Beth Soderberg:

Murder of Dr. George Tiller – Statement of Eleanor Smeal, President (FMF)

The Feminist Majority Foundation is deeply saddened and outraged by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller at his church in Wichita, Kansas, this morning. We have worked closely with Dr. Tiller for many years in the hopes of preventing such a tragedy.

The tragic news of his murder, unfortunately, does not come as a complete surprise. Dr. Tiller has long been the target of anti-abortion extremists, surviving a previous assassination attempt in 1994 by an Army of God follower.

Dr. Tiller, who I knew for more than twenty years, was an extraordinarily courageous and dedicated women’s health physician. Dr. Tiller was fully aware of the danger he faced, but was determined to ensure that women nationwide with troubled pregnancies had access to the best medical care that could be provided. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and his dedicated clinic staff and medical personnel.

Dr. Tiller’s murder is not an isolated event. Dr. Tiller was harassed, threatened, shot five times (in 1994), his clinic was bombed in 1986, and most recently this month was maliciously damaged by anti- abortion extremists. We are concerned about the safety and lives of other dedicated personnel and doctors—not only in Kansas, but several other states.

The Feminist Majority Foundation is working with clinics and law enforcement to ensure the security of reproductive healthcare physicians and staff during this period of heightened concern.