Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Letting Terrorists Win

The family of Dr. George Tiller announced today that they are going to shut down his clinic, one of the few in the country that would provide late-term abortions.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/us/10abortion.html?_r=1&hp
Regardless of what one's position on abortion happens to be, it is horrifying to contemplate the ramifications of their decision. The cliché, so often repeated throughout history, remains as true now as ever - if you give terrorists what they want, you encourage them to continue their behavior in the future. While I will admit that it is impossible for me to ever fully comprehend the emotional anguish that the Tiller family must feel, and thus the impetus that drove them to make this decision, I have no choice but to condemn it. Their decision to cave to the terror foisted upon them by anti-abortion zealots will, if history serves as any guide, only lead to more polarization, more terrorizing, and more bloodshed. While the human being in me can sympathize with where they are coming from, the social activist in me recognizes that when you represent a cause greater than yourself, you must become greater than yourself. The likely consequences of the Tiller family's decision (about which, let me be very clear, I desperately hope I am wrong) are proof of why this is so.

2 comments:

rachina85 said...

While I agree with your opinions, I'd add that one of the main reasons Tiller's clinic is closing is probably because there are so few doctors in this country--indeed, anywhere--who are willing to perform abortions as late in a woman's pregnancy as Dr. Tiller. Just because the procedure is legal in the third trimester doesn't mean doctors will do it, and even if the clinic were to remain open, it wouldn't provide the service that made it so essential to those in need. That's what's especially tragic about Dr. Tiller's murder. Who now will help the women he helped?

MAX said...

Fantastic, clear, and pointed argument. I couldn't agree more. Moral conservatives, in their blind crusade for ethical supremacy, tend to avoid the word "terrorist" when referring to radicals who would use violence to execute their anti-abortion agenda. This term should not be dumbed-down or sugar-coated. These religious radicals who would kill abortion doctors are terrorists. Period.

This should be no different than viewing the KKK as an early American terrorist organization. We must fight these moral radicals just as we would protest pro-Confederate southerners who justify the creation of the KKK as a way to preserve white culture as soon as Black Americans were unchained and no longer endured the lash of the whip.