A few more measured thoughts on Dr. Tiller's life, career, and death.

Jun 01 2009 Published by under Medicine, Politics

As you might have guessed from my earlier post, I was angered and saddened when I learned of the death of Kansas doctor George Tiller earlier today. Dr. Tiller was gunned down while serving as an usher at his church while services were underway. As I mentioned earlier, the suspect arrested in the case - reportedly a 51 year old named Scott Roeder - was apparently an almost stereotypical far-right-wing extremist nutjob, with a long history of radical and potentially violent behavior.

I'm a member of a large Catholic family, and I spent 13 years in Catholic schools. I know many people who have very strong anti-abortion beliefs, and I love some of them very much. The vast majority (but not quite all) of them are extremely unlikely to be anything other than appalled by the murder of Dr. Tiller. Although I'll readily admit that I am often unreasonably optimistic, I think that's likely to be true for the majority of the people who classify themselves as "pro-Life".

Under the circumstances, I find the idea of dismissing today's homicide as nothing more than the actions of one deranged man to be quite appealing. Unfortunately, it would also be quite wrong.

I'm not about to go off on some sort of conspiracy rant and suggest that there were other people who were actively conspiring with the gunman. There may have been, but the odds are fairly good that there weren't. In either case, that's not the sort of thing that I'm thinking about.

Since Roe, the anti-abortion movement has focused on trying to outlaw abortion. They have had some small successes over the years, but they have had far more failures. They're frustrated and angry, and their anger and frustration are reflected in the rhetoric ("mass murderers", "baby killers", various Nazi analogies) that they use. In many cases, the leaders of anti-abortion groups have become so caught up in their anger and frustration that they're unable to even manage to mouth an appropriate statement when asked for their response to Dr. Tiller's murder.

Spero News has collected some of the responses, including several of the more egregious ones.

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life wanted to make sure that the speculation about the motives of the killer wasn't limited to one group:

I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

Operation Rescue said that they had been working through peaceful and legal means to "see him brought to justice".

Randal Terry is confident that he can judge the soul of a man who was killed while distributing church bulletins:

George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.

The murderer might have acted without consulting with or getting the approval of anyone else. But that does not mean that the kind of rhetoric used in those responses played no role.

And the thing that I find so frustrating about the anger, hatred, and frustration within the pro-Life movement is just how little an effect re-outlawing abortion would actually have on stopping abortions.

Abortions did not start to happen in the United States when the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down - they'd been common long before then. It's difficult (for obvious reasons) to put figures on just how common illegal abortions were, but the estimates for the 1950s-1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million. If correct, that would suggest that abortion then, although illegal, was at best only slightly less frequent than it is today, and, on a per-capita basis, could quite possibly have been more common. Abortions are reportedly more common today in parts of the world where they're illegal than they are in countries where it's legal.

If Roe is overturned and abortion becomes illegal, the "pro-Life" folks will probably go back to their lives, comfortable in the knowledge that they accomplished their mission. But there will still be abortions, and lots of them, in the US.

The only surefire way of reducing the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Period. The only way to do that is to provide more family planning education, more family planning resources, more societal support for prospective parents facing difficult social and economic situations, and less stigmatization of women who find themselves in any of those positions. None of that is accomplished by waving picket signs in front of Planned Parenthood clinics, much less by blowing up things and shooting people.

In many ways, I think that's one of the biggest ironies about this whole thing - the pro-choicers are mostly on the left side of the political spectrum, which hopes and works to build a society where the conditions would most likely make abortion much less common than it is now. The vast majority of the people on the anti-abortion side fall to the right on the political spectrum, which typically opposes the sort of programs that would be likely to reduce the demand for abortions.

20 responses so far

  • Pierce R. Butler says:

    The anti-choice movement's favorite tactic of pointing fingers in every direction but their own continues, as witness this late-night press release from one Rev. CJ Conner:

    There is nobody more to blame for the murder of George Tiller than Reformation Lutheran Church, ELCA, in Wichita Kansas. ...
    Members at Reformation Lutheran are shocked that the safety and peace of their sanctuary has been destroyed by such violence this morning. They have gotten a glimpse of what it was like for babies, whose sanctuary was the womb, to be viciously torn apart piece by piece by a man who masqueraded as both a doctor and a Christian.

