Tiller’s Clinic to Close

Days after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the out of state M.D.s who practiced with him vowed to keep Tiller’s clinic open after a week of mourning.  Then it became less clear if the clinic would re-open.  From today’s Wichita Eagle:

“Lee Thompson and Dan Monnat, the family’s lawyers, said in a statement that the clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, will be permanently closed, effective immediately.”

In addition to reassuring the clinic’s current patients of continuing care, I assumed that Tiller’s colleagues quickly announced the clinic’s ongoing operation as a way of stating that the tragedy of Tiller’s death would not result in a “victory”, as it were, for pro-life factions prone to such violence.

Abortion is still legal in the United States, obtaining one has become more inconvenient for women in Wichita, as this article from the WE states.

iggy donnelly


Filed under abortion, Crimes, Economics, hate groups, Healthcare, Kansas, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Wingnuts!, Woman Power

31 responses to “Tiller’s Clinic to Close

  1. Dr. Tiller went to work the next day after being shot in both arms by Shelly Shannon on 08-19-93. I remember the day so well because it was my son’s first birthday.

    Dr. Tiller undoubtedly felt an obligation to his patients, but I also wondered, too, if his quick rebound after a fairly serious trauma (physically and otherwise) was to make a statement that senseless violence would not stop his work.

    It is a shame that the Roeders of this world won a victory of sorts.

  2. lilacluvr

    The truly sad part is that if pro-lifers feel they have stopped abortions, then they are mistaken. Like we have all stated at one time or another – if a woman is determined to have an abortion, she will get one.

    This move by Mrs. Tiller and the family makes me wonder if they had not discussed this possibility with Dr. Tiller over the years.

    I can fully understand why the family would not want to continue with all the dangerous wacko nutjobs that are still loose out in society and they seemed to have no trouble getting guns.

    Maybe this is a sign that the Tiller family have something else in mind as to how to handle this abortion debate. Maybe they are elevating it out of the dangerous sewers of constant threats and harassment and into the legal batttleground? What if the FBI determine Roeder had accomplices? What if the Tiller family decide to sue?

    There are alot of questions that are yet to be asked and alot of unknown factors in this case.

  3. It’s very sad that act of violence could be perceived as successful, but I imagine that’s exactly how some feel. You can be sure they won’t say that out loud! Yes, this murder will kick law enforcement in high gear at least for awhile.

    I sympathize with Dr. Tiller’s family and can understand they have given enough. I think you’re right, Lilac, this decision may have been one discussed before his death.

    Don’t you think women of means are still getting safe abortions just like they did before Roe v Wade — in clinics and hospitals and doctor’s offices? And probably poor women are also aborting in the same less safe ways as they always have. Because with or without an abortion clinic, for some the cost of any medical help wouldn’t be possible; for others the cost would be the last thing they needed to worry about.

    If there is a judgment day will some need to face the lesson of, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”?

    • lilacluvr

      Whenever one of the pro-lifers on that other blog made the blank statement that Dr Tiller just wanted the $5,000 per abortion and the majority of women were having abortions as a form of birth control.

      Now what part of $5,000 per abortion is cheaper than getting birth control pills from the Planned Parenthood?

      What made me even more furious is usually those blank statements came from men – as if they would know??

  4. lilacluvr

    Why can’t all people debate the abortion issue like we have in the past week? We all seem to have differing viewpoints but yet we all listened to one another with respect, as we were shown respect when we posted our thoughts.

    And, correct me if I am wrong, I think we can all agree that we should work towards reducing the need for abortions.

    Isn’t this the common ground from which a sensible solution can be found?

  5. Today’s score
    Wichita (and freedom)
    Wingnuts (and the midwest christian taliban)

  6. It takes at least two intelligent people to have an intelligent conversation. Thankfully we have several here, there are places that are lacking the requisite number of two, and are really lucky if they have an intelligent person for a monologue.

  7. prairiepond

    Well, it’s started. The wingnut retaliation to my column last week. One letter to the editor wagging his finger at me for lack of professionalism in journalism by getting my facts wrong. (I write editorials as in OPINION, not news.) Then he proceeds to publish a letter from the the knights of columbus (KKK?) to show me the error of my ways. Then he demanded a retraction.



    To his everlasting credit, my editor wrote a response defending me and my right to a different viewpoint. He noted he personally disagrees with me, but will never stop publishing alternative viewpoints in his paper.

    I love that guy 🙂

    Then a wingnut woman came into the office with both guns blazing. Someone I did some big favors for in the restaurant. She FLINGS this letter to the editor in my face. It’s beyond wingnutty, and misquotes me too boot.

    I get to respond next week by saying “you are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts. Here is the exact quote from the article:”

    I think this may get ugly. I hear the churchies are organizing against me and the paper.

    WTF have I gotten myself into, again?

    Austin is lookin’ real good right about now….

