Dr. Tiller: The lost tapes
January 27, 2010 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Tiller: The lost tapes. In never-before-seen footage, the slain abortion provider explains his career choice. Physicians for Reproductive Choice has released two "never-before-seen" video clips of the slain abortion provider talking about why he chose his line of work.

Direct links to the videos (which are also embedded on the linked article):
George Tiller, MD: "I Am a Woman-Educated Physician"
George Tiller, MD: "Abortion Services Are a Heart Issue"
posted by severiina (80 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
_ May 31, 2009: Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller is shot and killed in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.

_ April 25, 2007: Authorities say Paul Ross Evans placed a homemade bomb in the parking lot of the Austin Women's Health Center in Texas. A bomb squad disposes of the device, which contained two pounds of nails. There are no injuries.

_ Oct. 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian is fatally shot in his home in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y. Militant abortion opponent James Kopp is convicted of the murder in 2003 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

_ Jan. 29, 1998: A bomb explodes just outside a Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic, killing a police officer and wounding several others. Eric Rudolph later pleads guilty to that incident and the deadly bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He justifies the Alabama bombing in an essay from prison, writing that Jesus would condone "militant action in defense of the innocent."

_ Jan. 16, 1997: Two bomb blasts an hour apart rock an Atlanta building containing an abortion clinic. Seven people are injured. Rudolph is charged by federal authorities in October 1998.

_ Dec. 30, 1994: John Salvi opens fire with a rifle inside two Boston-area abortion clinics, killing two receptionists and wounding five others. Sentenced to life without parole, he kills himself in prison in 1996.

_ Nov. 8, 1994: Dr. Garson Romalis, who performs abortions in Vancouver, Canada, is shot in the leg while eating breakfast at home.

_ July 29, 1994: Dr. John Bayard Britton and his volunteer escort, James H. Barrett, are slain outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic. Barrett's wife, June, is wounded in the attack. Paul J. Hill, 40, a former minister and anti-abortion activist, is later convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

_ Aug. 19, 1993: Dr. George Tiller is shot in the arms as he drives out of parking lot at his Wichita, Kan., clinic. Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon is later convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

_ March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn is shot to death outside Pensacola, Fla., clinic, becoming the first U.S. doctor killed during an anti-abortion demonstration. Michael Griffin is convicted and serving a life sentence.

(list copied from the Huffington Post)


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?
posted by Aquaman at 9:10 AM on January 27, 2010 [23 favorites]


.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:10 AM on January 27, 2010


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?

There are no pies involved.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:17 AM on January 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?

it is according to wikipedia: wikipedia
posted by Gregamell at 9:21 AM on January 27, 2010


ah, but if the DOJ isn't going to prosecute him as such
posted by Gregamell at 9:25 AM on January 27, 2010


Devin Friedman interviews Scott Roeder (Dr. Tiller's killer) for GQ. Friedman on Talk of the Nation a few days ago.
posted by aheckler at 9:26 AM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Have these been seen before?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:32 AM on January 27, 2010


Came here to post that article from GQ as well. Thanks aheckler.
posted by availablelight at 9:33 AM on January 27, 2010


Calling it terrorism might be embraced by those who practice it. There are those who liken these murderers to John Brown, who deliberately pursued a strategy of terror in fighting slavery. He wanted to show that slavery was so cosmically evil that he was willing to kill and be killed to prevent it. I suspect that those who glorify the assassins in Aquaman's post--and those who give them tacit approval--think that terror is justified in their crusade.
posted by oneironaut at 9:35 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?

Some people do. But for those who don't, it's probably because most definitions of terrorism involve deliberate targeting of innocent bystanders. American students in the Middle East are not responsible for the military presence in Iraq or anywhere else; the vast majority of the occupants of the Murrah Federal Building were not ATF employees; the bankers and lawyers and other employees in the World Trade Center had nothing to do with U.S. troops being in Saudi Arabia.

