Monday, May 30, 2011

A Day of Remembrance

Beginning as a day to pay tribute to deceased military service men and women, Memorial Day has transitioned to a more general day of remembrance. I remember many in my life I have lost and since becoming an abortioneer, I also remember those in our field we have lost, the heroes.

Dr. Tiller carried on his father's practice in Wichita, KS and was a beacon of hope to women desperately seeking an abortion. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I know from others that he was a lovely person who cared deeply for everyone who walked through the doors of his clinic - patients, their loved ones, and his staff. He had been harassed for years, shot, threatened, yet he continued to go to his clinic.

Dr. Barnett Slepian who was killed in his home. Soon after the shooting, antis held protests in the Buffalo and Rochester, NY area where Dr. Slepian lived and practiced. They used his murder to try to incite more violence against providers.

A clinic in Birmingham, AL was bombed killing an off duty police officer, Robert Sanderson, who worked as a security guard and severely injured and maimed a nurse, Emily Lyons. The bomb was detonated by remote control - a truly cowardly act.

Two clinic receptionists were shot and killed at two different clinics in Brookline, MA - Shannon Lowney and Leanne Nichols; many others were wounded. The perpetrator later committed suicide in prison and amazingly, had his convictions overturned because he died before his appeals could be heard.

Dr. John Britton, and clinic escort, James Barrett, were killed outside a clinic in Pensacola, FL. They were just arriving to the clinic, James Barrett and his wife had picked the doctor up from the airport. Dr. Britton's wife was also injured. The man who killed them was convicted and sentenced to death.

Dr. David Gunn was also killed outside a Pensacola clinic and like Dr. Tiller, he had been harassed and lambasted by Operation Rescue - an anti-abortion group that regularly incites violence against abortion providers.

Many others have been harassed, threatened, followed home from work, their clinics bombed. They prevail. Anti abortion zealots won't defeat them, they won't defeat us. This Memorial Day let us all honor the people who gave their lives, so that women can continue to access safe abortion as well as those that continue to go to the clinic everyday knowing they are putting their lives in danger. They are all heroes.

1 comment:

  1. Yes yes yes! I love this post! Thanks to Rev. Vag for writing about this and honoring our (s)heroes. I'm still hoping for an Abortioneers parade.


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