In Memorium: Dr. George Tiller.
Domestic fundamentalist terrorism has cut down another friend of women, Dr. George Tiller. I can't express the sadness that I feel about this. But I will say this: Dr. Tiller was pro-life. I am pro-life, and I believe that pro-life means being pro-choice, because the purpose of life is not to maximize our numbers but to live in balance and harmony with all the other life forms that support and sustain us.
Life only survives by being part of a community of life forms known collectively as "the environment." For a human embryo, its first environment is its mother. Mother makes up both the environment and the first human relationship for all of us. It is in her role as "environment" that a woman may sometimes have to end the relationship to her embryo or fetus. She may not have the capacity to welcome a child into the world.
This may seem harsh, but this is often Nature's way. Every year, millions of human neonates die from natural causes. Most abortions are natural miscarriages of genetically malformed embryos. Ironically, the abortion services that Dr. Tiller provided were mostly concerned with those rare cases where a malformed embryo has survived past the initial stages of pregnancy, not cases where a woman "chose" to end a pregnancy because she did not want a child. In most cases, Nature would have aborted such a fetus. Dr. Tiller was able to help those women who were subject to the cruel fate of bearing a deformed child. Dr. Tiller's work was less about "choice" as we have come to think of it, than about completing work that Nature had left undone.