  8. prairiepond

    Here’s what I said in my editorial:

    “Without laws, and respect for them, even when you disagree, America is no better than Afghanistan.”

    All she quoted in my article was that she was outraged to find out “America is no better than Afghanistan.”

    Wow. Just Wow.

    I stand by my statement.

  9. prairiepond

    …and just because I can never resist poking the bear…

    This is what I said in my column this week:

    “The only response I’m going to make to this week’s letter to the editor is that this column is an OPINION column. It appears the “fact” in disagreement is that I don’t agree with the conservative point of view regarding the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. Or as the kids would say “Ya think?” And guess what else? I don’t agree with the letter writer either.

    Thank goodness, when I first agreed to write this column, the editors assured me I could write whatever was on my mind, even opinions that did not agree with theirs, or with the majority of conservatives. I am unashamed of being a liberal, a progressive, and an advocate for the separation of church and state. Free speech lives, even in Trego County, despite the chagrin of those with whom I disagree.

    And, FYI, I did receive a lot of positive feedback on last week’s column. But they were personal emails, and I don’t have permission to print them as letters to the editor. It seems my supporters know a little something about the wrath of those who disagree with the progressive viewpoint. As for me? I’m used to it.

    On the same subject, it’s clear Americans always love a good conspiracy theory. There are many who wonder if the man who assassinated Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder, was financially supported by others who share his viewpoint. That speculation surfaced last week when he listed his liquid assets at $10. How did he have the money to travel to Wichita so many times? And just in case the conspiracy theories were not sufficiently launched, Roeder himself hinted, in his phone call from jail to the Associated Press, that he is aware of other violent acts being planned by certain groups and individuals.

    “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal,” Roeder said. When asked by the AP what he meant and if he was referring to another shooting, he refused to elaborate further.” THAT ought to keep the speculation alive, no? Oh yeah, and it seems martyrdom isn’t all Scott Roeder thought it would be. He’s cold in jail and says the conditions are deplorable. I wonder what he expected? Seventy virgins and a chorus of angels like the terrorist highjackers expected as their reward?

    Ya gotta wonder about the veracity of terrorists, both domestic and foreign. Can we waterboard this guy yet? I mean, if there is a ticking time bomb of violence being threatened, shouldn’t we do whatever is necessary to uncover the truth? Somehow, I don’t think we’ve got all the facts yet from Scott Roeder. A Justice Department spokesman said the threat was being taken seriously and additional protection had been ordered for abortion clinics last week.”

  10. Hooray for you and for being very brave, just like Dr. Tiller was. Hooray for the editors too — even tho it wasn’t without discord, they did print your opinion and that’s important.

    I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to know you gave up a professional life to return to the land your family has farmed for generations, to live in the house built by your grandfather, to love that land and yet not be allowed to live peacefully. And not because you hurt anyone, threaten anyone, just because you’re you. Too bad some take for granted their freedom to be who they are and are such hypocrites they can’t allow every person those same freedoms. I understand why Austin beckons, but if you left your land, your home, I suspect a part of you would stay behind.

  11. prairiepond

    Thanks Linda, I’m glad you understand.

    Honestly, I dont know why I bother with these knotheads.

    And I’m nowhere in the same league as Dr. Tiller and his family when it comes to bravery. I can always pick up and leave. They chose to stay and live.

    They are real American heroes in my book!

  12. Trip to the Outhouse

    This was a great thread. It perked me up because I had read the article about the clinic closing earlier today, and some of the comments after it made me feel just like fingernails scraping on the chalkboard. You all are a great bunch “e’en tho I hardly know ya.”

  13. Good luck Prairie Pond.

  14. lilacluvr

    Prairiepond….hang in there. You have alot of support and maybe you have touched that one person or several people that will change the views of the future generations?

    I believe in the power of planting seeds of hope. Through your courage and willingness not to back down from pure hatred, you are making it clear to everyone that there is a different way. Take pride in yourself and your ability to reach people.

  15. davika

    “Honestly, I don’t know why I bother with these knotheads.”

    We do so because we are morally obligated to speak out against lies and distortions.

  16. prairiepond

    “We do so because we are morally obligated to speak out against lies and distortions.”

    Of course you are right, but I think my efforts in Kansas are somewhat on the scale of dipping the ocean dry with a teaspoon. Is suicide morally rewarding? Because I think that’s what my efforts are.

    And I wonder what’s wrong with me that I ever loved this place and thought I could live here amongst the ignorant and bigoted. I’m no missionary. Let someone else push that rock up the hill and try to bring these hillbillys some light or truth.

    So many wingnuts. So little time….

    • jammer5

      Welcome to the world of politics, sound bites, spin and low IQs.

      Ya gotta both love it and hate it, which can really mess with ones head.

      • jammer5

        Of course that only validates the good ol’ Kansas saying, “Welcome to Kansas, where suicide is redundant.”

  17. g-stir

    I some times wonder if out State symbol shouldn’t be a closed mind. Or maybe we just need more glass navels handed out??

