Gunned down at church, for being an abortion provider. Yes, it isn't pretty, it isn't easy, but millions of women would find their lives blown completely off course, if they couldn't end unwanted pregnancies. Morality would preclude abortion if a fetus really were morally like a baby, but I don't think so, and millions of women don't think so, and Dr. Tiller didn't think so.
Apparently he was particularly controversial because he performed late-term abortions, but we shouldn't give abortion opponents control of what that looks like. A friend of mine had such terrible hyperemesis (vomiting during pregnancy) that she nearly had to end the pregnancy in the last trimester, to save her own life. That's at least one sort of case that should come to mind when we talk about "late-term abortion."
Dr. Tiller could have been a safe and respectable ob-gyn, but chose a hard calling. I bet there are thousands of women today who feel indebted to him, thankful, and bereaved. Symbolically, anyway, I am one of them.
Sorry about Dr. Tiller. His death also shows that the pro-choice and anti-choice positions aren't symmetrical. I've never heard of a pro-choice activist gunning down anyone. The pro-choice position seems to attract another type of human being, a fact that those who defend the anti-choice position as almost an intellectual exercise should reflect about, since they are
providing rationalizations for the kind of folk who commit hate crimes.
I'm not sure that in countries where abortion is illegal, you can really shoot your way to legalization. On the other hand, shooting abortion providers is a very effective way of making abortion at least unavailable. There are very few ob-gyns's who want to put themselves in the line of fire. So I don't know that the violence being on one side really says anything about attitudes, as much as it says something about what works and what doesn't. But maybe... conservatives on social issues do generally lean more toward violent solutions to problems. They're more likely to support torturing detainees, the death penalty, military ventures, etc.
I'm sure that you can find some crazies on the far far left, but the right seems to breed more violent crazies than the left does. I'm speaking of the United States, and there may be more violent crazies on the left in Zugostan. However, in the U.S., Europe and Latin America (post the guerrillas of the 60's and 70's), the left or progressives seem much less likely to use violence to impose their values and less motivated by hatred. I know the left well enough not to claim sainthood for its members, but at least in theory its intentions seem "better" than those of the right. Libertarianism, a particularly U.S. phenomenon, with its me-first (screw you) philosophy of life, especially in the incredibly wide-spread Ayn Rand version, its total lack of concern for others or for society, has no equivalent on the left. I know I'm rambling, but I just reread George Orwell's Road to Wigan Pier. Could you imagine a rightwing George Orwell, a sort of conscience of the 20th century?
This is completely off the subject, but before I forget when I was in New York, I talked to my sister, who is the chief librarian in the Central Queens YMHA-YMWA, about your forthcoming book, and if you're planning a book tour, she's interested in having you come to speak. Queens is not a big market for animal rights, but if you're in New York, it's only a half hour subway ride from midtown Manhattan.
Amos, So sorry to respond so late. I've been neglecting this blog. Thanks for talking to her. Not sure about book touring. That didn't happen with the first book, but who knows...maybe I'm about to become rich and famous. I have a little running theory that we ought to take our kids to New York as a substitute for a bar/bat mitzvah, being that I've never been to New York and it's a good place to learn about Jewish stuff.Then again, I have some other tricks up my sleeve. So we'll see. Nice of you to mention my book-to-be to your sister.
Whoops, I meant THEY'VE never been to New York. Of course I've been to New York.
Taking your kids to New York sounds like a great idea instead of going through a Bar Mitzvah. I'm sure that the trip would be more fruitful for them than reciting passages in a language that they barely understand. I'm prejudiced, since I refused to be Bar Mitzvahed myself. I suspect that my father was secretly relieved by my decision. Now, I'll read what you have to say about motherhood. Your presence is missed at the TPM blog.
I figure there are lots of Jews in New York. It's a good place to learning something about what it means to be Jewish. Possible trip to Ellis Island, where grandparents arrived? We'll see...
I may come back to TPM. We'll see about that too.
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