One of the most infuriating events of 2009, the murder of abortion doctor Georges Tiller in Kansas, is still taking its course as the shooter finally confessed to the murder in court, supposedly rolling in an easy first degree murder conviction. Tiller, a hero to women, providing late-term abortions to those in precarious situations in and outside Kansas, who had already been shot in the arm, saw his life end violently and abruptly while attending his regular Sunday Church service.

Now a key event to the most radical fringe of the pro-life movement such as Operation Rescue, the murder of Dr. Tiller, which should have raised the question of the limits to which the government is going to restrict abortion rights and the infinite dangerosity floating around doctor’s lives, is carrying in its wake a dangerous miscarriage of justice: the soon-to-be-convicted shooter has been allowed by the defense to present his case as being « morally justified ». From RHrealitycheck.com’s Wendy Norris:

Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert ruled Tuesday that Kansas law does not recognize the “necessity defense” — a legal claim that a defendant is justified in breaking the law to thwart a greater imminent threat. Roeder admitted to news reporters last month that he killed Wichita physician George Tiller May 31in the foyer of a church to prevent him from performing abortions.

The judge said allowing the personal beliefs of defendants to justify unlawful actions would “not only lead to chaos but would be tantamount to sanctioning anarchy.”

For months, the Army of God, a militant anti-abortion group linked to murders, clinic arsons and domestic terrorism, has egged Roeder on to claim Tiller’s death was Biblically justified.

However, that ultimate aim has not been entirely lost.

Wilbert said he would “leave the door open” for Roeder’s defense team to argue to jurors that his religious beliefs about abortion compelled him to act.

Let’s be clear. There is such a thing as an absolute truth ; morals may be subjective, and conditioned by religious (or non-religious, for that matter) beliefs, but the role of the law is to rise above such subjectivity and provide an objective, stone-cold compass for the entirety of society to live by. The law is not a tool to be easily manipulated by successive governments, it is not meant to serve a specific personal, religious, or political ideology. The law is, in itself, the absolute ; and every society that proclaims order over chaos and humanity over disenfrenchisement is unequivocal regarding murder. Killing another human being is wrong on all possible levels, and will be subsequently punished. The fact that murder is also the first cardinal sin in all three monotheists religions is no coincidence. Murder is where one would draw the line on their soul, specifically when said murder was premeditated, such as Doctor Tiller’s case, where Scott Roeder was driven by ideology.

Because the Constitution clearly states that every man is innocent until proven otherwise, and that all citizens are entitled to a fair trial, when evidence is strongly held against the defendant, the defense usually seeks for circumstancial evidence that could have explained the desperate gesture that murder is, from self-defense to temporary insanity, from a difficult childhood and everything in-between. Even the very question surrounding the controversy of the death penalty circles around the belief that regardless of the situation, no matter how righteous one feels, killing someone is a display of social inadequacy. In order to provide nuances and allow space for difficult situations, second degree murder and manslaughter created a hierarchy in a crime resulting in the death of an individual, the classification resting on the responsibility and the intent of the defendant.

However, the court is creating what can only seem as a precedent – is there such a thing as « morally justified murder » ? Would it then be considered somewhat alright by legal standards to play God with people’s lives for as long as they do not follow the ideology we put our faith in ? Is this not how the current climate of terrorism presents itself, the coercion of an entire population into bending to another’s cultural and religious beliefs in the name of a set of morals we do not understand ? If murder can be justified, will it then cross into misdemeanour territory, a minor glitch into someone’s role in society, a try-out at rectifying and regulating the course of political and social action ? Is that a gateway into legalizing mob justice ? What is it, the Far West circa 1812 ? As Wendy Norris continues to explain, the “necessity defense” course of action is nothing new in the pro-life movement – a group called the Army of God (sic) once used it to justify their violent actions as being a “defensive force” as described in the Christian Dominionist version of the Bible.

As a woman, would I be morally justified into killing members of Operation Rescue as they are in direct infraction with my own human and civil rights, or are we backpedaling to the times when women are considered to be void of any soul? If citizens can not turn to the judicial branch of their nation to protect them from harm, is there such a thing as a legal state anymore, or should we just go ahead and assume that the Bible holds supraconstitutional value in the United States?

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My morning headache had a name (as they always do), and beyond the nightmare that is swine flu, this one is named Stupak.