Without getting into the moral issue, there is a substantive difference between these approaches, and a substantive difference in how they should be handled. The proper response here isn't to send Predator drones to carpetbomb the John Salvi training camps. Domestic law enforcement tends to work just fine for enforcing domestic law, even where its violations are heinous.
posted by jock@law at 9:35 AM on January 27, 2010


An extensive profile of Warren Hern, now the last late-term abortion provider in the U.S. per the Guardian.
posted by monocyte at 9:40 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Calling it terrorism might be embraced by those who practice it.
So?
posted by Flunkie at 9:41 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the second video, he pauses after saying "more doctors have been shot working in emergency rooms, than for providing abortions..." I wonder what he was thinking about.



.
posted by fontophilic at 9:44 AM on January 27, 2010


An extensive profile of Warren Hern, now the last late-term abortion provider in the U.S. per the Guardian.

And, previously (the extensive profile in Esquire).
posted by availablelight at 9:45 AM on January 27, 2010


Sorry-- link should go here
posted by availablelight at 9:46 AM on January 27, 2010


most definitions of terrorism involve deliberate targeting of innocent bystanders

So: Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:49 AM on January 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


But for those who don't, it's probably because most definitions of terrorism involve deliberate targeting of innocent bystanders.
Merriam-Webster:
the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
Oxford English Dictionary:
A system of terror.

1. Government by intimidation as directed and carried out by the party in power in France during the Revolution of 1789-94; the system of the ‘Terror’ (1793-4): see TERROR n. 4.

2. gen. A policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized. Also transf. Cf. TERRORIST 1b.
posted by Flunkie at 9:52 AM on January 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Couldn't any OB-GYN carry out this procedure regardless of how long the pregnancy is gestated? It seems like you paint a target on your back when you brand yourself as a late-term abortion provider.
posted by dr_dank at 9:53 AM on January 27, 2010


most definitions of terrorism involve deliberate targeting of innocent bystanders

I thought most definitions of terrorism involve asymmetrical, undeclared warfare with the intention of disrupting ways of life, or otherwise terrorizing populations?

Bomb threats and anthrax scares count as terrorism, even if no one is hurt. Killing abortion providers terrorizes those who might otherwise support abortion clinics or become abortion providers.
posted by explosion at 9:58 AM on January 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


george tiller gave no sign that he was ever unsure about the act he was performing. If there was any doubt, it had never been exhibited. And for anyone who felt doubt on his staff, he handed down an intention to live with: Think about the woman. Because they saved people here. That’s what George Tiller was saying. They didn’t kill people; they saved them. All you had to do was to look at the walls. Framed letters from patients testifying to having been saved. ... Even Roeder had heard about the letters, everyone in the network had; it blew their minds and filled their hearts with disappointment. The letters weren’t relegated to a single wall. There was room after room of them, thanking and thanking, overwhelming you the first time you walked into the clinic. Answering the tacit question: No, we save people here.

...

The clinic never opened again. ... The newspapers said Scott Roeder had accomplished what thirty years of protest never could.


Heartbreaking. And yeah, terrorism. Al-qaeda doesn't see any Americans as "innocent bystanders." The original "reign of terror" in France didn't see any innocent bystanders either. Same with these guys.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:58 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?

Because he has Jesus on his side, of course. Everyone knows terrorists are those other people.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:59 AM on January 27, 2010


Couldn't any OB-GYN carry out this procedure regardless of how long the pregnancy is gestated? It seems like you paint a target on your back when you brand yourself as a late-term abortion provider.

"As of April 2007, 36 states had bans on late-term abortions that were not facially unconstitutional ... Also, 13 states prohibit abortion after a certain number of weeks' gestation (usually 24 weeks)." - WP
posted by mrgrimm at 10:01 AM on January 27, 2010


Related, from Slate:

[T]he judge trying Scott Roeder, Tiller's accused killer, left dangling the possibility that Roeder can show that he committed not murder but voluntary manslaughter. To show this, Roeder will be allowed to argue that he was justified in shooting Tiller because he was trying to "protect the unborn." This is a truly terrible interpretation of the criminal law that would allow for all kinds of bogus political defenses to murder, handy for pro-life vigilantes as well as any terrorist who believes he is on a holy mission to save lives.
posted by jckll at 10:11 AM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again

I'm still trying to parse 'enemy combatants' and 'insurgents'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:18 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


And 'al qaida' for that matter.

