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Tiller's Bloody Kansas Redux

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The bloodshed of the thousands of late-term abortions that Dr. George R. Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, performs each year vastly eclipses the death toll from the struggle over the slavery contest in Kansas in the years immediately prior to the Civil War. The slaughter in Tiller’s abortion clinic — by his own account he has performed over 60,000 abortions, with a “special interest” and focus on “late-term” abortions — should justly revive the label of “Bleeding Kansas.”


It is hard to know what is in the mind of someone like George Tiller, the abortionist who for years has routinely killed the babies of women in the last stages of their pregnancies — seven, even eight months along. You certainly don’t need an ultrasound at this late date to see it’s a baby. At this stage of development, under the heroic care of skilled doctors and loving nurses, premature infants routinely survive an early delivery; there is no way to make the argument that it’s not really a baby.

If Tiller is sane, does he say to himself, “Any woman who waits this long to get rid of an unwanted child would make an unfit mother and the child is better off dead than in her care?”

Who knows? We can only go by what he has publicly decreed: “it is unplanned and unwanted motherhood that shipwrecks women’s lives.” It reminds me of Jonathan Swift’s saying, “I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”

So Tiller takes upon himself the role of God and condemns to death any innocent child whose mother chooses to label it as “unwanted.” Then he executes them. And now, a Kansas jury, looking only at the cold-blooded manipulation of the law, has set him free.

I recently saw a concise statement of the attitudes and values that allow this travesty of justice to continue — attitudes as degrading as those that promoted slavery, attitudes that led the jury to acquit Tiller. They are short enough to fit on a bumper sticker.


It is one of the vilest bumper stickers I’ve ever seen — not so much because it was blatantly crude or vulgar, but because of the sheer tawdriness of the philosophy of life that it espoused.

It brazenly proclaimed, “Just say ‘no’ to sex with pro-lifers.”

The longer I think about that bumper sticker, the more disgusting it becomes. Does anybody think that a pro-life woman wants to hook-up with the likes of the pathetic human being who designed the bumper sticker? The implication of the brazen statement is that this shallow-minded man’s pleasure is the only thing that counts, and the price of that pleasure is the death of the children he fathers. The tragedy is that he is not an isolated case. A large percentage of the women who have abortions do so because the woman is pressured by a so-called “boyfriend” who gives her a choice: “If you choose the baby, I’m out of here!”

That bumper sticker really gives the game away. If everyone who is pro-abortion were openly seen as this calloused and this selfish, then no decent, self-respecting person would admit to being pro-abortion, even when camouflaged behind the veil of the “right to privacy.” Calling this attitude “pro-choice” is like spraying room freshener in a port-a-potty.

Contrast that attitude with what I see each morning on our commute into Washington, D.C. My husband and I travel along East Constitution Avenue through the historic Capitol Hill district with its multicolored row houses and tree-lined red brick sidewalks. Now that spring has arrived, we are seeing new mothers with their baby carriages or strollers eagerly leaving the cooped-up indoors to enjoy the blossoming trees and the colorful flowers along the walkways. People hurrying to work are generally quick to make way and give place to the strolling mothers. There is a near-universal tendency to feel protective of both mothers and children. There is even a sense of awe at the sacred profession of motherhood — here is a mother giving her child the full measure of her devotion. If there is any tenderness at all in a person, a mother with her little child will bring it out.


No one wants to tangle with a she-bear or mother lion with cubs. We expect mothers — humans as much as any other species — to fiercely protect their young. We want to avert our eyes when a mother occasionally abuses or kills her offspring. When it happens, it makes the news.

It is hard, however, for a prosecutor to get a murder conviction of a mother turned predator. The crime is so heinous, so un-natural, so contrary to the essence of motherhood, that people tend to immediately assume, even without any evidence, that the mother must be mentally ill, deranged, or insane — that surely something in her circumstances has left her unhinged.

Perhaps a decree of insanity would have made the Tiller decision easier to accept. Instead, the Kansas jury took less than an hour to approve Tiller’s barbaric slaughter of those about to be born. Long before the likes of Tiller twisted abortion into nothing more than a “choice,” Moses put the issue clearly to the people saying, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your children may live.”

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