Stupak is also one of those Democrats belonging to the blue party for reasons that are beyond our comprehension (he’s fiercely pro-life, much in the likes of Sarah Palin currently hosting fearfully successful pro-life rallies in the South). The Stupak Amendment is an amendment to the current healthcare bill that considerably reduces the federal funds given to abortion. Basically, if you need an abortion, please pay out of your own pocket, thank you. Considering the fact that women in need of abortion are generally mostly of lower to poor working classes, this is not going to help women at all. But this is 2009 and Maine has already given us our federal quota of legal gay-bashing for November; so who else were we going to stump on this time? You’re right, the <i>other</i> second-class citizen: poor women.

The Stupak Amendment, which real name is Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Smith-Kaptur-Dahlkemper Amendment, is already mirroring the Hyde Amendment asking for the complete refusal of federal funds for abortion under health care policies, and the removal of abortion from government-funded health care programs. Planned Parenthood was just about to shoot itself in the head before it heard the news, and is now considering committing itself to the nearest government-funded mental illness program created just for women who have no other choice in life but to turn to the 19th century literature already condemning the use of underground abortion. Guess that a teenage Austrian Jew knew more about women than Democrats do.

As per Republican custom – which once again makes me question Stupak’s allegiance to the Democrat Party – at the moment of voting, Stupak called to the “conscience” of Congressmen, in order to secure the place of his amendment on the bill. The proposed health-care reform, already the product of a severe compromise and the dismissal of anything that would be actually historical and life-changing in the history of healthcare in the United States, is now crowned with the title of the first health care program that completely ignores women’s rights and women’s health in it. I am talking about western countries obviously since we have already stated that the United States has a healthcare record placing them behind Cuba. According to Stupak,

“Passage of the Stupak Amendment does not impose a new federal abortion policy; it simply continues what has been the law of the land since 1977 and I am pleased that with the addition of this amendment the House health care reform bill will continue that policy.”

“I have long been an advocate of health care reform. My goal has always been to ensure that the voices of the majority of Americans who oppose federal funding for abortion were heard in this important debate. Now that those voices have been heard we must move forward and pass a bill that provides quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

“I thank Speaker Pelosi for allowing this important vote to occur and I appreciate the hard work and perseverance of my pro-life colleagues in Congress who held strong and stood with me over the past several months as we worked to find a way to allow this vote against all odds.”

Against all odds, indeed, since Nancy Pelosi is herself a woman and should vote in her conscience with the hundreds of thousands of women she is now condemning by allowing Stupak to use all his manly force to restrict women’s rights a little bit further, in case we weren’t already worried with our situation. Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a teacher at Princeton University, twittered this morning: “So angry about Stupak last night that I had to practice meditation at 2:30AM to finally get to sleep.” Then: “It’s Sunday morning and I am seeking more balance, greater optimism, and the courage to move in a new direction.” We do, actually, and proponents of women’s rights such as Rachel Maddow and Planned Parenthood have already geared up their responses for the bill that passed with a bipartisan vote of 220 – 215 (thank you, Anthony Weiner!)

“Planned Parenthood serves three million women every year through its more than 850 affiliate health centers across the country and has worked tirelessly on behalf of those patients for affordable, quality health care. On behalf of the millions of women Planned Parenthood health centers serve, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has no choice but to oppose HR 3962. The bill includes the Stupak/Pitts amendment that would leave women worse off after health care reform than they are today, violating President Obama’s promise to the American people that no one would be forced to lose her or his present coverage under health reform.

It is strange, a bit eerie, and terribly confusing that this health care reform, so long promised, so long talked about and so long decried by a Republican Party afraid to lose its homophobic, women-hating and gun-toting base, finally became exactly what the Republican Party expected it to be: expensive for sick people, unaffordable for minorities, reducing women’s rights, denouncing equality, and finally going back to square one, all of that without having mastered a single debate yet. We had been encouraged to look toward European countries and favor systems such as La Sécurité Sociale in France and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, without ever using this said inspiration to anything progressive, productive in useful. In times of recession, only government-based means of social security are saving societies from decrepit downfalls of epic proportions. It is only because of health care and welfare that most European countries managed to keep their level of conumption to a degree that kept their economies somewhat afloat. What will happen to the United States now?