Like they're out there wearing matching hats or something.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:18 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why don't we call this domestic terrorism again?

The right doesn't want to call it terrorism for obvious reasons.

The left doesn't want to call it terrorism because it's not willing to apply its own oft-stated principle that "the best way to fight terrorism is to remove its root causes."
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:46 AM on January 27, 2010


Abortion providers aren't bystanders, but they are innocent to the extent than anyone can be. The world needs reproductive choice, and these nuts use terrorism to scare anyone away from providing it.
posted by klanawa at 10:51 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The left doesn't want to call it terrorism because it's not willing to apply its own oft-stated principle that "the best way to fight terrorism is to remove its root causes."

woah woah woah there, are you seriously suggesting that the left doesn't call pro-life terrorism terrorism (which is a lie, the left totally calls it terrorism) because to do so would be to admit that abortion should be banned? What the fuck are you high on?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:54 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


woah woah woah there, are you seriously suggesting that the left doesn't call pro-life terrorism terrorism (which is a lie, the left totally calls it terrorism) because to do so would be to admit that abortion should be banned?

OK, are there some on the left who call anti-abortion terrorism, terrorism? Of course.

But it does contradict the standard "root causes" line that's so often used against al Qaeda and its ilk.

The question was why people don't call it terrorism. My comment was accepting this premise as a given. Of course, I realize that it's not literally true that no one calls it terrorism.

If I'm wrong, please explain how exactly I'm going wrong. Insults like "lie" and "high" are not too useful.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:02 AM on January 27, 2010


The root cause is misogyny, not the availability of abortions.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:04 AM on January 27, 2010 [35 favorites]


The root cause of terrorism committed by those opposed to abortion is not abortion itself. It is a desire to control women's reproductive rights and choices. The "root cause" has always seemed to me to be a mindset that (in no particular order) hates and/or mistrusts women and choices we make about sex and reproduction, and thinks that a potential life (the fetus) is always more important than the already-here life (the woman).
posted by rtha at 11:11 AM on January 27, 2010 [14 favorites]


But it does contradict the standard "root causes" line that's so often used against al Qaeda and its ilk.

I'm not seeing this. Can you explain?
posted by rtha at 11:16 AM on January 27, 2010


I'm not seeing this. Can you explain?

Something I've often heard (generally from the left) about al Qaeda-style terrorism: "The problem isn't that they 'hate our freedom.' The problem is our foreign policy. People in the Middle East / Muslim world are aggrieved because of our support for Israel, our bases in Saudi Arabia, our military action, etc. To stop terrorism, we should change our foreign policy so that we don't antagonize the world."

OK, now, what policies are being protested by the people who kill abortion doctors? Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, etc. In other words, the constitutional and statutory law in the US that creates a legal right to abortion. Does anyone on the left say: "therefore, we should illegalize abortion to remove the motivation of those who kill abortion doctors"? Of course not. Because the vast majority of people on the left are in favor of legal abortion (including me). No one is actually willing to let terrorists dictate policy as a universal principle. People just bring up things like our support for Israel, our bases in the Middle East, etc., because they happen to dislike those things anyway.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


How perfectly incoherent.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:38 AM on January 27, 2010


Once again we see that for a certain mindset, there is no victim who cannot be blamed.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:53 AM on January 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Couldn't any OB-GYN carry out this procedure regardless of how long the pregnancy is gestated? It seems like you paint a target on your back when you brand yourself as a late-term abortion provider.

Beyond the legal issues, there's the matter of expertise. Late-term abortions are a lot more complicated (and not infrequently involve a woman whose health is fragile too.) You want someone who's trained in dealing with the dangerous, complicated situations for these sorts of situations - a specialist. Which is exactly what Tiller was.

But it does contradict the standard "root causes" line that's so often used against al Qaeda and its ilk.

