George Tiller, my friend and colleague, was assassinated by an anti-abortion fanatic this morning as he was acting as an usher at his Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. It is an unspeakable and horrible tragedy for Dr. Tiller's family and friends, but it is the inevitable and predictable consequence of decades of anti-abortion hate speech, violence, intimidation, and harassment of women and their doctors.
Dr. Tiller is the fifth American abortion doctor who has been assassinated since 1993. Other clinic workers have also been murdered by anti-abortion fanatics.
Dr. Tiller's assassination is not the lone and inexplicable action of one deranged killer. This was a political assassination in a historic pattern of antiabortion political violence. It was terrorism. It was about power.
Dr. Tiller was assassinated because he represented an idea: freedom. He helped women. We must ask: what is the difference between this terrorism and the Taliban?
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