One question: what is the use of Congress – and most importantly, the use of a majority in Congress – if we are not using it to bring about the ideas and the reforms propulsed by said majority? It’s not as if the Republicans had ever hesitated to press with all their weight when they were in Office. Why, all of a sudden, must everything be bipartisan, to the point it’s not even a question of balance, but a question of pleasing the minority? Barack Hussein Obama wanted to bring the United States into the third millenium after George W. Bush had run it into the ground and hit reverse – now we are retreating further back into the Dark Ages of feodal rule, and I am not so happy about the future of women, of gay people, of minorities, and of low incomes anymore. If anything, brace yourselves, because this future is indeed a bleak one.

By the way, Stupak, please do leave your Democrat Party card at the door when you leave, thank you.

One of the things that irritated me the most about Sarah Palin – among a long list of various twitches and annoyances that plagued the face and intellect of the former GOP rising star – was the rape kit scandal. Under her reign as a mayor, the city of Wasilla, AK, upheld a rule forcing rape victims to pay for their own kit (which price could go up to $1,000). Said kit contains all the necessary medical and procedurial examinations that could lead to the instruction of the crime and, hopefully, the prosecution of the rapist. Cashing in on one’s traumatic experience was one trait of Sarah Palin’s total disregard for women’s rights – despite being a woman herself – and the utter cynism lying in banking benefits in the state holding the record rate of rape per year (mostly targeting native american women, to add a sinister spin to the horror). Alaska also being the only state with an excedent budget, there was not even any pathetically capitalist excuse to rank money in from any source available.

If you think this story is revolting and morally bankrupt, brace yourself for the following.

Halliburton, Dick Cheney’s company and its subbranch, KBR, were once contracted to work for the United States government in Iraq. Halliburton is the main private contractor allowed on Iraqi soil throughout US occupation thanks to a seven-figure contract with a specific clause of exclusivity. Halliburton, the monster of the military-industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us against in his 1961 address, is not just a symbol of the capitalization of war, it is also upholding degrading values among its employees – values that are now being politically accepted among Republicans.

Last year, a KBR employee was raped by several other colleagues. Here is the story as reported by Republicans For Rape  (see below):

KBR contractors drugged and gang-raped a co-worker, Jamie Leigh Jones, in Iraq, anally and vaginally, suffering genital mutilation. She woke up bleeding from both orifices. After she was examined by a doctor, the evidence was handed back to KBR, where the rape-kit, photos, and notes disappeared. She was then locked in a shipping container, where eventually a guard gave her a cell phone to call for help. Agents were called at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where they took Jamie out of KBR custody. The rape-kit was later recovered, but the photos and notes were gone, essentially letting the rapists go free.

Halliburton being an Iraq contractor, the infamous patriotic rhethoric we have been spoon-fed ad nauseam has been applied in this situation: those employees are not your average rapist – they are real American patriots fighting for freedom and civil rights in Iraq, risking their lives for their brothers. Not for their sisters, who they rape with complete immunity.

Senator Al Franken (D – Minn.) has taken upon himself to amend the Defense Appropriations Bill in an effort to stop the ensuing madness and inhumane, cruel treatment inflicted on that woman and perhaps others on Iraq bases and elsewhere, places where the United States is no longer relying on its Army to carry the dirty job of overthrowing governments with no precise plan in mind. Halliburton might be the number one private contractor serving in Iraq, but its employees are American citizens working on American bases and therefore submitted to American law. Not only should these employees be prosecuted and sentenced the way they would have been in the motherland, paying for the horror they inflicted upon a colleague, but Halliburton should also be held responsible for not directly reporting its employees to the authorities, tampering with evidence, and ultimately blatantly violating the laws enforced by the very government they are working with. Senator Franken added a clause that companies that would feel impervious to criminal law in Halliburton fashion would see their contract with the US government terminated. It is already enough to have gotten themselves in the quicksand mess that is Iraq without having to hire raping mercenaries as freewheelin’ field help on top of everything else. The amendment proposed  to the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill has been defended by Franken:

The constitution gives everybody the right to due process of law … And today, defense contractors are using fine print in their contracts do deny women like Jamie Leigh Jones their day in court. … The victims of rape and discrimination deserve their day in court [and] Congress plainly has the constitutional power to make that happen.

As Rachel Maddow implied during her coverage of the scandal, Al Franken’s proposed bill is not groundbreaking moral politics. It’s not extraordinary, unusual or postmodern attitude towards the rule of war. Actually, it has nothing to do with the war in itself. This is pure common sense. This is simple law enforcement. This is what should have been done without Al Franken having to come at the stand. KBR’s presence becoming a liability to the United States government should not have raised any questions as to whether KBR is a reliable representative of the United States in Baghdad.

John McCain was among the 30 senators supporting rape

John McCain was among the 30 senators supporting rape

You can count on the Republican Party, 2009 grand cru, for being more outlandish and absolutely non-sensical than it was the year before.

Several senators – check the list below – have decided to vote against Franken’s bill. Their excuse? Halliburton is fighting the good war, and is extremely profitable to the United States government. The US Chamber of Commerce has also decided to battle against Franken’s amendment in order to “protect business interests”. KBR can not be blamed for a few bad apples. You have to give them credit for being consistent in their double-standard approach to crime: when two ACORN employees are suddenly bringing the entire organization down nationwide, Republicans are setting the house on fire for matters of principles, of morality, of professional ethics, and their fight against socialism. When Dick Cheney’s money maker and warmongerering company is raping its own employees then holding them hostage so they wouldn’t file a complaint, they are only behaving as slightly distraught patriots would, and it should not reflect on the company at all. The sad thing about it is that it was terribly predictable. In a climate of economic uncertainty and moral failure, one can only wish that the Republican Party would step up to the plate and fight for ideologies that do not imply the downfall of the little bits of humanity and dignity people have left. Instead they gleefully trample over the very foundations of the rule of law and humanity just to add a little more zeroes after their already overinflated bonuses.

Republicans For Rape, a satirical mock-organization aiming at denouncing the thirty Senators going against rape victims,  has listed all the senators voting against Franken’s bill, thus asking for immunity in case of rape. Feel free to contact them, especially if you are a registered Republican Party member, to tell them that crimes against one person, in a situation as traumatic and serious as rape, should never be overlooked. No rapist should be exempted of punishment for the simple reason they are working for another criminal (here’s to you, Cheney).

As we are still mourning the sudden and violent death of Dr. Tiller in Wichita, KS last week, the condition of women and that of their protectors and defensors seem to be worsening in a worrying way. It is becoming increasingly hard for a woman to stand up and feel free in a western world supposedly at war against discrimination and intolerance, yet violations of basic human rights and the failure to recognize attacks as nothing more than a glitch in the span of space are hard to come by. Women appear to have been propulsed back into the corset of shame and guilt they were stuck into back at the beginning of the 20th century, so ice-cold and ucomfortable is the reception made for women who speak the truth and explain the complexities and hardships of their lives.

Sexual behaviour and the ensuing alleged moral dilemma surrounding abortion and contraception might take center stage in the United States, but elsewhere in the world, the trauma provoked by domestic violence is still a damaging and sometimes murdering taboo. In Korea, a young woman has recently lost her job and is facing public trial for being a victim of her husband’s violence. In 2004, Choi Jin Shil applied to be the representing model for Shinhan Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. The contract was clear in its stipulation that Choi Jin Shil was to represent the company in a joyful, positive, and attracting way – she was to ensure the trust of potential customers. As a model, her image was to be clean-cut, family-friendly, and whatever troubles she might be going through at the time of the photoshoot were to disappear behind the face of a woman who would put her life in the hands of Shinhan Engineering & Construction Co. Until one day, make-up artists saw their limits.

Choin Jin Shil and her two children

Choin Jin Shil and her two children

Choi Jin Shil was a popular actress in Korea; and when her bruised and swollen face surfaced in the national papers, the result of her husband Jo Sung Min, it was obvious she could not, at least until her face healed, appeared “dignified” and “happy” as her contract with Shinhan wanted her to be. The company didn’t show support to its employee, it didn’t prove compassion, nor did it even try to use the opportunity to campaign against the horror of domestic violence; it chose, instead, to sue Choi Jin Shil for breach of contract. The contract asked for 500 million won (approx. $400,000) for eventual damages made to their image, but in that specific instances, given the severe aspect of the damage caused to Choi’s face, Shinhan sued for 3 billion won (about $2 million). No one ever considered, in this instances, that the damage Choi’s husband caused to her, her family, her professional credibility, her lifestyle and her mental well-being could be more than a series of zeroes. No one ever considered that Jo Sung Min could be the one responsible for the tarnished image of the company. Choi Jin Shil, as a woman, is not just entirely responsible for upholding contractual clauses, she is also responsible for the violence she is a victim of, and must pay the price for other people’s crimes. She is a woman after all.