I think you're not realizing that there are multiple "root causes," and no one thinks that there is a single solution - "eradicate it" - that is appropriate for each and every cause. Some of the causes are things we think are actually good, in which case change and elimination are not the correct response. You're probably thinking about US military interventionism in the Middle East as the root cause in your example, and people do argue that we should shut down bases in Saudi Arabia etc. - but you could just as easily argue that the spread of secular society, women's rights, etc. are other valid root causes. No one is arguing that we should eradicate those things and become an Islamic theocracy to eradicate terrorism, because most people think that we're right and the Al Qaeda is wrong about those parts of our society.

Similarly, you could call the existence of abortion the root cause for that particular brand of domestic terrorism - or you could call misogyny or the growth of a certain variety of literalist, fundamentalist Christianity (combined with easy access to guns) a root cause. If you are pro-choice, you would consider eradicating misogyny, not abortion.
posted by ubersturm at 12:10 PM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was going to say I'm all for taking out the root cause of anti-abortion terrorism, but it's going to be hard to nuke so many fucking basement-dwelling hatred-filled douchebags from orbit at once without killing innocent bystanders.

Otherwise, I am all for counter-insurgency here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:16 PM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or everyone could just STOP HAVING SEX ALREADY.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:17 PM on January 27, 2010


Sorry - I've been in the iPad (terrible name!) thread working.

Does anyone on the left say: "therefore, we should illegalize abortion to remove the motivation of those who kill abortion doctors"? Of course not. Because the vast majority of people on the left are in favor of legal abortion (including me). No one is actually willing to let terrorists dictate policy as a universal principle.

Well, yeah, exactly. In the aftermath of September 11th I know there was a lot of handwringing about our foreign policy (and specifically a lack of coherent policy wrt the Middle East), but no one (to my memory - it's been a while) was saying that we deserved the attacks because of policy fuckups.

I think it's fine to call acts like the one against Tiller terrorism. They are terrorist actions. Just because we should think about foreign policy and how it may mitigate or exacerbate terrorism from Al Qaeda doesn't mean we have to take the same kind of approach regarding reproductive rights policy, and if we don't take the same approach, it doesn't make those actions not-terrorism. A white supremacy group that commits terrorism is still committing terrorism even if we're all "There is no policy for us to re-examine, because no, we're not going to send black people back to Africa or any dumb shit like that. Believe whatever the fuck you want, but you won't express or enforce your beliefs violently, Or Else."

Long story short (too late): I think we agree, mostly.
posted by rtha at 12:22 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


On lack of preview, what ubersturm said.
posted by rtha at 12:23 PM on January 27, 2010


These anti-abortion people are trapped in an emotional addiction. They are sick. They have been lead to believe in hate, in a context that is 'righteous'. Hating something, and feeling sanctioned in that hate by religion, is a rather awesome sensation. It makes you high. I like to think this is that "darkside" that Lucas was going on about. But it's real.

I am sad to not have had the honor of knowing these doctors. Heroes, truly. The real thing. I am in awe.
posted by Goofyy at 12:28 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Related, from Slate:

More on that here: Although the man who admits killing abortion doctor George Tiller can argue he committed voluntary manslaughter rather than murder, he is unlikely to succeed in doing so.
posted by homunculus at 12:39 PM on January 27, 2010


Once again we see that for a certain mindset, there is no victim who cannot be blamed.

That's the problem with the "root causes" analysis of terrorism.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:39 PM on January 27, 2010


The root cause is misogyny, not the availability of abortions.

This response just highlights the inconsistency, since that's the equivalent of those who say that al Qaeda's motivation is: "they hate our freedom."
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:40 PM on January 27, 2010


ubersturm: I think you'll find that left regards terrorism as a manyfold problem
- there are cases where we go out and hurt people, they get upset and angry with us. These grievances are seen as having some degree of legitimacy.
- there are cases where people are religious radicals who believe that killing non-Muslims (for example) is more important than life itself. These grievances are seen as having no legitimacy.
- there are cases where the later seeks to recruit the former as muscle for their illegitimate ends.

