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I Am Dr. Tiller – Shared Stories of Abortion Work

June 4, 2009

I Am Dr. Tiller is a new website “created as both a memorial to the lifework of Dr. George Tiller and as a living testimony to the courageous lives of abortion providers” where you will find “stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to making abortion safe, legal, healthy, and accessible to women and girls.” The effort is intended at least in part to humanize providers in a climate in which Slate magazine felt comfortable asking, “Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?”

Providers can submit their stories – whatever you’re comfortable sharing about your work – using this form. It is not necessary to reveal your name or photo in order to participate; you are asked to make a sign reading “I Am Dr. Tiller” and use it to obscure your face to protect your safety.

Christine spoke to the site’s creator for Our Bodies Our Blog today – coincidentally, the creator was also one of the honorees in the recent first class of OBOS’s Women’s Health Heroes.

Also on the topic of humanizing abortion providers, I’d recommend Susan Wicklund’s “This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor.” This book describes Wicklund’s struggles as a provider, including having protesters erect a barricade that prevented her from leaving her home, death threats, and having her daughter targeted for harassment at school. It’s a disturbing and sobering read, and one that will make you repeat to yourself this refrain, stuck in my head so often this week:

“Here’s a toast to all those doctors and nurses
Who daily provide women with a choice
Who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City
Just to listen to a young woman’s voice.”

Ani Difranco, Self Evident

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2009 3:02 am

    Since I’m a catholic, I will not agree that abortion will be seen as a humanizing act but practically speaking, abortion has a positive side. It can help resolve the crisis on over population. So for me, as an individual, abortion should be legalized but with a very deep reason.

    • June 5, 2009 6:51 am

      Jasmine, I specifically said that it was intended to humanize providers, not the act. While I do believe very firmly in preserving the legality of and access to abortion for women who choose it, when people start to talk about population control I am reminded of forced sterilization, forced implantable contraception and other reproductive monitoring that the supposedly less desirable in our society have been subjected to. Abortion is a personal, individual choice – it is not and should not be a tool for those who wish to apply it for broad purposes without regard to individual choice. If you’re legitimately concerned about overpopulation, in my view you should be focused not on abortion, but on systemic factors that influence the sustainability of the population.

  2. MomTFH permalink
    June 5, 2009 8:56 am

    Great post, and This Common Secret is a wonderful, moving book.

  3. snikta permalink
    June 9, 2009 12:15 pm

    I heard on NPR that the Tiller family has decided to permanently close the clinic.

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