What This Is
This website was created as both a memorial to the lifework of Dr. George Tiller and as a living testimony to the courageous lives of abortion providers.

Here you will find stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to making abortion safe, legal, healthy, and accessible to women and girls. These people may be nurses, counselors, escorts, volunteers at abortion funds, or abortion doctors themselves. You will not see the faces of these providers to protect their safety. What you will see is the story they decide to share - how they came to abortion work, what their function is at their abortion clinic, or their personal abortion story. We want to humanize these individuals to convey the kindness, courtesy, justice, love, and respect they have for women and the health care choices women make. We share our stories in hopes of ending clinic violence, to alleviate the shame associated with the abortion experience, and as an homage to Dr. Tiller's outstanding and courageous life work.

Please respect this space as one of compassion, dignity and love. We do not cover our faces out of shame. We do so to recognize an unfortunate aspect of the lives of abortion providers -- we must always be wary of our safety. No one knew this better than Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller Works in Philadelphia, PA
Jun 17th, 2009

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I work for a woman’s right to choose because:

I believe that as women we are human beings, we are capable of making our own decisions, and we should have the freedom to make those decisions.

I believe that each woman, no matter what she chooses to do when confronted with an unwanted pregnancy, is deserving of respect.

I believe that fifteen year-old girl who has made one mistake should not have to give up her future in order to raise a child.

I believe that a loving couple who learns that their child is going to die after being born should not have to suffer through the rest of the pregnancy and birth of that child.

I believe that a rape survivor who was too scared to tell anyone about the rape should not be forced to bear that child.

I’ve been working for reproductive justice for less than a year. The women I work with are among the most caring people I have ever met. I’m proud to work with them, and I’m proud of myself. When I hear stories of the women I’ve helped, I realize we do this work to help women who, for whatever reason, are not able to have a child at this point in time. We help these women have better lives and more successful futures.

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller Works in Washington State
Jun 14th, 2009


When I was much younger, I remember seeing Dr. Tiller’s clinic on the news when Operation Rescue was swarming their clinic in the 80’s. I remember thinking how brave those abortion workers were and how grateful I was for doctors and clinic workers like them.

Two years later, as a young women, I needed an abortion. As I sat in the waiting room, I remember looking at the intake person and thinking about Dr. Tiller and this clinic and how grateful I was to all the men and women who kept my choice possible.

Five years later and for the past 15 years, I have been working for an abortion clinic. I am so proud to be one of many that helps keeps this important choice available to women.

Trust Women!

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller Learns in Alabama.
Jun 12th, 2009

No photo for security reasons.

I’m a third-year medical student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I plan to become an obstetrician-gynecologist. I dream of delivering healthy babies, working with families and supporting midwifery. But as part of my practice, I also envision providing abortions to women who need them.

The road I took to get here isn’t your stereotypical one. My parents are small-town conservative Christians who believe that abortion is wrong. Growing up, I naturally shared their view. But I’ve also wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 years old, and in high school, I began to feel drawn to issues of women’s health. In college, I designed my own major to broaden my understanding of women’s health by including psychology, sociology and women’s studies courses.

I also served as a counselor for a volunteer organization that helps victims of rape. I sat in hospital rooms with young women who would look at me and say, “I can’t be pregnant. I just couldn’t carry his baby.” I could feel their desperation.

At the same time, I found myself shocked at how little many of my friends — women who were studying biology and planning to become doctors — knew about their own sexual health. They didn’t know about or couldn’t get the reproductive health care they needed because of barriers put up by their culture, their religion and their parents, whose sole contribution to sex ed was generally an unspoken “Thou shalt not!” One friend begged me to help her concoct a legitimate-sounding excuse — painful or irregular periods, say — for why she needed to be on birth control. No one could know the real reason: She was sexually active and didn’t want to get pregnant.

I began to feel as if I were leading a double life. At school, the choices I saw women struggling with were forcing me to question my old convictions. When I went home, I’d go to church with my parents but would find that my views contrasted starkly with those I heard in the sermons. It was a difficult time, because I felt that neither my family nor my church would welcome my questions or understand my struggle with my beliefs.

For the most part, I don’t talk to my parents about those beliefs. They already feel as though I’ve turned my back on much of what they taught me because my husband and I bought a house and lived together for a few months before we were married. “How could you do this to us?” they asked. Two and a half years later, that rift isn’t fully healed. I know that my views on reproductive rights would be another blow.