Many on the left would like to take the gloves off when dealing with the later, but feel this is problematic to the point of pointless unless you first (or at least also) address the former, because otherwise you hand the later their dreams on a silver platter when it comes to mobilizing the former against us and enabling the war that they crave to start.

In abortion, the pro-life are not seen by the left as having been stamped on - no-one forced an abortion on them. No one sent troops into their homes to kill their sister's unborn child. They are instead seen as the radicals - those who wish to force their worldview on others, and will kill people they've never met in order to make everyone conform to their way.

For those people, the left would like to take the gloves off.
(But because they're the left, underneath the gloves, once they take them off, is another pair of gloves :)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:42 PM on January 27, 2010



The root cause is misogyny, not the availability of abortions.

This response just highlights the inconsistency, since that's the equivalent of those who say that al Qaeda's motivation is: "they hate our freedom."


Yes and no.
If you ignore the speech and look at the actions taken by terrorists, in the former group I mentioned above, you do not find consistency with a hatred of freedom. (In the later group, ok, yeah, some serious issues with freedoms :)

If you ignore the speech and look at the actions taken by anti-abortionists, you find serious inconsistency with being genuinely pro-life, and serious consistency with wanting consequences for women who have sex.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:55 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should probably acknowledge that anti-abortionists can be broken into multiple camps, like I've done with terrorists. There are many who are genuinely pro-life. They tend to be moderates on the sidelines. I think I'll retract my last point as it needs rewording to present the point once granting the point that the driving force behind radical anti-abortion is misogyny, but that need not be true of moderates.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:05 PM on January 27, 2010


The root cause is misogyny, not the availability of abortions.

The root cause is the collapse of the manufacturing economy in the US. This is treated as an economic problem, about jobs, but it is a social crisis for the communities built on industry. The issue has never been about abortion. If nothing else the "Pro-Life" movement is a call to arms against social collapse.

What does women's liberation mean when your best option is be a single mom working as a Walmart greeter?
posted by ennui.bz at 1:50 PM on January 27, 2010


just to clarify, I'm not saying that Randall Terry isn't a misogynist: he is. But the basical argument of the pro-life camp is: "look, our society is collapsing, we are in crisis.... and it's all because women can have sex without fear of punishment."

and the fact is that for the rust belt, society is in collapse, it is in deep crisis. I think for someone who is pro-choice, the problem is solved if women are allowed the inalienable right to birth control and abortion. But for the pro-life people outlawing birth control is only a first step in a fixing a society in crisis.
posted by ennui.bz at 1:57 PM on January 27, 2010


I'll just go on record as saying I fucking hate anti-abortion activists. They are fucking scum. That's all.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:56 PM on January 27, 2010


Jaltcoh, I suspect your heart is in the right place, but on my reading you're just coming off as needlessly contrarian here. I hope I'm right.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:58 PM on January 27, 2010


Or wrong. Or something.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:59 PM on January 27, 2010


If you ignore the speech and look at the actions taken by terrorists, in the former group I mentioned above, you do not find consistency with a hatred of freedom.

You're talking about the same people who allied with the Taliban, who toppled the Afghanistan government and instituting an oppressive regime where women are stoned to death for not wearing a proper veil and men are murdered for lacking a proper beard, right?

If you ignore the speech and look at the actions taken by anti-abortionists, you find serious inconsistency with being genuinely pro-life, and serious consistency with wanting consequences for women who have sex.

Um...

There are many who are genuinely pro-life. They tend to be moderates on the sidelines. I think I'll retract my last point

Thank you.

I am pro-life. I know a lot of people who are. I think if you were to poll the U.S., you'd find that a very significant proportion of those who are against abortion are in favor of birth control. I, personally, have no problem with sexual liberation. I don't care if you're a bisexual polyamorous FTMTF furry with a fetish for borscht. I am happy for women who have liberated sex lives or whatever. I encouraged my sister to go on birth control when she first told me she was thinking about having sex. More power to you! As long as you're not harming someone else, have at it.