  18. lilacluvr

    So many wingnuts. So little time. Maybe that should be the Kansas state motto?

    If you think Kansas is bad, try living in the deep south. These people will eat their own. The more religious they profess to be, the more evil they become.

    It’s downright scary.

  19. wicked

    My youngest daughter’s school has a message board of sorts where students can post and discuss and chit-chat. Apparently one of the students decided it was her personal soapbox against abortion and a particular doctor. So, okay, she has the freedom to speak her mind. The funny (not haha) thing is, she refuses read or have anything to do with the posts of others who don’t agree with her. She stated that she wouldn’t debate the issue on that venue, but anyone interested in doing so could stop by her “website”, which isn’t up and running but will be this “summer”.

    I’ve a good mind to go post on that board and let her know that people whose opinions can’t stand up to debate or disagreement have no right to offer those opinions.

  20. wicked

    And then I’m going to complain to the school administrators. The girl copy and pasted a whole article, complete with graphic rhetoric on how abortions were done. Apparently there were some that have already complained. Something else she posted was removed.

  21. lilacluvr

    wicked – Is this a member of the Phelps family? Stating your opinions on about abortion is entirely different than posting an article containing graphic rhetoric or even singling out a particular doctor.

    How old of a child are we talking? Do you think she is she being coached by a parent or other adult?

  22. lilacluvr

    wicked – The bad part about this situation is the fact she has already had something she posted removed. If she gets other postings removed, she and her supporters will only use that as a ‘proof’ she is being denied her freedom of speech.

    That’s how the Phelps klan get around their disgusting tactics.

  23. wicked

    No, this has nothing to do with the Phelps Klan. Yes, I’m sure she’s “coached” in one way or another by family, but teenagers are. How old is she? Maybe 14-16? A freshman in high school, but age can only be a guess.

    I’m not bothered so much by the cut & paste itself. Like most pro-birth propaganda, the language used could be toned down. Facts are presented, but only to a point.

    What bothers me is that this girl wants freedom of speech, yet she tells anyone who disagrees with her that she won’t debate or discuss it. That insulates her and others from further education and facts that weren’t presented. IOW, it’s propaganda, at least as presented.

    Here’s what she said:
    I’m not asking to be attacked. I do not respond to arguments, if you want to debate you can visit my Pro-Life site at http://www….. [deleted by Wicked]after Summer starts.

    I just feel this should calmly be addressed. This student needs to learn and understand that if a person wants to practice his/her first amendment rights, he/she must allow others the same.

    BTW, her site is missing.

  24. Bad Biker

    What bothers me most about the pro-life movement, other than the violence and intimidation is the rhetoric is always the verbal equivalent of “shock and awe.”

    Rather than stating that a third trimester abortion “sucks the brains out of a viable baby” why not ask why a woman would carry a child to the third trimester THEN opt for an abortion? It certainly couldn’t be a matter of “convenience” but you’ll never get a pro-lifer to admit that.

    Obviously, an eight month pregnant woman doesn’t just stroll down the street, see a clinic and decide to drop in for an abortion.

    Walk ins welcome? Nada.

    Some women do somewhat abuse the right to choose. I personally know of a woman 21 year old that had two abortions in six months. Obviously, she must have missed something in those sex ed classes.

    If you are pro-life, vote for pro-life candidates, vote for pro-life statutes, but keep violence and misinformed rhetoric out of the equation.

  25. Bad Biker

    Another “point” made by pro-lifers that really tics me off is when you mention rape or incest they say:

    “That doesn’t happen very often.”


    “It’s not the babies fault.”

    Say WTF!

    First, one is too many. Second, are you seriously advocating that a rape victim should have to carry her rapist’s child to term?

    Those seem like very extreme positions, but those are the positions of both Sarah Palin and our very own fundy Sam Brownback. God help us.


    • wicked

      They want to make it a purely black and white subject, when it’s far from that. They’ve made up their minds that it’s WRONG and can’t look at real situations involving real people. If these things happened to them, they would as likely abort as not, then lock the truth away. That does nothing more than cause mental and physical problems in the future. It’s like hate. It does nasty things to people.

  26. wicked

    Biker, there will always be the few who abuse the system. I know someone who’s 38, and she’s managed somehow to get preggers twice within a very short amount of time and had no intention of doing so! (She already has one child.)

    This girl on the school’s board is basically practicing censorship when it comes to the topics she wants to discuss. Saying she’ll debate it on a currently non-existent website takes it off a neutral board and onto somewhere she can control. And I wonder whose idea that was? Who’s paying for the hosting for that website?

    I probably won’t do anything. I’m not angry, but I’d like these kids to understand that what this girl is doing is not right. It has little to do with the subject and more to do with her way of abusing the use of a “public” (through private means: school) discussion board.

    And my daughter’s an even bigger wuss than I am and won’t post a thing. LOL