|To the editor:
I, along with the entire staff of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Missouri, am shocked and saddened by the tragic and senseless murder of Dr. George Tiller. Dr. Tiller was shot while he was serving as an usher and his wife was singing in the choir at their church in Wichita, KS.
Dr. Tiller was the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. He cared for thousands of women in Missouri who traveled to his surgical facility when facing emergency medical conditions or serious fetal anomalies diagnosed later in pregnancy.
He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career - his clinic was burned down, he was shot by a health center protestor, and he was recently targeted for investigation only to be acquitted by a jury just a few months ago. None of this stopped Dr. Tiller from his commitment to providing women and their families with compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer.
Our prayers go out to Dr. Tiller's wife, their four children and ten grandchildren, and to his dedicated staff who also risk their lives each day to care for the women and families of America.
We are reaching out to law enforcement at local and federal levels to insure that our patients, physicians and staff remain safe and secure.
Paula Gianino, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Missouri