Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Can Tiller's Family Sue O'Reilly?

Posted by Fraulein

This is what I want to know: when there is video evidence of Bill O'Reilly's film crew following and ambushing the late Dr. George Tiller--twice--is that enough grounds for Tiller's family to bring a civil suit against O'Reilly for contributing to the fanatical atmosphere that led to Tiller's murder? (This of course in addition to all the other times O'Reilly went on TV foaming at the mouth about Tiller and late-term abortion, implying that women just love to have abortions for fun.)

If not, why not? Seriously?

By the way, among the many outrageous things about this whole situation is the idea, beloved of right-wing blowhards like O'Reilly, that any woman would have an abortion towards the end of her pregnancy without a damn good reason. I guess it's theoretically possible, but as a mother I can tell you it's extremely hard to believe anyone would do this on a whim. For many of Tiller's patients, the choice was between having an abortion, even at a very late stage of pregnancy, or giving birth to a baby with horrific deformities and/or grave illnesses that would cause the baby to die a painful death within hours, days or weeks. The amount of anguish such a decision would cause the mother can't possibly be imagined by anyone as ignorant as O'Reilly. It is this very type of thorny situation that the "pro-lifers," so enamored of their fantasy world where all babies are born whole and perfect, refuse to admit is the reason for many of the abortions performed in this country.

And until we come to terms with this reality and seriously address the domestic terrorism in our midst, we can't even come close to making any progress on the abortion issue in this country.


Matt Osborne said...

I've gotten tired of suffering fools. No woman should be forced to carry a baby to term if it's going to lack a brainstem.

bonsai pajamas said...

I've mentioned this a number of times at Crooks and Liars and there's a discussion about it going on now. What one poster who seems to know something about civil law says is that Tiller's family could certainly sue for defamation of character. But something that I keep going back to is, O'Reilly said in each of his tirades that Dr. tiller would perform late term abortions "for any reason at all." He said that one of the reasons was depression. And, most importantly, he said "I have the proof." At the same time, he was reluctant to give "the proof" on air. My question is, how could he have proof of a diagnosis of depression without having seen medical records. And, if he's seen or possesses a copy of one of Tiller's patient's records or more, how did he get it? Did he have someone hack into Tiller's computers? That's not legal. Did someone like a mole steal records and give them to him and he didn't report this to the police? That's illegal also. In civil court, that'd be invasion of privacy at the very least.

So, it's not only Tiller's family who could give O'Reilly problems but his patients as well. If you'd been one of Tiller's patients, wouldn't you want to know if Bill O'Reilly had been looking at your medical records? I would.