But ultimately, we have more in common than they might think. I agree that ending an unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy. When I advocate for reproductive rights, for choice, I don’t claim that abortion is morally acceptable. I think that it’s a very private, intensely personal decision. But I was stunned when one of my professors, a pathologist and a Planned Parenthood supporter, told me that years ago, entire wings of the university’s hospital were filled with women dying from infections caused by botched abortions. It’s clear that women who don’t want to be pregnant won’t be deterred by limited access to providers or to clinics. And I believe that it’s immoral to let them die rather than provide them with safe, competent care.

I still have a long way to go in my medical training. I’ve never witnessed an actual abortion procedure, though I have been trained, through my work in Medical Students for Choice, in manual vacuum aspiration, a very simple procedure used for both incomplete miscarriages and elective terminations in the first trimester. I plan to choose a residency program that provides further training — a place where I won’t worry that asking to be taught to perform an abortion could somehow limit my future options. At the start of medical school, I was very careful about how I presented my pro-choice views to the faculty for fear that I could jeopardize my grades or hurt my chances for recommendations or of being accepted into a program run by any of the professors. This experience of treading lightly is unique to medical students in more conservative parts of the country, where opposition to abortion is widespread — and it astounds many of my fellow Medical Students for Choice leaders from the Northeast and the West Coast.

As I continue my education, my views on abortion are still evolving. Take late-term abortions. When I first heard about them, I was horrified. I remember the flyer I saw at a pro-life event that described the procedure: It claimed that when the baby’s head emerges, the doctor jabs a pair of scissors into the back of its neck, severing the spinal cord. Even after I became pro-choice, this crossed a line for me. But later, I learned that this description was misleading and graphically politicized.

It wasn’t until I spent time in ultrasound rooms during a research job in graduate school that I began to see late-trimester abortions in a very different light. In one case, the patient’s baby had just been diagnosed with a lethal congenital anomaly. The high likelihood was that it wouldn’t survive after birth for more than a few minutes. As long as the baby remained in her mother’s womb, however, she would live. I asked the physician what this woman’s options were. The answer was, not many. She could choose to continue the pregnancy, but then she might be waiting for almost 20 more weeks to give birth to a baby that would never take more than a few breaths on its own. She was past the point where she could legally terminate the pregnancy in Alabama. If she could get an appointment in Atlanta within the next week, she might be able to have the procedure there. Beyond that, there were only a few physicians in the nation who would perform an abortion in such a case.

I could hardly wrap my mind around the agony that this woman and her husband must have been facing. They needed a caring and compassionate physician to help them through this dark moment, and if they chose not to continue the pregnancy, they also needed a physician who was both skilled enough and brave enough to provide them with the care they needed. They needed Dr. Tiller.

I can’t yet imagine doing precisely the kind of work that he did. When I think about my future practice, I think about a doctor I met at a conference who spoke candidly about the harassment his children endured at school because of what their father did. I wonder what seventh grade might be like for my children if I choose to provide abortions.

I’m not the only one with questions, of course. Once, after Medical Students for Choice co-hosted a panel discussion on reducing abortion by providing better education on reproductive health, some of my classmates approached close friends of mine. They were puzzled that a pro-choice group was talking about wanting to reduce abortions — and that it viewed ending unwanted pregnancies as a tragedy. Mostly, though, they were confused about what I was doing there. “I know she goes to church every Sunday and that she’s a good person,” one classmate asked. “Why would she be involved in a group like this?”

I know my answer to that question. Someday I hope my classmates will understand, too.

I am Dr. Tiller.

[Excerpted from the Washington Post with the author's permission]

[R.F. Love, "My Choice", Washington Post, Sunday, June 7, 2009]

Dr. Tiller Volunteers in Saint Louis, MO.
Jun 12th, 2009

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I am a Jewish college student who is currently applying to Rabbinical School. I am also a Jewish volunteer at a reproductive justice organization.

Last week, as we held a Faithful Presence in defense of a local abortion clinic, I held this sign. I held this sign because my community believes in women’s rights and my sacred texts support such a position. I didn’t mean to make any sort of controversial statement.

However, the sign did seem to increase the anger of many of the protestors. One of them started yelling at me about how Hitler killing my people was just like the abortions I now “support.” He failed to recognize see the irony of yelling hateful things in order to denounce hate.

That kind of false analogy isn’t going to sway me. I do this because I’m Jewish, not in spite of it. I’m tired of some people’s religious views dictating the reproductive services for all women. My minority religious status teaches me that we must always fight for those are being targeted by an oppressive force—whether that means, Jews, homosexuals, Communists, Gypsies, or, in this case, women and their doctors.

