07/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On Dr. Tiller's Murder

Yesterday, a champion for women's health and well-being, Dr. George Tiller, was murdered at his church in Wichita, Kansas. I am deeply saddened by this violent act and the tragic and unnecessary loss of life. On behalf of everyone at Exhale, I extend our condolences to his family and friends, and to the community of abortion care providers who have supported and been inspired by Dr. Tiller's commitment to compassionate care.

Dr. George Tiller, along with his staff at Women's Health Care Services, provided excellent emotional care to their abortion patients. In-depth counseling, religious and spiritual guidance, time for reflection, and trusted referrals to meet a range of patients needs are standard practice at his clinic. Their long-standing commitment to promoting the emotional well-being of their patients is a model of support and respect for each person's unique experience with abortion. I am proud to say that Women's Health Care Services was one of the first clinics to refer to Exhale.

I, along with other staff and volunteers of Exhale, have had the honor of meeting Dr. Tiller and his staff on several occasions, and the warmth of their hearts and their compassion for others shines brightly through their very presence, as well as their words and actions. I was struck by his commitment to his practice in the face of adversity, and that he continued to approach his work with love and abundance, not resentment or sacrifice. Exhale has sought to follow his lead to work joyfully without malice and in partnership with the women we serve. This is perhaps our greatest lesson and his greatest legacy. Thank you, Dr. Tiller.

Today, we at Exhale appreciate the enormous contributions of Dr. Tiller and the staff of Women's Health Care Services to patient emotional care. We are inspired by his unwavering commitment to follow his passion and his heart in order to be of service to those in need. And, we remain dedicated to our mission of a social climate where every woman who has an abortion is supported and respected, and where she can live free of the fear, violence and intimidation that Dr. Tiller lived with every day.