In the early weeks of October 2008, this burden finally ended when Choi Jin Shil committed suicide. This wasn’t enough for Shinhan Construction, since nine months after her death, they finally won their case at the Korean Supreme Court, which ruling gives us women folk fantastic food for thought: “We use this model so that their image will attract customers. The model’s failure to maintain a decent image is a breach of contract.” The obligation to appear delightful and delighted was not respected, and the causes of the change were never addressed. Whatever happened in the Jin Shil household is not supposed to affect Shinhan Construction in the slightest. I guess her death can also be considered a breach of contract, considering she can no longer appear at all to represent the company. Someone should perhaps sue the undertaker for daring burying her six feet under before the contract even came to its rational and legal end.

Amidst the ugly custody battle surrounding Choi Jin Shil’s two children and the disgusting amount of money requested to compensate for her husband’s inhumane mediocrity, lies the ideal of a woman trying to concile professional success and personal happiness, a woman believing in its own freedom, be it contractual, legal, or emotional. At the core of this Supreme Court ruling lies the fundamental respect that is due to any victim of a misdemeanour, felony, or crime; the basic compassion that must be felt towards anyone whose lives has been altered in a violent and arbitrary way, and who should therefore be protected by the law. On top of the nightmare endured by Choi Jin Shil’s family, who recently lost their daughter, sister and mother, lies the question of whether a woman is allowed to ever even just aspire to a decent standard of living, free from fear, free from bloodshed, free from male domination, and free from oppression. Domestic violence is not a question of intimacy or personal boundaries. Domestic violence is a crime that must be reported and legally condemned – but not because the victim failed to appear “dignified” and “happy” about it.

George Tiller, a doctor previously on trial in Kansas for helping distressed pregnant teenagers get an abortion, was just shot near a church in Wichita, KS by a “right to life” advocacy group. Recently acquitted for performing late-term abortion, opposing Kansas law, he found death in his hometown. The Kansas City Star just reported, “Tiller was shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. An anonymous police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.”

The 68 years old physician was the director of a clinic called Women’s Health Services in Wichita and had recently been at the core of the abortion debate regarding the now infamous “right to conscience” : Tiller was one of the only two physicians in the Wichita area to accept to practice abortion, and was thus in high demand from the rapidly growing number of patients requiring his servces. Quickly labeled as a baby killer by the local believers, organized mostly by pro-life activist group Operation Rescue, he was soon put on trial for his practices in a highly mediatized debate in which physician to patient confidentiality, appropriate medical care and morality were discussed in a heated political climate. Operation Rescue claimed that despite being declared innocent after his trial, Tiller would not be let off the hook.

This wasn’t the first time pro-lifers attempted to remove George Tiller from this world. In 1993, Shelley Shannon shot the doctor on both arms outside his clinic, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison for her crime. Although he was clearly unsafe and unprotected in his own town and parish, Tiller continued to provide care, aid, and relief as his oath warrants, until today when activists proclaiming to respect humanity and put life above everything else took the liberty to kill one of their peers, in the name of a principle they obviously do not respect.  Because Tiller stood forward in the path of ultra-conservatism in a Bible Belt state, and because he believed in the welfare of his patients, he earned the respect of many, nationwide, regardless of their profession. Jacob Appel, a professor at NYU, supported  Tiller as “a genuine hero who ranks alongside Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. in the pantheon of defenders of human liberty.”

The Wichita court declared him not guilty of the 19 misdemeanor charges of which he was accused. Lonesome gunners decided otherwise. And as many defensors of liberty, as many political, social, and cultural figures who fought for what they believed in, he found death on his way, after attending a church service. As of today, “pro-life” activists will have to debate whether it is life they defend, or whether they are fighting tooth, nail and gunpowder for a discriminatory and arbitrary right of life and death over whomever they choose. The right to life has been shot dead in Kansas today, and the one they described as a baby killer is lying in his grave knowing that he saved lives quietly, discreetly, believing he was only doing what his job required and compelled him to do. Today, womankind lost another one of its anchors, another one of its supporters on its path to freedom and independence in a country that hardly ever remembers it was created to uphold equality and liberty for all.

One can only hope freedom knows how to rise from its ashes, and that Kansas will not be left at the hands of doctor-killers.

R.I.P. George Tiller (1941 - 2009)

R.I.P. George Tiller (1941 - 2009)

Writing about Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter is never easy on the soul and the mind. It is a gradually regressive exercize that requires extreme self-control and all the remains of christian compassion one could possibly muster in this day and age. It came to the point when one finds themselves wishing they had never appeared on the political sphere in the first place, even if this means reducing the number of leading women in politics. Better have nothing than having to resort to Elizabeth Hasselbeck-type of rhethoric. Safe in Angela Merkel’s shadow, we retreated in our safe european home, until Israel shows us the new way to get rid of unwanted women: just take them out!

Mind you, we’re not talking about murder sprees, but rather the subtle and modern use of Photoshop. Two women have made their way into the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. This wasn’t to the delight of ultra-conservative audiences,  catered to by daily publication Yater Neeman, which simply erased Limor Livnat and Sofa Landver from the picture.  According to Jewish orthodox morale, pictures of women are just “immodest”. To hell with all of those arrogant women who dared working their way into a government!  Yater Neeman moved two male ministers instead, a more politically correct vision of what an official government picture should look like.  Shaa Tova, a weekly publication, was a little less subtle and just blacked them out, hereby implying that one would rather not have any regalian functions inside a government than having women overseeing them. Said holed-up picture was reprinted the following week by more mainstream daily newspaper Maariv.

Tzipi Livni, campaigning against Netanyahu, saw her campaign posters constantly defaced. Next time her press relations advisor will probably use a Little Miss Lucky hand-drawn picture instead, in order to preserve Israel’s level of morality and commitment to modernity, equality, and basic human rights.

before....

before and after

Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas physician, has been brought to trial on nineteen criminal misdemeanor charges all related to terminating late-term abortions.  In a state heavily divided by the debate on abortion, and where passions run high on the topic, the “not guilty” verdict, pronounced by a jury of six men and six women, came as a victory of the law over religious morals.

Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller

Tiller’s patients were mostly teenagers or very young women; one of them was a ten-year-old starting her twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. Kansas law requires that once the pregnancy runs over 22 weeks, a physician is only allowed to perform an abortion if the pregnancy can cause “substantive and important harm to the mother” – this includes emotional and mental harm – and on on the second consultation of another physician. Tiller worked closely with Dr. Neuhaus, practising in Lawrence, the only one who ever accepted to be Tiller’s referral. In Kansas, like in many other states, the ethics surrounding abortion are more political than they are medical, and in such divided times, decision-making bears heavier consequences than it usually does.

Dr. Neuhaus provided the referrals for Dr. Tiller, and they both saw the patients as his own clinic, as both physicians testified that it was “too dangerous” for them to consult anywhere else. Both doctors experienced the pressure and intimidation techniques favored by anti-abortion lobbying groups, from harassing the prospective patients all the way to their hotel rooms to protesting in front of the clinic, distributing pamphlets with pictures of dead babies. Evidence proved that in the majority of Tiller’s patients, most fetuses proved to medically compromised. Tiller respected the law to the point of challenging it in court – once the second opinion bill was passed, the 67 years old doctor called over a hundred physicians, even retired ones, all refusing to help. He would have taken it to court if a public official hadn’t referred him to Neuhaus. The twist is that Tiller was stuck between a rock and a hard place – saving young mother’s lives and well-being, and respecting the law to keep his licence and his conscience clear, a situation in which no medical practitioner should ever find themselves in.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, present in court as former spokesperson for Operation Rescue, said he was “disappointed” of the not-guilty verdict, but felt “satisfied it even came to trial”. After assuring all of us freedom lovers we would certainly not be free of their aggressivity anytime soon, the Board of Healing Arts (sic) filed an eleven-charges count – the same ones the Kansas Court found him not guilty of –  against Dr. Tiller that they say is “completely independant” from the criminal trial.  If the Board finds Tiller guilty of these charges, it could result in the suspension or even revocation of his licence to practice. When healing arts  become political, absurdity prevails over formerly sacred oaths in a way that undermines the fabric of trust between patients and their curers. Let’s hope the Board will find it is necessary to uphold the rule of law.