Thirteen years ago today, Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas abortion provider, was assassinated by an anti-abortion extremist.
For nearly 40 years, Dr. Tiller served as Wichita’s only abortion provider and one of the only people providing abortion care later in pregnancy. Over the years, he and his clinic faced increasing threats and acts of violence. On May 31, 2009, as he was serving as an usher at Sunday church service, he was shot in the head.
Dr. Tiller’s murder sent shockwaves through our clinics and communities, and the dangers of providing abortion care are escalating at alarming rates.
According to the National Abortion Federation, there have been 11 murders and 26 attempted murders of abortion providers. These targeted attacks reached a record high in 2020, with many clinic staff reporting death threats, harassment, vandalism, and intimidation against themselves and their patients. This is far from okay – abortion providers, like all health care professionals, deserve our respect, trust, dignity, and support.
Here’s what we know – abortion providers are some of the most courageous and compassionate people we know. They are building a world that protects our humanity, our rights, and our individual freedoms. Their work is even more threatened as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade any day now. Anti-abortion legislation is known to incite violence, and we’re already seeing that in states passing cruel bans. Yet clinic staff continue to show up because they know patients and communities need them.
Thirteen years later, Dr. Tiller’s loss is still felt. Make a gift today in honor of Dr. Tiller and our clinic staff who remain committed to providing care in the face of ongoing terrorism.