Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dr. George Tiller and the Abortion Debate

Dr. George Tiller, who ran a Kansas abortion clinic starting in 1973, was shot and killed two days ago at the church he attended. He was 67 years old, had 4 children and a whopping ten grandchildren. (Slightly ironic, but nonetheless.)

The suspect, a 51 year-old Scott Roeder has been detained.

This is ridiculous. The reason it is a DEBATE is that you DEBATE it, not shoot your opponent in his own church. 

This issue is a crusade on both sides. I am neither pro-life nor pro-choice, as I refuse to be lumped in with all the crazies. I fashion myself pro-circumstance. I do not believe that abortions should be handed out freely, but I also believe vehemently that a mother should not die because of complications with her pregnancy that can be prevented. 

I am not sure when a fetus becomes a baby. I am not sure what constitues a human being. The ability to feel pain probably comes in somewhere, but there isn't really a humane way of figuring out when feti can feel pain, as far as I know.

However, I do sympathize far more with the pro-choicers than I do with the pro-lifers. I don't think anyone has the power or the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. I also know that the adoption system, in the United States at least, leaves a lot to be desired, and that adoption isn't always an option. And I definitely know that potential mothers who would get an abortion don't always have the means to raise a child, especially in the South, where their parents will likely boot them out of the house for even thinking about being pregnant 'before marriage.' (I have lived in the Bible Belt my entire life. It's a wasteland of black-and-white ignorance.)

It's a sticky mess of a debate, where each side has good reasons for the things they believe, but the only thing I can agree with both of them on is that life is special. All the rest is undecided, and  perhaps it will remain that way forever. I don't know. 

However, I do know that senseless killings like this one have to stop. We as humans must supercede our base emotional outbursts, and use them rather than allowing them to use us. We have the capacity for abstract thought, and we have been using it for at least two THOUSAND years, and yet we still have people willing to end another's life because they don't believe the same things. We have to use our emotions to fuel our arguments, which is not to say they cannot be passionate. A passionate argument will sway an audience ten times as well as one which holds no feeling. And without passion, no one would want to argue anything in the first place. Emotion has its place, and it's a valid one. However, violence has no place and there is not an excuse for it now.


  1. Very well said. I like the idea of being pro-circumstance.

    In a perfect world, abortion would be nothing but a last resort. Our country is so advanced as far as the knowledge and supplies available that it's entirely possible. But we are just not there yet. I'd like to see that change in my lifetime, but I doubt it will. Abstinence-only education sure isn't doing the trick.

  2. Why thank you.

    Abstinence-only education, and abstinence only parents. Our collective Puritan roots still show themselves in things like this. When do you think people will realize that sex isn't inherently bad or dirty?

  3. When every person in the U.S. has gotten laid. That is the only time that will happen. :[

  4. Also, most people who are Pro-life say that the fetus could have been an important person and changed the world in some form or fashion. If this person that killed him is Pro-life couldn't Dr. Tiller have done something wonderful had he not been killed?

    People are so fickle.