Illinois action blog

Monday, June 1, 2009

Message on the Death of Dr. George Tiller

Dear Planned Parenthood Supporter:

As many of you may have heard on the news, I am deeply saddened to inform you that Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed yesterday morning inside the church where he was a member. For those of you who may not know Dr. Tiller, he was an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in Wichita, Kansas who oversaw a clinic providing abortions. He and his staff continued to provide reproductive health services despite years of threatened and actual violence. 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. I knew Dr. Tiller for many years, and I am personally grieving over his tragic and senseless murder.

Dr. Tiller practiced the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. He 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.

The suspect being held in connection with the murder of Dr. Tiller is Scott P. Roeder, 51, who was stopped while driving the Ford Taurus that had been reported leaving the scene. He was taken into custody 170 miles from the scene in suburban Kansas City. According to published reports, he has not yet been charged.

I want to thank all of you – our supporters, volunteers, staff and donors - for your commitment to this hard work — work that is made harder by tragic events such as these. Our nation’s history is one of struggle, sometimes violent struggle, to advance the rights of all. Having lived through this more than once before, I know our commitment to advancing the rights of women and families will never waver and events such as these only strengthen our resolve.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Tiller’s family and those close to him who are suffering. 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.

Sincerely,

Steve Trombley

President and CEO
Planned Parenthood of Illinois


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