One week after George Tiller was murdered by a pro-life supporter, hsi family has announced they will being shutting his clinic down for good. According to MSNBC the decision was made after serious deliberation about women’s rights and the safety of clinic workers.
While I respect Tiller’s family’s right to mourn him in any and all ways they see fit, I do worry this decision will send the wrong message to anti-woman domestic terrorists willing to bomb clinics and kill clinic workers (physicians, nurses, counselors, cleaning staff, whomever) to “save the babies.” In fact, Tiller’s killer himself said that he was not alone in his willingness to use violent means to get what he wants.
Both pro-life groups and pro-choice groups have publicly denounced Tiller’s murder and called on the nation to discuss this critical issue in ways that neither embrace violence nor champion it. At the same time, violent conflicts between both of these groups continue around the country (verbal, minor physical, etc.) And as many of us have pointed out, murder, bombing, mailing anthrax, etc. are all tactics the far right have used to make their point before. So while I think we need to do more thinking and develop a broader understanding of reproductive rights, ie align ourselves with decolonized, anti-racist-classist-ablist-imperialist, reproductive justice groups, I can’t help but worry about what is coming down the pike from “the other side.”