On Monday, October 25, 9:00 PM Eastern Time, The Rachel Maddow Show will present an hour-long documentary special, “The Assassination of Dr, Tiller.”
The abortion doctor was slain in his church in Wichita on May 31, 2009. His murderer, Scott Roeder, has been convicted to life in prison without possibility of parole. Dr. Tiller’s status as one of very few doctors who would provide third-trimester abortions made him a controversial figure – a role he did not shy away from. His clinic was a reason Operation Rescue chose Wichita for the 1991 “Summer of Mercy” campaign to shut down abortion clinics – a high-water mark of Pro-Life activism which altered the landscape of U.S. politics.
Dr. Tiller was never shy about advocating for abortion rights, or confronting the Pro-Life movement. His life had been threatened many times, and he had been shot before, back in 1993.
Dr. Tiller has a small but pivotal role in “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” and now his fascinating life and role in the abortion debate will be more fully explored in the upcoming MSNBC film. We have not seen the film, but the producers did reach out to us earlier in the year, and we assisted them with research and archival footage (hat tip to Pro-Life Advocate Mark Gietzen, who appears in both productions, and put them in touch with us.)
We never met Dr. Tiller while filming in Kansas – for years he was constantly under investigation or lawsuit of one sort or another, and wouldn’t speak to the media. But whatever one’s views on the abortion debate, he was a brave and fascinating man. We have high hopes that the Rachel Maddow special will do him justice.
(Note: our expanded coverage of Dr. Tiller and his adversaries can be found here.)