All of us who work at clinics that provide abortion, or as abortion or reproductive rights educators or advocates know we do so at substantial risk. Women who come to our clinics as clients also know that they, too, may be at risk. The slaying of Dr. Tiller yesterday is tragic and upsetting, but it is not surprising or new. We didn’t become scared for the first time yesterday. We’ve always been scared, and we have always had cause to be scared.
The murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church yesterday morning -- based on the information we have so far – was domestic terrorism, and terrorism which has been known and prevalent for some time.
Very sad news: A prominent abortion provider, George Tiller, was shot and killed this morning inside his church in Wichita, Kansas. He was one of the few remaining doctors in the US who perform therapeutic late-term abortions after 25 weeks (to 28 LMP). Unfortunately, Dr. Tiller was regularly targeted by radical anti-abortion groups; his clinic was bombed in 1986 and he was shot and wounded in 1993.
I hate, hate, hate that phrase. Nearly everywhere I go or look as a young adult sexuality educator anymore, I run into it incessantly.
Let me be clear: I don't hate doing all that we can, to help people of every age to avoid pregnancies or parenting they do not want or do not feel ready for. I'm so glad to do that, and it's a big part of my job at Scarleteen and elsewhere when I work as a sexuality and contraception educator and activist.
On July 1, 2008, I became even more of a proud Canadian. This past Canada Day, Dr. Henry Morgentaler became one of several new inductees into the Order of Canada (our highest honour). I think it was long overdue.
I had an abortion in my early twenties.
It was not easy to afford. I was working 60 hours a week, in a fledgling business with a lot of overhead expenses. I was fresh out of a college education I had paid for myself, and was also caring for a parent at the time. There were no resources through public health in Chicago I could use to help with the expense. My partner was pitching in for half, but all the same, coming up with four hundred dollars was an additional struggle during an experience which was already challenging without any financial issues at play.
Attention Scarleteen Readers 18+ and eligible to vote in the US: Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. If it is an election year for your jurisdiction, please head out to the polls on Tuesday to cast your ballot. It's a quick-and-easy way to make a difference, as well as a right and responsibility of being a citizen. The right to choose and access to accurate, inclusive sex education are two major issues that Scarleteen is all about.