Via CNN.com: Scott Roeder, the anti-choicer who murdered Dr. George Tiller last May, has been found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, with a chance of parole after 25 years.
I’m relieved that the jury made the decision to uphold the law and didn’t show Roeder any leniency, and I’m glad that this man is off the streets and unable to harm anyone else. Ultimately, though, I can’t bring myself to feel any satisfaction or joy. I’d be happy if Dr. Tiller hadn’t been killed. I’d be happy if I didn’t know that there are thousands more anti-choice activists out there, many of whom are capable of doing the same thing Roeder did. I’d be happy if people weren’t still celebrating this horriffic crime. I’d be happy if there were more than two doctors left providing this essential service to women, and if those doctors weren’t being continually harassed and threatened.
I’m incredibly saddened by all this rhetoric surrounding the trial, and abortion in general, that acts as if abortion is something that occurs between doctors, legislators and fetuses. As if the women who actually make these difficult but necessary decisions were just an afterthought. As if killing doctors and passing anti-choice laws would actually stop abortions from occurring, rather than forcing women to risk their lives to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Dr. Tiller knew this. He said himself that abortion is a matter of survival for women, and he worked and knowingly risked his life to ensure women’s right to survive. I can only hope there are more people out there who are brave enough to follow his example.