Reform Jewish Movement Condemns Act of Violence, Mourns Death of Dr. George Tiller
Gutmann: “The murder of Dr. Tiller is a tragic reminder that we must find common ground on the divisive issue of abortion. We renew our commitment to engage those with whom we disagree, based on a shared desire to protect women’s health and oppose acts of violence.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2009 – In response to the murder yesterday of reproductive health care provider Dr. George Tiller, Dr. Cheryl Gutmann, Chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are shocked and saddened at the murder yesterday of Dr. George Tiller, who for decades provided critical reproductive health care services, including abortion services to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances.
Jewish tradition emphasizes the sacredness of life, healing, and health. Dr. Tiller believed in these values, risking his own life to provide compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer and facing often-violent harassment by those who sought to deny women and their families access to such treatment.
As our hearts and prayers go out to Dr. Tiller’s family, we think of his personal heroism and that of the other brave and courageous providers and professionals who are part of reproductive health centers across this country. We call on all Americans to condemn this tragic act of violence and on law-enforcement officials to fully prosecute the perpetrators of such acts.
The murder of Dr. Tiller is a tragic reminder that we must find common ground on the divisive issue of abortion. We renew our commitment to engage those with whom we disagree, based on a shared desire to protect women’s health and oppose acts of violence.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.