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Sarah Haeder, Published June 04 2009

Murder of Dr. Tiller compels us to reclaim stolen voices

Sunday morning (May 31) an extraordinary physician and colleague, Dr. George Tiller, was murdered in his church in Wichita, Kan. Tiller was one of the few doctors in the country to provide abortions after 24 weeks. His patients were women whose stories would break your heart. He and his staff provided kindness, caring and medical excellence even under the most extreme harassment, having already been shot and firebombed and vilified for years. This is truly the murder of a civil rights leader.

Tiller is the eighth person murdered by the movement that insists on the ironic title, “Right to Life.” Tiller was a man of profound spiritual depth and grace. You will hear from many people in the coming days about his medical practice, the long-term harassment he endured and previous assassination attempts he survived. For me, some of the most profound lessons I have learned from Tiller were about ministering to the heart of a woman. Tiller understood that abortion is not about science and not about religion; it is about the heart of a woman. Tiller himself said it best:

“Abortion is not a cerebral or a reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart. For until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all.”

In the United States since 1973, there have been more than 45 million women who have chosen to have safe, legal abortions. They have received care from extraordinary physicians such as George Tiller and have done their best for themselves and their families. Yet they are silent.

What does it take to keep 45 million women silent? They have to spend millions of dollars to shame us – to tell us we are murderers over and over until we almost believe it ourselves. We cannot continue to allow these hypocrites to steal the term “pro-life” any longer.

For 30 years, abortion providers have been the buffer between the anti-abortion movement and women. There are not enough of us to protect your freedoms. If we care, we must reclaim our stolen voices.