  • natural cynic says:

    If Roe is overturned and abortion becomes illegal...
    If I am not mistaken about Roe v Wade, it overturned anti-abortion laws in states that had laws outlawing the procedure. R v W also opened guidelines for what stages in pregnancy abortion would be allowed. Before Roe v wade, a few states had already legalized abortion with some restrictions [CA, HI, NY] and some others were trying to pass pro-choice laws and a few might have done so if R v W hadn't occurred. There were a lot of state legislators who were happy about the reprieve.
    Therefore, if Roe v Wade is overturned, restrictions and/or lack of restrictions will revert to the states. You can probably make a good guess as to which states will almost certainly retain abortion rights and which states will almost certainly outlaw or severely restrict abortion. There almost certainly will be political fights in almost every state. So, NO - the anti- and pro-choice forces would be still be at it and it could be nastier. This one ain't going away.

  • John says:

    > Under the circumstances, I find the idea of dismissing
    > today's homicide as nothing more than the actions of one
    > deranged man to be quite appealing. Unfortunately, it would
    > also be quite wrong.
    Wow, yeah, because every single day a "an almost stereotypical far-right-wing extremist nutjob" murders an abortion doctor in church.
    I particularly like the way you converted picketing into blowing things up and shooting people in a single sentence. Because only right wing people have ever done those things, so it must be true...

  • Paul Browne says:

    John "I particularly like the way you converted picketing into blowing things up and shooting people in a single sentence. Because only right wing people have ever done those things, so it must be true..."
    ...except that Mike never made any claim that "only right wing people have ever done those things". If you compare the rhetoric used by extreme anti-abortion groups with that of (left wing) animal rights extremists such as the ALF or environmental radicals such as the ELF you will notice an awful lot of similarities.
    http://speakingofresearch.com/2009/03/25/primate-freedom-to-propose-killing-primates/
    Oh and by the way picketing homes is never anything other than a form of intimidation and coercion, which if it succeeds is because the person targeted knows that the next step is vandalism and arson. It can never be an acceptable campaign tool.

  • Luna_the_cat says:

    Dr. Tiller in his own words
    In July of 1970, I planned to start a dermatology residency. On August 21, 1970, my father, mother, sister and brother-in-law were killed in an aircraft accident. My sister had a 12-month-old boy, Maurice. They had written out a will in longhand the evening before the airplane crash, that I was to raise Maurice. So we took charge of my sister’s boy and we moved back to Wichita. My game plan was to spend six months here, close out my father’s huge family medicine practice.
    After I had been there for a little while, patients in the practice began to ask me if I was going to do abortions like my father did. I was outraged. Why would these nice people say that he was a scumbag kind of a physician?
    I began to ask some of these women. And I found out that in 1945, ‘46, or ‘47, a young woman for whom Dad had already delivered two babies came to him pregnant again right away, and she said something to the effect that, “I can’t take it, can you help me?” That is apparently the way you asked for an abortion from your regular doctor before abortion was legal. Dad said, “No. Big families are in vogue, by the time the baby gets here, everything will be all right.” She had a non-healthcare provider abortion and came back and died.
    I can understand how upset my father was. I do not know whether he did 100 abortions or 200 abortions or 300 abortions. I think it may have been something like 200 over a period of about 20 years, but I don’t know for sure. The women in my father’s practice for whom he did abortions educated me and taught me that abortion is about women’s hopes, dreams, potential, the rest of their lives. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.
    When it became legal and my patients began to ask for it, I’d say, “Sure. It’s a legal process.” I was a service provider. I was a physician. The patients needed abortions, and I did them. It is my fundamental philosophy that patients are emotionally, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically competent to struggle with complex health issues and come to decisions that are appropriate for them.
    We’ve been picketed since 1975. My office has been blown up. In 1993, I survived an assassination attempt. My kids were harassed in high school. I had to write letters of complaint to the City Council and the Board of Education. We had people who actually camped across the street from our house. I restrict where I go to eat, where I travel. You see a car following you, you think, “Ah-ha, let’s watch that.” You’re always on alert. You’re always looking around.
    I was leaving the office. It was 7:00 in the evening. As I’m driving out, I have to slow down and I have to stop. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, and I thought to myself, “That lady is shooting me with rubber bullets. I’m not afraid of rubber bullets.” Then I looked down and all this blood is all over the place. I thought, “She shot me. She can’t do that! I’ll get her.” I saw her running through some front yards. So I zipped down the street, turned in front of her to block her escape. She stops and reaches into this little fanny pack that she’s wearing in the front, and I thought, “She’s going for her gun again. She shot you once, George. She’ll shoot you again. You are in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
    So then I drove off. Ended up back at the office, and I don’t remember anything for about 20 minutes. I remember trying to get into my car and drive myself to the hospital. I said, “Let’s not make this a big media event.” Well, I had lost 20 minutes and the TV trucks were there. I thought, “How’d they’d get here so soon?”
    There was never any question in my mind that I was going back to work the next day. I belonged there and they were not going to separate me from my job and they were not going to separate me from my community. So I did go to work the next day, and we got everything done. People got taken care of, it took a long time. Arms hurt, bled a little bit, but so what? I am not going to be run over and I’m not going to run out. It’s just that simple.
    I am a member of this community. Our DNA has been here since 1880. I belong here. The folks that come in from out of town, they are the intruders. Forty percent of all the people who were arrested here during the Operation Rescue in 1991 came from out of state. I intend to stay here. I am part of the fabric of Kansas and Kansas is part of the fabric of me.
    I have more to be grateful for than I have to be resentful about. We have much more support in Wichita than we have rejection and castigation. If Wichita and our community did not want us to be here, I wouldn’t be here. But the vast majority of people in Wichita support, on a quiet level, what we do, which is help women and families.

