I don't really have anything to say about the murder of Dr. George Tiller. I do want to share a few things others have said though.
From Alas, A Blog:
He was a doctor, one who helped women through a difficult procedure. He sacrificed his life today because he was unwilling to step aside, to let women’s rights die at the threat of violence. May all of us who believe in a woman’s right to choose honor Dr. Tiller with the same steadfast resolve; terrorism works only when we surrender to fear. And the terrorist who committed this act (and the anti-choice cheerleaders who encouraged and endore it) must not be allowed victory.
From Shapely Prose:
Most pro-life organizations, including Operation Rescue, have tried to distance themselves from the assassination, and of course the vast majority of pro-life people would and do condemn murder. Nevertheless, the reality is, words have consequences. Publishing the home address and church of someone you call “America’s doctor of death” has consequences.
From Huffington Post:
Battered women are at greatest danger of being killed by their abusers when they are most strong -- that is, when they muster the courage to leave. The same phenomenon may be true in the abusive political abortion debate. The pro-choice movement, specifically our abortion providers, are in the greatest danger of violence when we take power. When the anti-abortion movement loses power, their most extreme elements appear to move to the fore and take control. The murder of Dr. Tiller suggests that violence against abortion providers may be far more linked to the power, or lack thereof, anti-abortion groups have politically than to laws designed to increase penalties against such acts.
History has another disturbing lesson for us. The escalation of anti-abortion rhetoric plays a direct role in instigating violence. When anti-abortion groups ratchet up the rhetoric, they know exactly what they're doing and the results it will have. Even if they maintain deniability, as Operation Rescue recently did saying, in effect, we wanted Tiller gone, but didn't want him murdered, they have inflamed the rhetoric. And suddenly people Like Dr. Tiller's murderer become inspired.
He didn’t have to do this. He didn’t have to put his life and his family’s life on the line every day to tend to women going through a little-understood trauma. He didn’t have to go through a sea of protesters who hate women so much they actually think that women are lying about their problems so they “get” to have later term abortions. He didn’t have to suffer through relentless legal abuse at the hands of fundamentalist misogynists who obtain political power by exploiting voter ignorance about abortion. He didn’t have to make himself the target for this murder to help women, but for whatever reason, he rose to this challenge, and that makes him a real hero.