As Oklahoma enacts a law that could close all but one abortion clinic in the state — and Louisiana is poised to follow suit — DemocracyNow takes a look at the legacy of Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated five years ago this past weekend. Tiller was one of a handful of doctors providing abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy. He braved constant threats, a firebombing at his clinic and an assassination attempt that left him with gunshot wounds to both arms. On May 31, 2009, anti-choice extremist, Scott Roeder, entered Tiller’s church in Wichita, Kansas, and shot him dead. We remember Tiller by speaking with Dr. Cheryl Chastine, who travels from Chicago to Wichita each week to provide abortions at Tiller’s former clinic, which reopened last year. Chastine discusses the obstacles to abortion access in Kansas and responds to the threats and harassment she and her colleagues face. “I get up in the morning and there are patients that need me,” Chastine says. “If I allow myself to be deterred from doing this work, then I am allowing a victory for terrorism.”
This country’s religious extremists are on a mission to reverse the rights women won and should be undoubtedly given the rights over our own bodies. Abortion is a choice only a woman should make, not a man, not the government, not a state.
The U.S. government and it’s statesmen have a history rooted in racism, sexism and classism. Charged with the fuel of power and control over people, we are desperately in need of government which has a people who actually think consciously and righteously.