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Say, remember yesterday, when I was like, “I really need to stop making fun of other writers, because they are just doing their jobs, and their jobs may be pretty tough as it is?” Remember, also, how I was specifically thinking of William Saletan there? (No? I totally was! Thinking of William Saletan, that is!) Have you ever wondered what William “Pro-Choice, and Also Abortion is Murder” Saletan could do to inspire me to go back on that promise? What lines he could cross? What unimaginably stupid and wrong-headed and crass and just plain awful thing he could write to inspire me to go back into the closet and get out the ol’ rocket launcher? Well, HAVE YOU? Because:

If abortion is murder, the most efficient thing you could have done to prevent such murders this month was to kill George Tiller.


To me, Tiller was brave. His work makes me want to puke.

Awww, how lovely! I sure do hope Saletan sent this heartfelt tribute to all of George Tiller’s family members and friends. I imagine they would have a lovely time reading it. You know, after the funeral. Because he is dead now, from being murdered.

Anyway, there’s a lot that’s wrong with this article – for example, as Jill at Feministe points out, the use of notably made-up pro-lifer word “abortionist” instead of “doctor.” (Me, I prefer “abortioner,” or “abortionologist,” or “AbortionMatic 2000.”) Or the comparison of abortionology to war, in which you kill actual real live grown-up people with guns (you know, sort of like GEORGE TILLER’S MURDERER) when it is actually a medical procedure in which you remove a not-yet-person from your uterus. I could go into that. I could. But I promised not to be mean. So, I’ll just say, yet again: SALETAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNN.


  1. Amanda wrote:

    I’ve got to hand it to Saletan this time. He almost made me cry. ALMOST. This piece—which equates Tiller’s work to war, and then to his own murder—lacks all context about why late-term abortions are necessary, and why Tiller’s work was so important. Tiller isn’t just protecting a woman’s “right to choose” at any point. He’s not just defending a principle with big forceps. He is often sparing mothers and, yes, children, from PAIN and DEATH that results form late-term complications. Fucking dickhead.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink
  2. C. L. Minou wrote:

    These moral-equivalency arguments are so twisted: abortion is murder! and murder is wrong! except when you kill a doctor and grandfather who does abortions! then it’s totes okay!

    And let’s not forget his masculine valorisation (“…the ones who don’t flinch. They’re like the veterans you sometimes see in war documentaries, quietly recounting what they faced and did.”) of Tiller and his killer(trying to force an equivalence, natch.) Cause you know that this is all about teh menz.


    See also: Suzie at Echidne who points out that if abortion is war, then women are the battlefield.

    Why not? It’s just another way to possess them.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink
  3. Brigid Keely wrote:

    Tiller’s work makes me sick to my stomach as well, because I cannot imagine what the women who went to him must go through upon finding that their babies are nonviable and/or killing them. I mean, seriously. It’s a painful multi-day outpatient surgical procedure and since very few (2?) doctors do it, that means most women who must have it done do so far from home, comfort, and family and friends.

    Oh, wait, I mean… a fetus with no brain, bowels, or lungs is a potential American that Tiller murdered (probably one day away from due date! so he could sell the body parts!) and every life is sacred except for the lives of women who are just babby incubators.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
  4. Tom wrote:

    For a movement that prides itself on “love” there seems to be an awful lot of virulent misogyny all over the pro-life movement. Not to mention hypocrisy. The stories one can find of abortion providers getting pro-life patients can be pretty shocking.

    “The only moral abortion is my abortion.”

    Hooray for cognitive dissonance.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  5. Mendacious D wrote:

    I was, to be honest, expecting something slightly more toned down than this, but his disgust is unconcealable. Whether it’s at abortion itself, or the fact that women are allowed to HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT THE CARE OF THEIR OWN BODIES is unclear.

    Also note the lack of the word “conservative” anywhere in the article. You’d think that might be somewhat pertinent. It must be that fabled “middle ground” I keep hearing about.

    We need a new version of the Ceiling Cat macro:

    “Will Saletan is watching you fornicate. Disapprovingly.”

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  6. Eli Reed wrote:

    What the dick, Saletan? Seriously.

    The only way it would be okay for a pro-lifer to kill Dr. Tiller would be if they had gotten their hands on a time machine, gone back in time, and aborted Dr. Tiller when he was in the womb.

    (And even then, that would only be okay if his mother actually wanted an abortion. Because it's just as wrong to abort a wanted fetus as it is to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.)

    I hate that this happened and I respect Dr. Tiller for the work that he did.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
  7. L wrote:

    It amazes me that Saletan feels okay equating Roeder's real-live extremist terrorism/ILLEGAL MURDERING with Tiller providing legal abortions to women who wanted them. Illegal = legal? Non-consent = consent?

    Something is fucked up in the state of Saletan-Land.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  8. Bettina Fairchild wrote:

    I greatly respect Dr. Tiller. One woman commented that going to Dr. Tiller to have her non-viable fetus was like having to turn off life support for a loved one… and then having a zillion people try to stop you, and call you a murderer for doing so. I was in a doctor's office once when he got a call about a woman who was 5 months pregnant. She'd been undergoing chemo for breast cancer, and hadn't known she was pregnant till then. For the sake of her own health, she needed an abortion–and the fetus was likely already badly damaged by the chemo. Her doc needed advice from my doc (an abortion advocate and also a fertility doctor) about where to go. It became clear her options were severely limited.

    FYI: the other night, Anderson Cooper interviewed another abortion care provider, and he singled out Saletan for being a hypocrite–claiming what happened to Dr. Tiller was terrible, then using inflammatory language like "murderer" and "baby killer" to backhandedly condone the murder. But for all that, Saletan does have a point–it's clearly NOT murder to have an abortion. If it were, then people would act differently about it. I have a friend who said it was murder, but also said that she's driven friends to get abortions. So I said that clearly you don't REALLY think it's murder. You'd never drive the getaway car for someone planning to kill a baby. Deep down, you know it's not murder, and are parroting the inflammatory language of the fanatics. I dont' know that that made her think at all, but it could make some think.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 6:58 am | Permalink
  9. Sniper wrote:

    I bet you are a perfectly nice person

    Oh, I doubt that. I'd bet money that he's the kind of preachy asshole who goes around passive-aggressively suggesting that everyone who doesn't agree with him is a monstrous hell-beast.

    He probably also pretends that mowing the lawn once a week is equivalent to hours of shopping, cooking, and cleaning and pees in the bathtub, but I'm not going to bet any money there.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 7:01 am | Permalink
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    His murder just makes me so sad. They tried to railroad him last year with false charges, which didn't work….so they killed him. His court case wasthe first I had heard of him, and following it introduced me to his struggle…his bravery and determination in the face of such hate.

    Operation Rescue was complicit in his murder. My first knowledge of them was the court case in Long Island NY where I grew up, where they tried to block an abortion that was being performed on a woman in a coma (Nancy Klein – her health was directly at risk, the procedure was performed and she was able to be treated and recovered) I was disgusted then and here it is 20 years later. Still these people try to control by inspiring fear. It's only gotten worse, and it makes me so sad.

    I find these people and their "moralizing" disgusting. Abortion is a medical procedure. ALL medicine interferes with "God's will"/natural events. I don't see them killing brain surgeons or cardiologists for going against God's will…

    Evil hypocrites. I wonder why it's always the right wing types who claim to respect God and Law who turn so quickly to violence and assassination when they don't get their way.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm | Permalink
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Sorry that I keep having to post anon. It doesn't seem to work otherwise (???)

    This was the Nancy Klein case

    It's all about control of womens bodies. I can't believe that after 20 years it is still about that.

    Why ?

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink