Someone called in a bomb threat on the clinic I work for today. But I guess we don’t need buffer zones.
"Women need abortions and I’m going to do them" - George Tiller
Today is the fifth anniversary of the day Dr. George Tiller was assassinated, and this post is scheduled to post today.
Because I can’t write it the day of because I’ll be sitting outside a small purple clinic in my city getting stared at by anti-choice protesters who come to yell at, harass, and offer false promises to patients just trying to access care.
When I’m out there I often think of Dr. Tiller, actually. Not because I get threatened (I do, but that’s beside the point) or because the antis outside my clinic are particularly violent (other clinics in our network actually get it worse). I think about Dr. Tiller because every time I escort another patient inside who looks like she’s terrified or about to cry, my brain goes to one quote from him.
"Women need abortions and I’m going to do them"
It’s so simple, really, and it shouldn’t need saying. But for Dr. Tiller it needed to be printed on a large sign and posted outside his place of business, because he was determined not to let terrorism defeat him and in turn let down and ruin the lives of the women he served.
Look, I’m not going to go into the specifics or a history of the harassment and violence that plagued Dr. Tiller’s practice. If you would like to see a great documentary about it, I suggest watching Rachel Maddow’s documentary “The Assassination of Dr. Tiller”. I have also heard great things about "After Tiller", but I have not yet been able to view it myself. I’m not even going to write about the continued harassment campaigns against those who have taken up Dr. Tiller’s work. Those are important topics, and I urge you all to research them if you are not familiar with them already.
I only want to write about this to say one thing.
Like Dr. Tiller, women (and trans men and non-binary people) need abortions and the providers at my clinic are going to do them. And I’m going to walk patients in and comfort them and shield them from the onslaught of anti-choice harassment.
I think on the five year anniversary of losing such a great advocate for (as he put it) women’s health and well-being, we need to push on with his same bravery and fortitude. We need to push on with his same fervor and his same determination. We need to understand that this isn’t going away, and that as long as this work is needed, we’re going to do it. We’re not going to hide and we’re not going to back down.
It doesn’t matter how many of us they shoot. It won’t stop the fact that women (and trans men and non-binary people) need abortions. And I know for me, it won’t stop my unending support of the ones that do.
RIP Dr. George Tiller, a champion for women’s health. You are missed.
When people actually don’t understand that consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy, that is fucking terrifying.
Because it leads me to believe you don’t really understand what consent is, which is a serious red flag for me.
Consent is a willing, enthusiastic and continuous yes that can be revoked at ANY time. Period.