The family of slain abortion provider George Tiller said Tuesday that his Wichita clinic will be "permanently closed," effective immediately. --Huffington Post, June 9, 2009Bad news.
Don't get me wrong. I don't even have a position on abortion. But I've got a position on terrorism and political intimidation: It must be confronted. It must be defeated.
I can't blame anyone associated with Women's Health Care Services, Inc. in Wichita, Kansas, or any other similar facility for being worried, even afraid, after what happened to Dr. Tiller. But if Dr. Tiller's murder does result in the closure of the clinic, it sets a dangerous example for any right-wing (or left-wing, for that matter) freak who is contemplating violence as a means of bringing about social change.
Imagine some lonely, fever-brained redneck out there in Stickville, USA, nursing his bitterness, hating all the people out there in the world who seem happy and blissful and completely unaware of his anguish. His world is slipping away and he is afraid. To Mr. Redneck, Scott Roeder might seem like the lucky jackpot winner. Because, in the redneck world, Roeder will now be revered and celebrated among the people with whom Mr. Redneck identifies. Roeder exacted vengeance on the Damned; Roeder found a way to close the clinic.
Roeder, himself, in an interview with The Associated Press, said "I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal."
I hesitate to mention it, but recently I had an implied death threat directed in my vicinity by one of these right-wing primitives. It is hard to gauge the threat, since it was delivered in the form of an internet post. But I have alerted people around me (including the Portland Police).
It's easy for me to speak bravely about refusing to shut up when the "threat" is more than likely just the rantings of some frustrated and ignored hillbilly. But for the people that worked at the clinic in Wichita, the dread and foreboding has been validated by Dr. Tiller's murder.
The Justice Department had better do something about this. If Roeder's crime is perceived as successful by those who might admire him, there will only be more such murders.