Dr. Tiller was one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country. He had previously been shot, his clinic burnt down, harassed by ideological anti-abortion attorney generals, and threatened with death countless times. Still, Dr. Tiller continued to provide abortions to women who desperately needed them, to save their own lives or health, or due to tragic fetal deformities. He put the health of women above his own life. And now he is dead.
This is the first time an abortion provider has been killed in over a decade, although in that time countless numbers of brave men and women have faced death threats, attacks and intimidation and continued to do their jobs. My thoughts are with the family, friends and co-workers of Dr Tiller, and with all of those held morally and physically hostage by the crass hypocrisy of the mindless terrorists responsible for his murder.
I'm extremely glad that David Steels 1967 legislation has survived largely untouched here.ReplyDelete
Police are reported to have arrested a suspect
It's never struck me as anything but sick how someone who is self-proclaimed 'pro-life' is prepared to commit murder.ReplyDelete
I rather hoped we were over all this.
A sad day for "the land of the free".ReplyDelete
Aren't you gald your European?
SteveShark, to them it is taking out one sick serial murderer to potentially save tens or hundreds of lives, I can easily see how someone could justify that to themselves.ReplyDelete
Since defining "human" and "not human" is quite difficult I don't think this issue will be solved until we evolve ourselves beyond the need to get females pregnant to procreate.
This is terrible... but please be careful with the term "terrorists"! They're murderers, no doubt, but there's no point calling everyone we hate terrorists - that's what the government's for!ReplyDelete
Different anonymous, commenting on the last. Personally I think that the term terrorist here is justified. The methods used to 'convince' these doctors not to continue their work are those that cause fear. Synonym for fear? Terror. People that use terror? Terrorists.ReplyDelete
It may not fit in with the turban wearing bearded image of a terrorist we're so desperately told to believe in, but a proper ground roots "This is what we'll do to you if you don't stop".
I'd agree with the last anonymous (12.23); there's no qualitative difference between this, McVeigh, animals rights extremism when committing violent and destructive acts, and Islamic extremism.ReplyDelete
Yeah... that`s right.ReplyDelete
If you accept that the fetus is a human, standing by and enabling mass infantacide is far worse than killing one guy.
Anyway, isn`t the whole `pro-life` thing just a marketing slogan in reaction to `pro-choice` rather than a serious statement of their aims or philosophy?
Dr. Tiller was once an embryo and later a fetus. Isn't his murder by the pro-life rabble hence itself a retrospective abortion?ReplyDelete
"there's no qualitative difference between this, McVeigh, animal rights extremism when committing violent and destructive acts, and Islamic extremism."ReplyDelete
Well, actually there is quite a notable qualitative difference, which is that three of those routinely and deliberately kill people, while one has no established fatalities, and in fact, despite use of threats, hoaxes, damage to property, admittedly risky arson and AFAIK a single beating, operates by an explicit principle of non-violence.
"If you accept that the fetus is a human, standing by and enabling mass infantacide is far worse than killing one guy."
By that logic you can excuse any act of terrorism. After all, if you accept that a certain ideology is going to condemn people to an eternity of punishment, isn't it worse to allow millions to be led to such a fate rather than use violence to put an end to the false preachers?
If you accept that porn causes rape, isn't it better to kill a few porn actresses than to stand aside and let thousands of other women be raped?
If you accept that being gay means you're an uncontrollable sex addict, isn't it worse to stand back and let those potential child-rapists walk around free, than to lock them up and punish them until they turn straight?
"If you accept..." arguments have been used to excuse some of the worst atrocities in human history.
"Anyway, isn`t the whole `pro-life` thing just a marketing slogan in reaction to `pro-choice` rather than a serious statement of their aims or philosophy?"
No, not really. That's got it back to front actually. AIUI "Pro-choice" is a slogan developed in response to the "pro-life" slogan used by the womb-slavery movement.
SnowdropExplodes, justify, not excuse.ReplyDelete
To make it more abstract, say you have a railway fork. There is a train going along it that is out of control. On the rails on the left side of the fork are some schoolchildren who will die if run over by the unstoppable train. On the rails on the right side is some person you do not like very much. The fork is set to direct the train at the schoolchildren. The only action you are able to take is to direct the train to the right, thus killing the unliked person and saving the schoolchildren. Do you act?
Regarding "If you accept that", if the initial assumption is true, e.g. if homosexuality really did cause all gay people to spontaneously go on a child raping spree, I would probably not want homosexuals to have unsupervised access to children. You would of course need to demonstrate to me beyond doubt that homosexuality really does cause all gay people to go on child raping sprees, otherwise I will fail to accept it.
BTW, interesting about the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" labels.
Equally, snowdropexplodes - some of the worst atrocities have been allowed, because people didn`t stand up for what they truely believed was right/just went with the flow of what seemed to be going on around them.ReplyDelete
There must have been at least a significant minority in Nazi Germany who felt very uncomfortable about what was going on and yet very few did anything to stop it.