    —Edited transcript from Voices of Choice

  • Josie says:

    This is really saddening.
    Luna_the_cat's transcript post was wonderful to read, as well.
    *Sighs.* Ugh.

  • Lewis says:

    Correct, abortions will happen even if Roe is overturned and that barbaric practice becomes illegal. Murders occur every day and that's been illegal for quite some time. Holding up convenience stores is illegal, but there seem to be stick-ups every day. Arson, maiming, drug pushing, copyright violation, kidnapping, etc., are all frowned upon and warrant intervention by the constabulary. Yep, people break the law, no doubt about it. Abortion doctors will still practice infanticide; it’s been part of human history for millennia. Those of us against that heinous act would simply like to criminalize the practice. Society will always suffer its sick sadists, why sanction them?

  • Keanus says:

    Mike, your comments are spot on. Thanks.
    As for Lewis, you're sick. You would have abortion criminalized and every woman who has one and every doctor who performs one jailed, or worse, executed. Lewis, there's a huge difference between abortion and murder of a human being. For the latter, 99% of society agrees it must be illegal and should be punished severely. But for the former, a large majority of society do not support criminalizing it. Even strongly anti-abortion South Dakota twice voted down rigid laws to criminalize it, even with exceptions for the rape and the health/life of the mother. So morally it's not even on the same plane as murder, regardless of what the Catholic church, that bastion of morality, attempts to teach its followers but which few heed. I'm with those who argue that if men could become pregnant, legislators would maintain its legality with the argument that the government has no right to tell them what to do with their bodies, the very argument that many women make.

  • Thank you, Mr. Dunford, for your thoughtful post.
    Although I am pro-life, I do not endorse the murder of any person for any reason.
    I also do not endorse any physical and/or other intimidation of doctors who choose to perform abortions nor anyone who feels duty calls them to assist with what I regard as such repugnant acts.
    I often blog against abortion, so I suppose I'm part of that stereotypical nut-case fringe.
    For my views, I suppose I'll be on a Homeland Security watch-list for all my anti-abortion blogs.
    Additionally, in accordance with my religion, I do not take part in endorsing and/or opposing abortion-related legislation.
    I leave politics to the political.
    My attempt, when I blog against abortion, is to change hearts and minds.
    I also am reasoanble.
    I believe that when a mother's life is in jeopardy, it is completely understandable that she would choose abortion.
    However, abortion for birth control, to me, is reprehensible. It's an abomination.
    Again, I do not seek to impose my views on anyone.
    As you noted, abortion was not uncommon in the United States prior to 1973, which proves the validity of my reasoning that if you want to end abortion, then you must reach the hearts and souls of people because abortions will be performed regardless of laws.
    Additionally, it is only reasonable that birth control be used.
    However, abortion as birth control is reprehensible, in my view.
    Yet, again, I must reiterate that I do not seek to impose my religious view on others.
    It's interesting to note how many people assume that if you are anti-abortion then you must be a Christian.
    My case proves stereotypes can be -- and often are -- inaccurate and only serve to divide our human family.
    I am a Bahá’í, but that said, I do not speak officially for my Faith. For that, please see the Faith's official Web site. I speak as an individual.
    Thus, those who use this murder as a reason to declare open season on those of us who oppose abortion -- particularly my Christian brothers and sisters -- are sadly perpetuating the malignancy of stereotypes.
    The verbal avalanche of prejudicial and therefore repugnant attacks of yesterday and today on those of us who oppose abortion are as wrong as attacks on Muslims because some self-described Muslims are terrorists and have murdered people.
    It is called guilt by association.
    It is wrong, and I hope you add your voice in condemning such stereotpyes.

