Vigil held at city hall for abortion doctor

June 2, 2009 11:33:16 AM PDT
The murder of a doctor in Kansas brought about 100 people together in San Francisco on Monday night. Dr. George Tiller was a well-known abortion provider, who was gunned down in his church Sunday morning.

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Women who have had abortions spoke out.

"When I was 17 weeks pregnant with my third baby," said author Ayelet Waldman.

And women who perform abortions also spoke out.

"Violence or murder will not deter me or thousands of other abortion providers in the United States," said Pratima Gupta, MD, from Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.

They came together on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall along with about 100 other people to remember the life of Dr. George Tiller, the abortion provider who was shot to death Sunday at his church in Wichita, Kansas. A San Francisco woman organized the event through e-mails and on Facebook.

"I was just outraged and just thought that someone should be honoring him in San Francisco," said Lisa Geduldig, the vigil organizer.

Dr. Tiller faced protests and violence throughout his 36-year career, but he defiantly held his ground as one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions.

Police arrested 51-year-old Scott Roeder who is a man with a long history of extremist views. Even some of Tiller's toughest critics condemn his murder.

"Every pro-life leader of any reputable organization has unequivocally condemned this act," said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, the director of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Waldman shared the story of her abortion with the crowd, describing the important role her doctor played in her life.

"I tell you I would lay down my life for that man; just the patients of the blessed Dr. George Tiller would have laid down their lives for him," said Waldman.

This won't be the only statement out of the city on this issue. There is a scheduled protest for Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the steps of City Hall.

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