Anonymous001 - why does it matter whether or not I like the other person?ReplyDelete
The answer is that I probably would act to divert the course of the train, but it could be a group of football hooligans and one sweet child, and I would still direct the train at the one, not the many. It's a simple utilitarian question.
The other factor, of course, is that there is only one active force in all this, and that is the runaway train; the train is going to kill people whatever I do. I did not set the train in motion, and it is the train equally that will kill either the children or the "unliked person". Also, I can at least hope that "unliked" might actually step away from the train tracks before the train gets there. If "unliked" is unable to step away, then again, it was not I who rendered that impossible. I have been put into an uncompromising situation with minimal options, and must choose the least bad option.
However, when it comes to abortion-providers, there are many other options than "be silent" or "kill them".
And that leads to your second point:
if the initial assumption is true, e.g. if homosexuality really did cause all gay people to spontaneously go on a child raping spree, I would probably not want homosexuals to have unsupervised access to children. You would of course need to demonstrate to me beyond doubt that homosexuality really does cause all gay people to go on child raping sprees
You see, had Tiller been approached by these people and had they attempted to prove beyond all doubt that a foetus is exactly the same as a fully-developed human baby, and so on and so forth, then either a) he accepts their argument and ceases to provide abortions or b) he explains why he finds their conclusion to be wrong and continues. If he raises doubts about the "proof", then by your own logic, it is not right to kill him. The whole point of my argument was that ALL the "if you accept..." clauses were dubious.
The thing is, with the Nazis, the "if you accept..." clause appears on the Nazis' side of the equation, not on the resistance side: "If you accept that the Jews are a stain on our nation and are stealing all the well-paid jobs, and conspiring to rule the world, then isn't it right to sweep them away for the good of our people?"
On the resistance side, you have "If you DON'T accept that the Jews are a stain on our nation, etc - then what the Nazis are doing is mass murder." Leaving aside the issue of just how much the German people were able to resist the Nazi programme, then I think it is fair to say that the onus to act is different.
I have one last thought - using the "if you accept" formulation, it is possible to argue thusly:
"If you accept that a(n) (unwanted) foetus effectively makes a woman its hostage and slave for 9 months, then isn't it better to act to save her, than to allow that tyranny?" Hostage, because there are clear and common health side-effects from carrying a pregnancy to term that are non-trivial in nature; slave because it sponges off her resources, places clear limitations on what she can or cannot do, and offers nothing in return.
SnowdropExplodes: The train situation is a bit worse than that - you will not have "killed" the group of kids by doing nothing, they would have been killed by the train, however it would be as a direct concequence of your action that the one person would die. Yes, it is a lousy abstraction where everyone is glued to the rail tracks.ReplyDelete
Yes, of course when it comes to abortion-providers murder should not even enter the discussion. It is 21st century ffs and we should really have found better things to do by now than going around poking holes in each other.
IMO the whole person-not a person argument has no clear-cut answer, as it is not provable beyond doubt that at one point it is not a person, but a fraction of a second later it miraculously becomes one.
Thus, any action to save the potentially non-person is dubious, as it is not provable beyond doubt that they are a person. At the same time, is murder an appropriate response to 9 months of guaranteed (limited) slavery and oppression followed by one very unpleasant and life threatening event?
Since the issue in question is not as simple as "all life is prescious, save the cells, abortion is murder!" and "the fucker's not alive, and is a parasite at best, get it out of me!", I don't think any good solution can be as simple as "abortion is wrong" or "abortion is good", and thus strongly advocating either position (e.g. killing doctors) can not be right. That, or they know something I don't that has enabled them to make a decision in either direction.
I think it's true that if we look for a moment when 'non-person' flips into being 'person' and 'squeezing a zit' flips into being 'murder', but isn't that just a way of pointing out that we need to treat personhood under some circumstances as a continuum? Which in turn justifies abortion but also implies that infanticide, while wrong, is something less than murder?ReplyDelete
Personality is an ongoing process.ReplyDelete
I'm thinking the reason we sympathize with infants is because we know that we were in that stage at one point. Identification is, in my mind, a strong factor in this case.
The reason these people do isn't because they care about the fetus though. It's an excuse for being fanatics and terrorists. "I'm saving lives!" makes it alright to scare, hurt, or even occasional kill someone.
To drag the Nazis back into the debate once again: "We must kill the Jews to save the world!" That's basically what it came down to.
It doesn't seem likely that things will go that far here, but considering how some of the Christians and Atheists look at one another, violence seems inevitable.
It's pretty sad that people do this division into "them and us", instead of trying to find similarities.
They both claim to care about human life, but have different ways of trying to do it, and for different reasons.
I agree with calling them terrorists though. It's very fitting, considering they're fundamentalist fanatics who use different means to terrorize others. Not to mention the legal status of it.
Eh... you what snowdrop? I`m not sure that anything is added to this conversation by trying to frame questions using the term "if you accept..."ReplyDelete
If you accept that the Nazis are mass murders you should fight against them.
See - it`s easy!