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"I Am Dr. Tiller": A Moving Tribute

Illustration for article titled I Am Dr. Tiller: A Moving Tribute

The murder of Dr. George Tiller has sparked many tributes to his life and his work, but perhaps the most powerful tribute of them all comes from IAmDrTiller.com, a memorial website devoted to Tiller's legacy.

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Reading the site is an emotional experience: contributors hold up a sign reading "I Am Dr. Tiller" in order to cover their faces (for safety purposes, though a few contributors have chosen not to hide themselves) and tell a bit of their story, and why they continue their work, in spite of the threats and dangers from anti-choice individuals, in order to give readers a more human, honest view of what really takes place in clinics. As the site explains:

Here you will find stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to making abortion safe, legal, healthy, and accessible to women and girls. These people may be nurses, counselors, escorts, volunteers at abortion funds, or abortion doctors themselves. You will not see the faces of these providers to protect their safety. What you will see is the story they decide to share - how they came to abortion work, what their function is at their abortion clinic, or their personal abortion story. We want to humanize these individuals to convey the kindness, courtesy, justice, love, and respect they have for women and the health care choices women make. We share our stories in hopes of ending clinic violence, to alleviate the shame associated with the abortion experience, and as an homage to Dr. Tiller's outstanding and courageous life work.

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The shared stories are quite moving and inspiring, and a testament to the importance of Dr. Tiller's work and legacy. "I now have the opportunity to show those who would intimidate me into hiding, who would force me to abandon women and girls in need, that my conviction is stronger than theirs," writes one contributor, "I will not be ashamed. I will not be scared. And I will not ever forget the people who made these opportunities possible. I am Dr. Tiller." And we are forever grateful for it.

[I Am Dr. Tiller]

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DISCUSSION

PaintedTrollop
PaintedTrollop

In 1974, I was a pregnant 18 year old. The Pill IS only 99% effective. My doctor was a wonderful woman who made sure I knew ALL of my options, including abortion. Roe v Wade had come into being in 1973.

I chose not to have an abortion. I was a young alcoholic and drug addict (though I didn't know that at the time.) I made a decision that has affected the rest of my life, and that of my daughter. The choice I made wasn't really fair to either one of us, but there's no second guessing it now. I was a crappy parent for 15 years, when I gave up booze and drugs.

I am pro-abortion. Based on my own experiences, I know that most teenaged girls are not ready to be parents. Choosing to have a baby is a decision that will impact them forever - and I don't think most kids are capable of making an informed decision.

I say I am pro-abortion, because after all that has happened, all I've read, and all I've felt as an angry old feminist - I'm not going to say "abortion should be safe, legal, and rare" or anything like that ever again. Abortion should be safe and legal, and available to any girl or woman who needs it at any point in her pregnancy. I am going to say plenty about the rights of women to privacy. I'm going to stick up for abortion in a whole new way - one that doesn't smack of shame. It's our shame that allows the terrorists to continue to harass doctors, staff, and patients at women's health clinics, and at abortion clinics. If we weren't convinced that we should be ashamed - we'd never stand for it. We must stop this. We have a right to privacy - and that right trumps the rights of these terrorists.

I hope some of you will join me.