Thursday, May 31, 2012

on PRENDA and Dr. Tiller...

Yikes- it certainly has been a while since I posted here, hasn't it? In any case, here's a letter I was compelled to write today to my Representative, Chris Van Hollen, on the occasion of both a scheduled vote on HR 3541 and the third anniversary of Dr. George Tiller's assassination:
Rep. Van Hollen-
According to press reports, today will bring a vote on  H.R. 3541, the so-called "Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act."  As it so happens, today is also the third anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, killed in his church on a Sunday afternoon because he was an abortion provider.
Dr. Tiller is a hero of mine because he worried less about abstractions and public policy debates over abortion than he did about women's realities. He once said "Abortion is about women's hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women."   Laws such as PRENDA do nothing but attempt to legislate away women's hopes and dreams with little regard for their social realities. In other words, it does nothing to solve the problem it claims to address.
I know you have stood strong against the GOP's raids on women's rights, and I appreciate that. But I want to ask you to go one step further. Dr. Tiller did his work like everyone else, but he also made sure people knew what he was doing, and why. Too frequently, the men among us who work for reproductive justice do so quietly, without wanting to draw attention. Dr. Tiller understood that this approach helps no one. I ask that you, and the rest of the brave men in the Democratic caucus, take the airwaves and the rooftops and tell the world that you, as Dr. Tiller often said, "TRUST WOMEN". The women of this country are well and fully capable of making the right decision for them about reproduction. It should be our mission to make sure they do not face unnecessary obstacles to doing so.
Thank you for your time.
Dr. Tiller would have wanted us to stop for a minute to remember him, and then get right back to the fight. If you really want to honor him, take a minute to drop your representative a note , and then go over to to find out what you can do to help keep his legacy alive. Thanks.