services at Dr. Tiller’s clinic. Contrary to some of the more inflammatory rhetoric floating around right now, these are not women who decided in their 8th month of pregnancy they no longer wanted to have a child. Dr. Tiller was not a man who charged 5000$ to perform late term abortions just because he could. These stories are difficult reading. These are not women who took their decision lightly. One of the women was 34 weeks pregnant when she found out her child had a serious heart defect (the only options were a complete transplant or 3-4 open heart surgeries with little chance for survival) and Down Syndrome. She found out it was highly unlikely for her child to survive birth:
“The doctors said if the amnio revealed Down syndrome, the likelihood of surviving surgery would be minimal to none, and without surgery the baby had 100% chance of fatality. However, not one doctor would promise us that if we opted not to have surgery and let nature take its course, that our wishes would be abided by. This was disturbing to us. Nor did they tell us that Down syndrome babies don’t get heart transplants. If the doctors felt they could give the baby a quality of life, they would take matters into their hands even without our consent.”
Not easy reading. Dr. Tiller performed an unfortunate but necessary, legal, medical procedure for women and families in need. For women whose babies were so severely deformed they would not survive birth, be a vegetable, or only survive a few years that were full of painful surgeries. From the reading I’ve done, this man performed this service with a great amount of compassion and the women who sought treatment at his clinic were treated with compassion, caring, and respect. Could the same be said of the protesters outside the clinic?