Monday, June 1, 2009
The Tragic Loss of a Friend
The tragic death of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas-based abortion provider, yesterday has sent waves of shock and sadness throughout the women’s health community.
Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a statement on Sunday addressing the tragedy. “The entire Planned Parenthood family is deeply saddened by the murder of Dr. George Tiller. While he was not a Planned Parenthood provider, he was an integral part of our community and his loss is felt by all of us”, said Richards. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those close to him who are suffering a personal tragedy.”
For decades Dr.Tiller provided critical reproductive health care services, including abortion services to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances. He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career - his clinic was burned down, he was shot by a health center protestor, and he was recently targeted for investigation only to be acquitted by a jury just a few months ago. None of this stopped George Tiller from his commitment to providing women and their families with compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer.
President Barack Obama released a statement yesterday echoing the thoughts of many in regards to the recent tragedy. “I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning,” proclaimed President Obama. “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”
Dr. Tiller was the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region wants to emphasize the condolences uttered by Cecile Richards. “His death is an enormous loss for the patients who relied on him, his dedicated staff, the medical community and for women and their families across America.”