The truth is, I could never personally make the choice to have an abortion. I just don't have it in me. I have friends that have made the choice to give their child up for adoption and friends that have chosen abortion. In both cases they made the best choice for their personal situations. Neither are choices I would have made for myself but they were right for my friends. That's the beauty of CHOICE. Even if you are personally pro-life, as I am, you can be open to letting others make that choice for herself. That's the beauty of the pro-choice movement.
Dr. Tiller was providing a service for women who were legally seeking private medical care. In most cases those women were there because there was something terribly wrong with their babies or the mother was at risk of death if the pregnancy continued. Sure, there were probably isolated cases of women who were irresponsible with their birth control and slow in their decision making that went to Dr. Tiller for an abortion much later than they should have. But those cases are the exception with a doctor like Tiller, not the rule.
What most extremists don't want you to know is that patients at Dr. Tiller's clinic were there after making an agonizing decision. They talked with family and friends. They consulted doctors and maybe even counselors. They heard the heartbeat and saw the sonogram. Many of those babies were planned for and wanted desperately.
That was the case for a friend of mine who had to go to Kansas City for a late term abortion. She had a rare ectopic pregnancy that had stayed viable past the 20th week. When she had her ultrasound to find out the sex of her baby the doctor discovered that the baby was growing in her Fallopian tube. The doctor informed her that not only would the baby certainly die as it got bigger but also that she (the mother) was at risk of death if her Fallopian tube burst and she became septic. Unfortunately because she was in her 21st week of pregnancy, her only choice was to see one of the 3 doctors in our country who perform late term abortions. It was devastating news.
She told me about going up the steps to Dr. Tiller's office and having crowds of people shouting at her. They were calling her terrible names and she felt like going up to every one of them and asking why she and her baby had to die for no reason. Why was her life less important than her unborn child's life? Why did they think it was ok for her to continue to carry a child that would die before she was born and most likely take the mother's life with her? But instead she just held her head down and walked in with tears in her eyes.
Dr. Tiller saved my friend's life. And he saved her fertility. She has a beautiful daughter now that would not be here if she had continued her ill-fated first pregnancy.
I just wanted to share a story about how one person was affected by this doctor. It is just one example out of a thousand. There are so many women who are grateful for the services Dr. Tiller provided.
I just have a hard time understanding how pro-life extremists are only interested in the life of the baby and not the life of the mother. Or the life of the child once born, for that matter, because they rarely vote for funding for medical research that help children born with severe disabilities. They rarely vote for stem cell research that could help find cures to terrible diseases. They almost never advocate for single parents and they are the first to cut sex education programs in schools that could prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place. How, exactly, are they pro-life if they don't care about the lives of people once they are born?
(carefully stepping down from soap box)