From The NY Times, accounts of the lives of women and little girls.
[ The 9-year-old girl had been raped by her father. She was 18 weeks pregnant. Carrying the baby to term, going through labor and delivery, would have ripped her small body apart.
There was no doctor in her rural Southern town to provide her with an abortion. No area hospital would even consider taking her case.
Susan Hill, the president of the National Women’s Health Foundation, which operates reproductive health clinics in areas where abortion services are scarce or nonexisistent, called Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita, Kan., ob-gyn who last Sunday was shot to death by an abortion foe in the entry foyer of his church.
“I only asked him for a favor when it was a really desperate story, not a semi-desperate story,” she told me this week. Tiller was known to abortion providers — and opponents — as the “doctor of last resort” — the one who took the patients no one else would touch.
“He took her for free,” she said. “He kept her three days. He checked her himself every few hours. She and her sister came back to me and said he couldn’t have been more wonderful. That’s just the way he was.”
Other patients of Dr. Tiller’s shared their stories this week on a special “Kansas Stories” page hosted by the Web site “A Heartbreaking Choice.” ]
[ “Late abortion is not a failure of contraception. It’s for medical reasons,” Eleanor Smeal, the president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who has worked to defend abortion providers like Tiller against harassment and violence since the mid-1980s, told me this week. “We’ve made pregnancy a fairy tale where there are no fetal complications, there’s no cancer, no terrible abuse of girls, no cases where to make a girl go all the way through a pregnancy is to destroy her. These are the realities of the story. That’s what Dr. Tiller worked with — the realities.” ]