I just saw the news about Dr. Tiller and am so profoundly saddened. I knew him professionally- he was a great friend of genetic counselors. And he was a kind and gentle man.
I have worked in reproductive health for almost a decade and I don't know a single person who is "pro-abortion." But most people do not understand or want to hear the heart-wrenching stories of the women who end up in abortion clinics. A great majority of women who sought out Dr. Tiller's services had planned and wanted pregnancies. About four or five months in, when they came to the doctor for the exciting ultrasound to find out the gender of the baby, they instead discovered that there was something wrong with the baby. Sometimes, terribly unfixably wrong. I know this because I'm someone who had to tell women this news. There is nothing like the anguished cries of a mother when she hears that the baby growing and moving inside her will be severely deformed, profoundly disabled or simply will not survive life after birth. For some women, the idea of carrying a baby for another four or five months just to watch that baby die seems unbearable. To be visibly pregnant and face strangers' questions, feel that life moving inside, all the while dreading the inevitable end. Maybe it's easy to think we know how we would react in that situation but I'm not sure...
My friend is a woman of deep Christian faith. Unlike me, she is not given to rants, and her opinions are carefully considered. I am very appreciative of your insight here, my friend.
Also, I have worked as a volunteer for the pro-choice movement, and never, not once, did I hear anyone advocating violence toward anyone of the anti-choice groups, despite their awful efforts to intimidate.