I am Dr. TIller.

Dr. Tiller Works in Indiana.
Jun 12th, 2009

No photo for security reasons.

Abortion is a loaded subject in Indiana. Every year legislators introduce numerous laws that they claim will “protect” women, but in all reality, they work to ensure that women in Indiana will not be able to receive an abortion in almost any circumstance.

While I am not specifically a health care provider, I work for the advocacy arm of an organization that does provide reproductive health care, including abortions. Why? Because I myself had one. I remember feeling scared and hopeless, and my organization was there to help me through what I see as one of the toughest decisions of my life.

Now, every time I see a white man in a tailored suit at the podium claiming that his anti-choice legislation will ensure that Indiana women are safe, I want to run up to him and say: “Really? Did you ever consider asking my opinion? Because I’ve been there. And I think I would disagree with you sir.” The sad thing is, I don’t think most of these legislators would even care about my opinion.

I work where I work to give any women like myself the chance to have a Voice against those who feel we should not have one, and an opinion against those who feel we should not have one. And I truly hope we all start using our voices and expressing our opinion in a much louder manner in the months to come.

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller Learns in Chicago, IL.
Jun 11th, 2009


I am a woman who has had an abortion and is so thankful for her ability to have a choice — a choice of when or if to have children.

Although not currently an abortion provider, I am a student of Women’s Studies and am constantly reading and listening to further my knowledge and understanding of women’s reproductive rights. I intend to put my education to good use in the near future and be involved in abortion services.

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller works in Boston, MA.
Jun 11th, 2009

Stock Dr Tiller photo

I am pro-life, but I am a man, therefore choice is not my decision to make. I remember living in Pennsylvania back in the late 80’s, early 90’s, and having to drive close friends to New Jersey or New York State for abortions. No woman should have to have a deadline or have to choose a travel plan to have an abortion based on her life circumstances. In a perfect world, women who became pregnant would be in the place to provide their children with the perfect life (or as ‘perfect’ as they could). We do not live in this society. I am happy to provide women with the transportation to have the opportunity to make the choice that I myself, as a man, cannot and should not make.

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller works in Philadelphia, PA.
Jun 10th, 2009

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I am proud to work in reproductive justice and I never hide that fact, but I know too much about the internet to be willing to put my name out there.

The sign covering my face does not make me (or anyone else who chose to post to the site this way) a coward, and those who think that are missing the entire point.

We are covering our faces because we have realized over the last week and a half that none of us are really safe anymore. We are covering our faces because we want to continue to be able to provide women with the services they need, without putting their lives in danger.

I am proud of what I do. My family is proud of what I do. The women my organization serves show us how much they appreciate our work every day. And that is why I am never going to stop fighting for reproductive rights.

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller Works in The Midwest
Jun 10th, 2009


I never thought that I would work in a place where it would be “just part of my job” to deal with (i.e. ignore & not engage with) people who call me a baby-killer on my way into work. I never thought it would be part of my job to stand with our volunteers and wave women through the lines of protesters with posters of bloody fetuses, protesters calling us Nazis who would go to hell. I never thought that the early morning thoughts that drift through my mind on my way to work would daily include a hope that my office would be standing when I got there, wouldn’t be blown up while I was working.

And yet, here I am.

I work for a reproductive health care provider and organization in the midwest.

Dr. George Tiller was killed in the midwest, far enough away from me to feel some tiny buffer of safety, but close enough to feel like my backyard.

I think I always knew I’d work for social justice in some form or another – it’s what I do, it’s in my blood, and it’s fantastic that I get to do it every day.

I didn’t always think I’d work in a place where I worried daily about what the protesters would do next, about how far they’d go at MY place of work.

I knew my work would have something to do with women’s rights. Most people I knew assumed I’d end up working for reproductive justice.

I didn’t think my work would make me a target, make me so often fearful.

And yet, here I am.

And I’m not going anywhere.

I am Dr. Tiller.

Dr. Tiller Works in Washington, DC
Jun 10th, 2009

076.JPGI escort at a clinic in Washington, DC. I am there to provide a peaceful, reassuring presence to the men and women who seek out services at the clinic. I am there to protect these people from the aggression and anger that are directed at them from anti-choice protesters that gather in front of our clinic. I am there to insist that peace, rather than violence, is the way in which we should conduct our daily lives. I will be there, sometimes twice a week, to remind the antis that someone will always stand up to them, that someone will always stand up for our patients, for women, and for abortion rights.

I am Dr. Tiller.

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