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Dr. George Tiller’s Legacy

“Abortion is not a cerebral or a reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart. For until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all.” — Dr. George Tiller

Our dear friend, Dr. George Tiller, was shot and killed May 31, while serving as an usher in his Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. He was one of the very few physicians providing third trimester abortion services, mainly for patients with abnormal pregnancies. His practice caused him to be constantly surrounded by controversy and protests. He had previously been shot in both arms in 1993 and his office was bombed in 1986. But he persevered.

Dr. Tiller was the FIFTH abortion physician murdered since 1990. In addition, SIX clinic workers, escorts and guards have been killed; and TWENTY doctors and staff-persons have been attacked, shot, stabbed, bombed, or kidnapped. All this because they were providing safe and legal abortion care services to women in need.

Members of the Abortion Care Community want to be able to continue to provide quality care for you and your loved ones with dignity and respect. We are honoring George Tiller’s memory by continuing to carry out his ideal: “Trust Women”. We urge you to start using your voice to help yourself, other women, and doctors who provide abortions by getting involved in one of the following ways (please see back side). If the 45 million women who have had an abortion spoke out against this violence, we would drown out the anti-choice voice. Right now we need each other, so reach out.

Let’s not only be Pro-Choice, but Pro-Voice, so the anti-choice isn’t the only thing we hear.

Funds that you can donate to:

George Tiller Memorial Fund
National Network of Abortion Funds
42 Seaverns Ave.
Boston MA 02130

George R. Tiller MD Memorial Fund for the Advancement of Women’s Health
c/o Wichita Community Foundation
200 W. Douglas, Suite 250
Wichita KS 67202

Peggy Bowman Second Chance – Kansas
2395 N. Beacon Hill, Suite 2601
Wichita KS 67220


Write a note to encourage and comfort the next patient after you. You can do this in your counsel room today.

George Tiller Links: YouTube   aheartbreakingchoice.com


 

Current Supreme Court Case

In March 2016, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in what both sides of the abortion debate consider the most important abortion case in a generation. At issue in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is HB 2, an omnibus Texas abortion law passed in 2013 that has contributed to the closure of more than half of the abortion clinics in the state.The recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia has added a new layer of complexity to the possible outcomes, but the court's decision in this case could transform the landscape of abortion access far beyond Texas.

The Texas law under consideration first made national headlines in 2013 when state Sen. Wendy Davis filibustered the bill in the state's Legislature, standing on her feet for 11 hours in pink sneakers that have since become a symbol of the fight for abortion rights. She spoke of "the dark place it will take us," referring to the potential harm to Texas women of the bill's proposed abortion restrictions. The bill passed anyway.

In Whole Woman's Health, the Supreme Court will consider twoprovisions of HB 2: the requirement that abortions be performed only in ambulatory surgical centers, hospital-like facilities usually used to perform outpatient surgery, and the mandate that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Medical groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have repeatedly noted that these restrictions are not necessary to provide safe abortion care, while anti-abortion groups contend that the restrictions are crucial to protect women's health.

The court will have to decide whether these restrictions constitute an "undue burden" on a woman's right to get an abortion. This standard was established in the court's 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy but allowed states to regulate this right, provided that state laws don't place an "undue burden" on women. If the justices uphold the Texas law, they could expand the "undue burden" standard, greenlighting the evolution of more Texas-like abortion restrictions across the country and cementing the ones that already exist: 22 states require abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

Continue reading at Mother Jones.

Follow-up: The Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, widely considered the most important abortion case to come before the high court in several decades. The ruling, which strikes down several stringent abortion restrictions passed in Texas, is a historic victory for abortion rights advocates. As a result, the 18 abortion clinics currently operating in Texas will be able to stay open, and rules in seven other states that were similar to those that were just reversed in Texas could also be invalidated.

At issue in the case were two requirements of HB 2, an omnibus abortion law passed in Texas in 2013. One mandated that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and the other required abortion clinics to meet the strict infrastructure standards of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs)—hospital-like facilities usually used for outpatient surgery.

"Both the admitting-privileges and the surgical-center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution."

The court's reversal of these provisions means that Texas has narrowly avoided a crisis in abortion access. In the wake of HB 2's passage in 2013, more than half of Texas' 41 abortion clinics were forced to close because of the restrictive portions of the law. Had the court upheld the admitting privileges and ASC requirements of HB 2, 8 of the remaining 18 clinics in the state would have been forced to close, leaving just 10 clinics to serve 5.4 million Texas women of reproductive age, and eliminating access to abortion clinics in the 500 miles between El Paso and San Antonio.

This decision also means that the court has helped clear up the legal question of what exactly constitutes an "undue burden" on abortion access for women in states outside the 5th Circuit. The court's 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed states' rights to regulate abortion but set the "undue burden" standard for any rules that might limit a woman's access to abortion care. As state-level abortion restrictions have proliferated in the last five years, courts have disagreed widely on how to interpret this rule. Whole Woman's Health was an opportunity to clarify the definition of "undue burden," and potentially transforms what is permitted and prohibited in state-level abortion restrictions.

Continue reading at Mother Jones: Here's Why Today's Supreme Court Decision on Abortion Is So Important

HELPFUL LINKS

"Thank you ladies, for all the Zen it took my fears away. I wish the dentist could be as good of an experience as this was!!!"

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