On the Murder and Continuing Inspiration
of Dr. George Tiller

On the Murder and Continuing Inspiration
of Dr. George Tiller

by Merle Hoffman

In our Spring ’09 edition, On The Issues Magazine writers and artists discuss feminist and progressive values that transcend politics — our Lines In The Sand

George Tiller was a friend, comrade and associate of mine for over a quarter of a century. I would share time and ideas with him at conferences, refer patients for his services and exchange holiday gifts with his staff. He, like so many abortion providers, was a person of courage, integrity and commitment to women’s reproductive rights.

I am sobered, deeply saddened, but not surprised by his murder. Like all of us, he knew that THERE IS NO CHOICE WITHOUT PROVIDERS. Facing ongoing legal and violent harassment, he continued to work for women on a daily basis in the middle of this war zone that all providers share.

As I write in my current editorial in ontheissuesmagazine.com “reproductive freedom is the front line, the bottom line and the everlasting line in the sand of any definition of women’s transcendent rights that must be continually defended.”

George lived on that line, defended it and paid with his life. I am profoundly grateful for that life, lived with courage, conviction and honor.

I ask all of us to pledge our passions, strength, power and continued commitment to the struggle for women’s reproductive freedom in his memory.

George Tiller
Choices Placque from Dr. George Tiller
Presented to Choices and Merle Hoffman
by Dr. Tiller in 1991.

Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” —Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, Merle Hoffman, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare, offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion calling it “the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.” 

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.