George Tiller, MD was honored posthumously by the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) in Washington, DC, last weekend with the Medal of Honor for "outstanding individual contribution to sexual and reproductive health." The Medal of Honor is one of the highest honors given by IPPF/WHR. Dr. Tiller, who was medical director of the Women's Health Care Services clinic in Wichita, Kansas, was assassinated at his church in May.
Alexander Sanger, the grandson of IPPF/WHR and Planned Parenthood Federation of America co-founder and women's rights activist Margaret Sanger, presented the award to Dr. Tiller's widow, Jeanne Tiller, who accepted it on his behalf. Sanger said "for 30 years, George Tiller stood up to protests, harassment and assaults, even being wounded some years ago in a shooting. He kept his clinic doors open to give a choice to women who never imagined they would ever need it-women with a wanted pregnancy that had gone terribly awry as it progressed," according to the Wichita Eagle.
Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri told the Wichita Eagle that Tiller's death was "a terrible tragedy that was a blow to women who need the kind of services that only Dr. Tiller provided." A January 2010 trial is scheduled for alleged murderer Scott Roeder.
Correction: This piece originally incorrectly stated that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America bestowed the award. It has been updated to reflect that the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region gave Dr. Tiller the award.
Media Resources: Wichita Eagle Online 9/29/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/28/09
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .