“It is my fundamental philosophy that patients are emotionally, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically competent to struggle with complex health issues and come to decisions that are appropriate for them.” – George Tiller, MD
Nine years ago today, Dr. George Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion extremist while attending church in his hometown of Wichita, KS. As one of the few doctors nationwide who provided later abortion care, Dr. Tiller for many years faced threats and violence, but he was unwavering in his devotion to his work and his patients.
Every year we are reminded of this great loss, but we also remember Dr. Tiller’s courage and kindness as a colleague, as a mentor to young doctors, and as a physician who trusted women to make their own choices about their future.
In honor of Dr. Tiller’s life spent helping women get the care they need, we are proud to present an annual award in his name: the George Tiller, MD, Award is given to an abortion provider who has taken significant and courageous action to protect and expand access to abortion in their state or nationally.
At a time when we see threats against abortion providers once again on the rise, we are particularly grateful for the bravery and compassion that abortion providers across this country bring to their work every day.
We continue to honor Dr. Tiller’s life and his legacy by carrying on his fight to protect women’s rights and health.
Additional reflections on Dr. Tiller’s life and legacy:
- Follow #WeHonorDrTillerBecause for community reflections on why we honor Dr. Tiller.
- Trust Women: A Reflection of the Work We Do
Former Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow, Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper, shared her reflections on Dr. Tiller in the Whole Women’s Health Blog.
- Trust Women Foundation
The Trust Women Foundation was founded in memory of Dr. George Tiller by his dear friend and colleague, Julie A. Burkhart. Their mission is to open clinics that provide abortion care in underserved communities so that all women can make their own decisions about their health care.
- Democracy Now!
In 2012, Physicians for Reproductive Health’s current Board Chair, Dr. Willie Parker, spoke with Democracy Now! about meeting Dr. Tiller and life as an abortion provider after his death.