  • BluegrassGeek says:

    Glen @ 9,
    Start speaking out against the people quoted in this post. The ones who cheer for the murder of this man; the ones who nudge each other and wink; the ones who you might meet in chat rooms or get-togethers who say this doctor "got what was coming to him."
    Stand up to them. Weed them out of the pro-life movement. Then, the stereotype can be broken. As long as people encourage this kind of hateful rhetoric, it's kinda hard to let go of the stereotype.
    I'm sure, from what you say, you really are one of the good people. But, from my perspective, you're outnumbered (or perhaps just shouted down) by the more vocal ones who say, "he deserved it."

  • Keanus says:

    I second BluegrassGeek's @10 comments on Glenn@9 note. I've long volunteered as an escort at a Planned Parenthood clinic and the lone (out of about 25 regulars) protester who will converse in a civil manner pretty much takes the same view as Glenn. But like you, Glenn, he lives with a fiction that I can't allow to pass up: That abortion is widely used as a form of birth control. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    In reality to assert that is to imply that women who undergo abortions are just loose women, near prostitutes or whores, who pursue sex purely for pleasure. First off you have no idea what circumstances are for the women who undergo abortions, either individually or collectively, and you insult them by saying they use abortion as birth control. Unlike when abortion was illegal, it is now relatively simple (at least in the first or second trimester), very safe, accessible and cheap, but nonetheless it's no laughing matter and not to be sought casually. (Nor is a full term pregnancy which carries six to ten times more risk for the mother than a first trimester abortion.)
    If there were large numbers of women who used abortion as birth control, the large clinic chains, like Planned Parenthood, would see lots of repeat patients. It doesn't! Only a very small fraction ever return for a second abortion. The vast majority only have one and take seriously the advice that Planned Parenthood dispenses afterward about how to avoid unplanned pregnancies. In fact every abortion patient at Planned Parenthood gets follow-up guidance for how to avoid pregnancy along with strong recommendations and prescriptions for contraceptive methods. Planned Parenthood and other volunteer services, contrary to the myth, are in the abortion prevention business. It would love nothing better than to perform no abortions at all, but that's unrealistic given the obstructions our puritanical politicians place in the way of easy and inexpensive access to family planning guidance and all kinds of contraception.

  • mouse says:

    I am 6 months pregnant with a wanted child. If something goes horrifically wrong in the next few weeks I might need the services of someone like Dr Tiller to save my life or spare my child a brief existence filled with pain.
    If the few doctors who can preform late-term abortions are murdered, intimidated or put out of business by the actions of anti-choice groups and individuals then women who need these services will be left to suffer and some will not survive.
    Please, if you think you are pro-life read the stories at http://www.aheartbreakingchoice.com and think about what your words and actions do to women who find themselves in these situations. Think about what it will mean if they are left with no where to go for medical care.

  • George Taylor says:

    I think the old, hypocritical, 'christian' baby murdering motherfucker deserved what he got. 5000 bucks a pop for his 'services' - worthless son of a bitch made money killing children for worthless cunt mothers who shouldn't have the right to raise a fucking dog.
    And I'm an atheist, your non-existent Catholic god sucks my hairy dick.

  • George Taylor says:

    Hey mouse:
    Get fucking real, you idiotic, feckless twat. You have no knowledge of the parameters of human or mammillian conception. Indeed, you must have the IQ of a five-watt neon bulb with an eroded cathode.
    That said, if you have a little, itty-bitty problem with your pregnancy at this late stage, you can undergo a caesarian section, with NO loss of life to either your or your paramour's sire, that is, unless your fetus is suffering from a gross anomaly, like anencephaly, trisomy, or oomphalacele, or perhaps even fucking cyclopia.
    In those cases, even I, a pro life ATHEIST, would suggest a therapeutic abortion for the good of all. I even think Mongoloid idiots should be aborted (trisomy 21). I won't go further into trisomic defects, or haploidy, or tetraploidy, or what the fuck ever, as there are so many defects that can occur in conception that it boggles the mind.
    You should see the albino corn that has sprouted in my garden - they are destined to die of starvation due to the inability to photosynthesize.
    Such is LIFE.
    Moving on, even 2000 years ago, C-sections were performed in southern Europe, how in the living fuck do you think that JULIUS CAESAR, Emperor of Rome, was delivered from his mother? In case you are unaware, that's what the goddamned procedure is fucking NAMED AFTER.
    WELL?
    Cat got your tongue?
    Even at six months, in the year 2009, the chances are very likely that your overgrown sperm drop will survive, wanted or not.
    Those are the facts, as lies are for lemmings, just like when I heard years ago from some STUPID FUCKING LAWYER JACKASS in the Congress; he stating that abortions should be available for FEMALE HEMOPHILIACS.
    He could not have been a physician, only a smartmouthed rhetorician who spoke only for effect, to sway morons to save those poor female hemophiliacs WHO NEVER FUCKING EXISTED.
    What bullshit, the dubious and ill-informed remark ony illustrates how STUPID our 'leaders' actually are - female hemophiliacs ALWAYS DIE in utero - and even if they survived - they would DIE FROM BLEEDING TO DEATH upon the onset of menarche.
    Don't believe my words - look it up and find that I am correct.
    Adios.

