Monday, October 26, 2009


As soon as I heard about it, I anticipated last Friday's episode of Law and Order entitled "Dignity". This episode was a supposed recreation of Dr Tiller's murder. I was curious about how it would be depicted. I know many people think it's too soon, but I understand that is the nature of the way this show works. They use "fresh" news stories.

It started out true enough with an abortion provider being shot in his church. Of course there were the overly dramatic effects of a tv show - the doctor carrying a concealed weapon (scenes of him checking his piece as Sunday service begins), the distraight wife weeping on the church steps about how she pleaded with her husband to stop providing abortions. There was also the anti-abortion rhetroic (I guess to be expected) throughout - the police officer who asserts his opinons over the doctor's staff and his partner while investigating the crime, and the two prosecutors who try (or don't try) to put their personal feelings aside while prosecuting a crime.

After watching this, twice, I knew I wanted the Abortioneers to say something about this episode, but I personally struggled with what exactly to say. This show was far from balanced and really straddled the borders of reality. As my roommate put it, it was anti porn. Besides the blatant anti-choice views throughout the epsiode, there was a blasphemous account of a doctor that would accidentally deliver a live fetus and offer to "finish" the procedure. It is heinous to insinuate that this would happen and that Dr. Tiller had ever done this. Regardless of what the writers and producers of Law and Order might say, this episode was clearly depicting him, so I think they were trying to suggest a good doctor like Dr. Tiller might have done something like this. I won't even get into the courtroom scenes, but it didn't get any better.

I'm not sure what frustrated me more. That the information in the episode was so false and dramatized or that the episode was more about a debate on abortion than on someone's murder. It's disheartening to see this episode only 5 months after Dr. Tiller was gunned down in his church and to see what a callous take the show decided to have.

Whether you agree with abortion or not, you must realize women will have abortions, and they need safe medical care when doing so. Abortion providers and all clinic staff provide a much needed medical service to women and risk their safety while doing so. These people are heroes and deserve a lot more respect than this tv show gives them.

This blog post from RH Reality Check says it better than I ever could.


  1. I'm glad I missed this one, I would have been upset & angry with seeing it.

  2. I'm so glad you posted on this! I almost never watch original Law & Order (I'm a loyal SVU fan) but I saw the description for this ep and thought it would be interesting.

    To say I was outraged would be an understatement.

  3. I don't watch Law and Order in general anymore (murder and rape as entertainment? not for me), but this episode definitely fell into the category of "TV I will not watch." Glad (and by "glad" I mean "completely disheartened") to hear that by most accounts, it was as shitty as I anticipated.

  4. I'm so grateful I didn't watch it, either. :(

  5. I didn't watch it because I don't have television and couldn't find it on Hulu but then realized, Duh! the universe is protecting me. Thing is, I don't write what I don't know. What the hell makes the Law & Order writers so special.

    Abortion-hate (however subdued) just hurts everyone. I don't have the choice not to face the dummies at the clinic because I am driven by my inner convictions of good-will and peace to provide safe, **dignified** abortions to as many women who wish to terminate as possible. But I can choose to throw the television out the window.

    I trust women and I truly adored Dr. Tiller. He was a blessing and a force. His dignity ruled the roost. I pity folks who don't get him. He is in our hearts and very much alive.

  6. I find L&O too choppy, and the plots too arbitrary.


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.