And that's really the sticking point. As long as you're not harming someone else.
posted by jock@law at 3:10 PM on January 27, 2010


I know pro-life people who are wonderful, genuinely life-affirming folks, who work hard to reduce the incidences where women are coerced into abortion by partners or by economic factors. (Make no mistake; I may be pro-choice, but I am against coerced abortion, and economic coercion is still coercive. I wish the national pro-life and pro-choice movements could join forces to help ensure that no woman reluctantly gets an abortion just because she can't afford to raise a child.)

These people are not the ones who gnash their teeth about third-trimester abortion. These people know, because they've taken the time to do their research and read their stories, that the vast majority of third-trimester terminations are done on desperately wanted pregnancies, either to protect a life or as an act of loving mercy. They understand, as my extremely Catholic neighbor does, that "the procedures Tiller performed are the MOST justifiable of abortions. They take place in the ethical cracks and grey areas, in the places in life where there are no good choices and one must merely make the least bad choice. That's not a place for legalism and judgment, that's a place for compassion and prayer."
posted by KathrynT at 4:23 PM on January 27, 2010 [13 favorites]


As long as you're not harming someone else.

And there are those who believe that the ball of cells in the uterus is not a "someone else." For some women, that ball of cells will actively try to harm them, even kill them. It's a decision that should be made by the woman and her doctor.
posted by rtha at 4:50 PM on January 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


And there are those who believe that the ball of cells in the uterus is not a "someone else."

And they are wrong.

For some women, that ball of cells will actively try to harm them

And that is false.
posted by jock@law at 4:56 PM on January 27, 2010


"And there are those who believe that the ball of cells in the uterus is not a "someone else."

And they are wrong."

Look, let's not go down this road, ok? Let's just stipulate that whether or not a first trimester pregnancy is a someone else or not is a subject that cannot yet be answered definitively by empirical science.

":For some women, that ball of cells will actively try to harm them

And that is false."

Sadly, this is not false. I know women who have had to terminate wanted pregnancies in order to avoid that harm.
posted by KathrynT at 5:01 PM on January 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


So the women that George Tiller treated - they wouldn't have suffered harm if their pregnancies had gone to term? They wouldn't risk death? Do you not believe the various testimonials posted by his patients?
posted by rtha at 5:38 PM on January 27, 2010


It's time to acknowledge just what the act of murder of an abortion provider provides in turn: an instant ticket into heaven. In that light, John Salvi's suicide in prison makes perfect sense. He knew that heaven awaited, why hang around in this crummy prison? Pictures I've seen of Roeder are alert, defiant even. Why not? He knows for goddamn sure that he's going straight to heaven. I imagine he welcomes any possible execution.
posted by telstar at 6:01 PM on January 27, 2010


Sadly, this is not false. I know women who have had to terminate wanted pregnancies in order to avoid that harm.

No, you don't.

Do you not believe the various testimonials posted by his patients?

Where on earth are you getting that from?
posted by jock@law at 6:04 PM on January 27, 2010



No, you don't.

Flagged - are you seriously accusing her of lying?
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:24 PM on January 27, 2010


I guess he has a list of people she knows?

I really can't figure it out, looks like he's being fighty for the sake of being fighty.
posted by marble at 6:26 PM on January 27, 2010


I am pro-life. I have morally motivated to ensure that I do not create an unwanted pregnancy. And I'm pretty disgusted that our society has created itself in a manner to that seems to treat abortion casually. We should be collectively ashamed of ourselves, and striving to do a whole lot better in the future.

I am also rabidly pro-fact and pro-logic. And the time-and-again the fact is that societies which ban abortion mostly get but one outcome — and that is to experience pretty much the same rate of abortion as other societies and a horrifying increase in the harm of women.

I am pro-woman, in addition to being pro-life, pro-fact, and pro-logic. So you can see where that leads.

Anti-abortion activists are stupid people who have not informed themselves with facts and logic, and who stupidly ignore the inevitable consequences that will be visited upon half the population of this society should their stupid opinions be allowed to take form of law.

They are people who would have great harm to come to people I love and treasure, as well as hundreds if not thousands upon thousands of people whom I have met and found companionable and pleasant, people toward I can feel no ill will nor wish any harm upon. And that is why I say I hate anti-abortion activists. They are, in effect, sociopaths.