  • tired says:

    Quote:"Abortion as birth control is reprehensible."
    No, it isn't, and saying it repeatedly isn't going to make it any more true.
    So what's going to be done about this? It's not like this killing was a surprise, these forced birth people have been threatening doctors for years? What are we going to do about this?

  • What bullshit, the dubious and ill-informed remark ony illustrates how STUPID our 'leaders' actually are - female hemophiliacs ALWAYS DIE in utero - and even if they survived - they would DIE FROM BLEEDING TO DEATH upon the onset of menarche.
    Don't believe my words - look it up and find that I am correct.

    I don't believe your words - and when I looked them up, I found that you were incorrect. It is absolutely false that female haemophiliacs die in utero - the reason there are so few females with this disease is that it is rare, recessive, and X-linked. Also, while they are at an increased risk of dying from menorhagia, it is usually not fatal. However, female carriers can experience a mild form of the disease due to lyonisation.

  • eric says:

    Glenn @9,
    Blogging against abortion doesn't make you a nut case. Believing DHS has you on a watch list for it does.

    The verbal avalanche of prejudicial and therefore repugnant attacks of yesterday and today...is wrong, and I hope you add your voice in condemning such stereotypes.

    To amplify what BluegrassGeek said, I think it is far more important spend our time condemning actual murder rather than offensive speech. And frankly, any comparison that implies those two things are equally worthy of protest is itself offensive.

  • George Taylor says:

    Hello to you W. Kevin:
    I noticed you had very little to say about what I posted, other than to attack my position that 99.9999% of "female hemophiliacs are unviable and die in the womb.
    I'm sorry, but I submit for all who read that you are, uh, being somewhat mendacious.
    The only true "female hemophiliac" I have EVER read about allegedly lived in Soviet Russia. If I recall correctly, the reference was in an old Lancet article from perhaps 25 years ago - and to save her life she was apparently loaded up with factor VIII and given a hysterectomy when she was a child, before she reached menarche.
    Ergo, if there are ANY other "female hemophiliacs" in existence, as you allude, they are so RARE as to be statistically INSIGNIFICANT in the world population - amounting to perhaps 1 in a billion. That would mean at present there are SIX "female hemophiliacs" on the ENTIRE PLANET.
    So, if you would please, kindly provide CITATIONS and URLs of texts which refute my stance that you are being untruthful with regard to hitherto unknown populations of female hemophiliacs who need third trimester abortions to save their lives.
    Simply post links here - so that ALL CAN READ about them.
    Incidentally, Kevin, I don't give one good god damn if a woman gets an abortion in the first trimester, or even the second trimester for that matter. Further, it naturally occurs to me as I compose this - why don't all the "female hemophiliacs" you casually refer to simply get abortions in EARLY PREGNANCY?
    Really, please tell me, what in hell is stopping them man; it certainly would be a much simpler procedure, wouldn't you think? First trimester abortions and the like are generally much more available to the populace, and much cheaper too. If you recall our deceased friend Dr. Tiller charged his patients five grand for his "service".
    That said, THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTIONS, other than for gross fetal anomalies and trisomic defects - are outright murder, as such individuals can survive outside the womb, using induced childbirth or Caesarian section.
    Try refuting that, considering that fetuses delivered at even six months are capable of viability these days.

  • @Mike Dunford
    I've really liked your posts on this tragedy. They've been well written and measured.
    @George Taylor
    Gracious that's alot of bullshit.

    5000 bucks a pop for his 'services' - worthless son of a bitch made money killing children for worthless cunt mothers who shouldn't have the right to raise a fucking dog.

