On Sunday morning, I learned that Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider from Wichita, Kansas, was gunned down and murdered while on his way to church. Dr. Tiller was one of the few doctors in America who performed late term abortions, and for this reason he spent most of his career battling extremists who threatened his life, shot him in the arms, burned down his clinic, and made continued and repeated acts and threats of violence against him, the people he worked with, and the women he helped.
I will not outline all the reasons why I'm pro-choice - I've done that many times before and anyone who has read this blog long enough is familiar with my views. Instead, I'll say that Dr. Tiller's death is tragic. He was a courageous person who refused to abandon his beliefs, even when his life was threatened. He understood the importance of reproductive rights, and he spent his life on the front line, fighting to provide access to those rights.
Today, in honor of Dr. Tiller, I am donating to a great organization - Medical Students for Choice. If at all possible, I suggest that you do the same. Because it doesn't matter what the law says, or what our legal rights are - if we don't have compassionate, educated and brave doctors, who are trained and willing to provide the full spectrum of care that we deserve, the laws mean nothing. "Choice" is an empty word unless it's accompanied with access. Dr. George Tiller provided that access. He gave the women in his community a choice and saved countless lives. Today, I remember him. I hope that you do as well.