For Immediate Release
Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906
NOW Identifies Murder of Dr. George Tiller As Domestic Terrorism, Calls for Action from Justice Department and Homeland Security
Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy
WASHINGTON - Women across the country have lost a champion today. The
cold-blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller this morning in church is a
stark reminder that women's bodies are still a battleground, and health
care professionals are on the frontlines.
This kind man and skilled doctor braved blockades, harassment,
assault, and countless threats, including an attempted murder in 1993
when he was shot in both arms. He knew his life was in constant
jeopardy, and that he would likely die at the hands of an anti-abortion
terrorist -- yet he continued to protect his patients and provide safe
and legal abortions to women in often-desperate circumstances. Those
who are behind this murder may believe that the killing of George
Tiller will mean that these women will have nowhere else to turn, but
they are wrong. On the contrary, I believe their depraved acts will
inspire another doctor to take up the torch, and another, and another.
Dr. Tiller's slaying is the most recent in a string of murders in
the service of the anti-abortion cause, and hundreds of people have
been injured or threatened because they provide legal abortion
services. Bringing the killers to justice is not enough - the Justice
Department and the Department of Homeland Security must root out and
prosecute as domestic terrorists and violent racketeers the criminal
enterprise that has organized and funded criminal acts for decades. We
call on the new attorney general Eric Holder and head of Homeland
Security Janet Napolitano to treat these murders in the same way they
would treat politically-motivated domestic terrorism of any other kind
and put the full resources of their two departments behind that effort.
Tomorrow will be a Day of Mourning for Dr. Tiller as well as a
National Day of Commitment for all who believe abortion must remain
both safe and legal -- who believe women have the right and indeed the
moral obligation to make their own childbearing decisions. We urge
individuals to wear white armbands all day tomorrow, Monday, June 1, in
memory of Dr. Tiller and as a visible expression of determination to
redouble our commitment to protecting the right to safe and legal birth
control and abortion.
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.