    Get fucking real, you idiotic, feckless twat. You have no knowledge of the parameters of human or mammillian conception. Indeed, you must have the IQ of a five-watt neon bulb with an eroded cathode.

    That's alot of hate speech for someone who knows NOTHING about the mothers in question.

    I even think Mongoloid idiots should be aborted (trisomy 21)

    Mongoloid idiots is a highly offensive term in this day and age.

    Moving on, even 2000 years ago, C-sections were performed in southern Europe,

    Not true. There may, possibly, be some evidence that some PERIMORTEM C sections were performed. As in, after the mother was dead.

    how in the living fuck do you think that JULIUS CAESAR, Emperor of Rome, was delivered from his mother?

    Also not true. With no antisepsis, and no antibiotics, abdominal surgery mostly ended up in death. Until double layer suture closure of the uterus, C sections invariably ended in the death of the mother, from hemorrhage, or sepsis. Caesar's mother was alive for years after he was born.
    Most historians believe that the name comes either from "lex caesara" as in reference to imperial law regarding perimortem C sections, or the latin verb "caedere" which means "to cut."

    Even at six months, in the year 2009, the chances are very likely that your overgrown sperm drop will survive, wanted or not.

    female hemophiliacs ALWAYS DIE in utero - and even if they survived - they would DIE FROM BLEEDING TO DEATH upon the onset of menarche.
    Don't believe my words - look it up and find that I am correct.

    Already covered, hemophilia=x linked recessive, very difficult to get in women.

    The only true "female hemophiliac" I have EVER read about allegedly lived in Soviet Russia. If I recall correctly, the reference was in an old Lancet article from perhaps 25 years ago - and to save her life she was apparently loaded up with factor VIII and given a hysterectomy when she was a child, before she reached menarche.

    Reference?

    Ergo, if there are ANY other "female hemophiliacs" in existence, as you allude, they are so RARE as to be statistically INSIGNIFICANT in the world population - amounting to perhaps 1 in a billion. That would mean at present there are SIX "female hemophiliacs" on the ENTIRE PLANET.

    How did you get from "this one case needed a hysterectomy" to "ergo there are 6 female hemophiliacs"? You're demanding citations, but you're the one who is making claims. Why don't YOU provide a citation.

  • W. Kevin Vicklund says:

    Okay, George, here's what medical science recommended 104 years ago:

    In hemorrhage in hemophilic women during pregnancy artificial abortion or premature labor (Kehrer) is indicated.
    Diseases of the Kidneys and of the Spleen, Hemorrhagic Diseases by Hermann Senator, Moritz Litten, James Bryan Herrick, Alfred Stengel, 1905

    What's the expected rate of homozygous female hemophilia?

    Because hemophilia A is an X-linked disease almost all patients are male and the occurrence world-wide is 1 in 5,000 male births. It is possible that an affected female can result from the mating of an affected male with a carrier female but the Mendelian frequency for such a situation is approximately 1 in 50 million female births. Nonetheless, there have been cases described of female hemophilia A patients. A more common mechanism for presentation of hemophilia A in females is the process of X chromosome inactivation which could lead to inactivation of the X chromosome that harbors the wild-type factor VIII gene. Other rare possibilities also exist for the generation of female hemophilia A but are not discussed here. -from The Medical Biochemistry Page - Hemophilia A

    That puts it more like 6 or so in the States and 120 world-wide with homozygos hemophilia. But a supermajority of the mothers of male hemophiliacs are carriers, which means that they have mild to moderate hemophilia. That is a significant population.
    Here are three case studies of female hemophiliacs. Since ScienceBlogs puts a cap of two links per comment, add the traditional lead for a URL.
    (found at springerlink.com/content/n327262722k6r226/) A case of female hemophilia with a 46,XXr karyotype studied with X-chromosome DNA probes
    (found at springerlink.com/content/j418m5570700l154/) Diagnosis of hemophilia a in a female subject by using restriction fragment length polymorphisms linked to the factor VIII gene
    (found at content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowPDF&ArtikelNr=208614&Ausgabe=243802&ProduktNr=223829&filename=208614.pdf) The Occurrence of Homozygous Hemophilia in the Female
    Unlike you, I actually bothered to inform myself. You might want to try that sometime. Another thing to note - quite a few hemophiliacs are not diagnosed until adulthood. It is quite likely that a female carrier with moderate hemophilia wouldn't even know of her condition until an abnormal amniocentesis gave her the bad news. By the time she found out, she would be in late second or early third trimester.