Like I said, I'm anti-abortion. This being MeFi, I won't say bad things about those people who have had an abortion for reasons I feel are frivolous and essentially demonstrate a level of immorality that I find distasteful. But I'm not stupid and I'm not ignorant: there is No. Fucking. Way. that choice should be hindered.

There are much better ways to achieve the anti-abortion goal.

Some people in this thread need to get their fucking heads on straight.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:58 PM on January 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


No, you don't.

jock@law, what are you saying here?

Where on earth are you getting that from?

I'm getting it from you saying "and that is false" when I said that the ball of cells/fetus/baby/call it what you like will threaten the lives and/or future reproductive health of some of the women carrying that ball of cells/fetus/baby. There was at least one link in the last Tiller thread that went to a bunch of letters written by his patients, thanking him, and he and others have talked about the choices some women are forced to make: late-term abortion or die, or have one's reproductive health permanently compromised. So, you know, I assumed that your "that is false" indicated that you hadn't read any of that. Or you think they're lying.
posted by rtha at 7:10 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suspect that jock@law's problem that he's trying to address with the "no, you don't" is the use of the phrase "actively trying," in that it implies intention as opposed to passive and unfortunate circumstance. Whatever; the woman is at risk of serious harm.
posted by dilettante at 7:19 PM on January 27, 2010


I'm getting it from you saying "and that is false" when I said that the ball of cells/fetus/baby/call it what you like will threaten the lives and/or future reproductive health of some of the women carrying that ball of cells/fetus/baby.

You never said any such thing. dilettante is correct: your statement was made false by the magnitude by which your rhetoric was overblown.
posted by jock@law at 7:40 PM on January 27, 2010


dilettante is correct:

How so? By "actively trying" I was trying to convey that for some women, remaining pregnant means death or serious disability.

Do you disagree with that?
posted by rtha at 8:15 PM on January 27, 2010


And I still don't get the "no you don't" posted in response to KathrynT.
posted by rtha at 8:17 PM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, you don't.

I. . . don't know any women who have had to terminate wanted pregnancies in order to avoid harm? Wow, that's a bold statement to make so boldly. Can you illustrate for me how you can be so sure?
posted by KathrynT at 11:07 PM on January 27, 2010


I wish we could jettison the language of pro-life or pro-choice (and anti-abortion). The question is pro-legal and anti-legal. The practice of abortion is ancient and will continue to exist - there's no reason to think it will stop. So the question is whether one agrees the practice can be legally performed by experienced, trained doctors, or whether a women seeking abortion doesn't deserve that protection.
posted by goofyfoot at 2:19 AM on January 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


To me, there is a simple litmus test for those who oppose abortion. Whether the person is pro or anti contraception. The anti-contraception group are either mysogenistic scumbags or are stupid enough to take their direction from mysogenistic scumbags (such as those in the Vatican). Those who are pro-contraception are generally decent people trying to do what's best in messy situations. And normally accept the necessity of some types of abortion.
posted by Francis at 3:52 AM on January 28, 2010


You never said any such thing. dilettante is correct: your statement was made false by the magnitude by which your rhetoric was overblown.

Bullshit! Some pregnancies (ectopic ones spring to mind) are quite literally life threatening. The rhetoric was cold hard fact and not even slightly overblown.
posted by Francis at 3:56 AM on January 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I. . . don't know any women who have had to terminate wanted pregnancies in order to avoid harm? Wow, that's a bold statement to make so boldly.

I didn't make that statement. I have enough faith in your reading comprehension that if you reread this conversation you will see your error.
posted by jock@law at 4:18 AM on January 28, 2010


If one person doesn't understand you, it's probably their reading comprehension skills at fault. If lots of people don't understand you, it's probably your own communication skills at fault.
posted by harriet vane at 5:39 AM on January 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Okay.

So, KathrynT said, Sadly, this is not false. I know women who have had to terminate wanted pregnancies in order to avoid that harm.

