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Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Society | 3 comments

Dr. George Tiller and Anti-Abortion Terrorism

Matthew Yglesias makes an important point about today’s murder of Dr. George Tiller — one of only two health care providers who still perform clinic-based late-term abortions:

Random murder of civilians in order to coerce political concessions doesn’t have a great track-record. But direct action terrorist violence against abortion providers has, I think, proven to be a fairly successful tactic. Every time you murder a doctor, you create a disincentive for other medical professionals to provide these services. What’s more, you create a need for additional security at facilities around the country. In addition, the anti-abortion protestors who frequently gather near clinics are made to seem much more intimidating by the fact that the occurrence of these sorts of acts of violence.

In general, I think people tend to overestimate the efficacy of violence as a political tactic. But in this particular case, I think people tend to understate it.

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  • CStanley

    Interesting point.

    It seems that Dr. Tiller was in danger of losing his medical license as he was being censured by the state medical board, so it’s also true that abortionists who try to skirt the law and ethical guidelines of their licensure endanger the availability of the procedure.

  • StockBoySF

    I would expect that these domestic terrorists and their terrorists sympathizers be treated exactly how the Republican right claims terrorists should be treated…. By locking them (and their supporters) in Gitmo, throwing away the key, torturing them to determine what other terrorist acts are being planned and then going after those terrorists, too. All without trial for many, many years.

    The question I have for Cheney is this, “Would you condone waterboarding, to extract vital information, for these terrorists who attacked this doctor and for all those who support these terrorists to make sure that there are no more attacks on American soil?”

  • rudi

    CS That didn’t work in the other thread. Tiller wasn’t aborting babies because the family at 8-9 months decided they only wanted a blond blue eyed Aryan baby. This post based on a comment from BJ is a typical ‘partial birth abortion’:

    In 1994 my wife and I found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult and unusually uncomfortable but her doctor repeatedly told her things were fine. Sometime early in the 8th month my wife, an RN who at the time was working in an infertility clinic asked the Dr. she was working for what he thought of her discomfort. He examined her and said that he couldn’t be certain but thought that she might be having twins. We were thrilled and couldn’t wait to get a new sonogram that hopefully would confirm his thoughts. Two days later our joy was turned to unspeakable sadness when the new sonogram showed conjoined twins. Conjoined twins alone is not what was so difficult but the way they were joined meant that at best only one child would survive the surgery to separate them and the survivor would more than likely live a brief and painful life filled with surgery and organ transplants. We were advised that our options were to deliver into the world a child who’s life would be filled with horrible pain and suffering or fly out to Wichita Kansas and to terminate the pregnancy under the direction of Dr. George Tiller.

    I guess conjoined twins is proof of intelligent design.

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