And in reply, jock@law said, No, you don't. This can't be in response to the "Sadly..." sentence, because that just wouldn't make sense. It must be in response to the "I know..." sentence, but I think jock isn't accusing KathrynT of making up these women - he believes that she knows them.

I think he's taking issue with the "had to terminate....in order to avoid harm" portion of KathrynT's statement.

Which I guess means that jock doesn't think that some women who get pregnant can die, and that terminating the pregnancy is the best way to avoid that risk.

I don't want to put words in jock's mouth, and it's entirely possible that I've misinterpreted what he said. It's hard when someone won't use their words.
posted by rtha at 5:42 AM on January 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sadly, this is not false. I know women who have had to terminate wanted pregnancies in order to avoid that harm.

No, you don't.

posted by jock@law at 9:04 PM on January 27 [+] [Flagged]

I have enough faith in your reading comprehension that if you reread this conversation you will see your error.
posted by jock@law at 7:18 AM on January 28 [+] [!]

That's a condescending and evasive cop out. Maybe you could spell out for us simpletons why this isn't you accusing someone of fabricating personal experience simply because you don't agree with their position. Because that's what it looks like.
posted by Who_Am_I at 5:54 AM on January 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Because that's what it looks like.

Only if you're illiterate.

I think he's taking issue with the "had to terminate....in order to avoid harm" portion of KathrynT's statement.

You are misquoting KathrynT. She did not refer to just any harm. She referred specifically to "that harm" in the context of harm that a fetus is "actively trying" to cause. Because no such harm exists, it is not possible for women to be forced, coerced, or incentivized to do anything because of that harm. Because it is not possible for women to be forced, coerced, or incentivized to do anything because of it, it is not possible that anyone knows any such women.

It is telling that I even have to explain this several hours and posts after dilettante did and I affirmed that dilettante was correct about my objection. It speaks volumes about the lengths the spittle brigade will go to in order to ignore plausible rational explanations and jump on anyone who disagrees with even the most minor points. This derail should have been over yesterday. Someone used overblown rhetoric that was unfair to the other side of the debate. That rhetoric was so extreme that it rendered the statement false. I pointed this out, and insanity ensued. Seriously. This is enough.
posted by jock@law at 7:00 AM on January 28, 2010


Someone used overblown rhetoric that was unfair to the other side of the debate.

Someone used one word, "actively", that you interpreted too literally as an excuse to act like an ass at length. There is nothing hard to suss out about the idea of an ectopic preganancy or other severe complication in gestation or fetal development being a health- and life-endangering state for a woman; you are not stupid, you know this, even if you think it's a problematic word choice.

If your objection was to rtha's use of "actively try to harm" as insufficiently precise or potentially misleading language, the decent thing to do would have been to object plainly and clearly to that language and explain why. Instead you dug in your heels and called another woman a liar to her face about what's a pretty fucking painful situation, electing to be a dick instead of conversing in anything like good faith because to your mind, I guess, you had a sufficiently solid "gotcha". Or something. I don't know what your motivation for going this route was, but I sure wish you could quell it in the future, because it makes this place worse.

Never mind that your gotcha required a stubborn and narrow reading of language that everyone else in the thread managed to read as intended; never mind that your own reading was pedantic enough that it was far from clear to people what you were on about; never mind that even the strict logical merit that narrow reading might have doesn't seem like anything worth calling someone a liar about their claims about personal interactions with awful pregnancy complications and insult and belittle the folks who find your whole approach galling.
posted by cortex at 7:25 AM on January 28, 2010 [23 favorites]


It speaks volumes about the lengths the spittle brigade will go to

And in case cortex wasn't clear, if you can't have good faith discussions without this sort of completely over the top dismissing of people who do not agree with you, go to MetaTalk or leave the site entirely. This sort of thing is not at all okay here and toxic to discussion. We left the comment exchange up hoping this could be decently resolved. It doesn't appear that this is the case. Any further discussion of this derail needs to be in MetaTalk starting now.
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 AM on January 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Roeder has been convicted of 1st degree murder.
posted by hellojed at 10:01 AM on January 29, 2010


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