Reflections by Orelia Busch

Abortion is not a cerebral or a reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart: for until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all.

– Dr. George Tiller
I learned more than I could have expected about Dr. George Tiller last night at his memorial service at the National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. From his eyes in the photo at the front of the sanctuary, I could tell that he lived as a shining light into a broken world and into the lives of women in the greatest need of compassion. His philosophy was governed by five words: kindness, courtesy, love, justice and respect, and he served as a fine example of a physician and a human being throughout his career. He trusted women and their moral authority to make choices about their reproductive health, and he cared for his patients as whole and sacred beings physically, emotionally and spiritually. He will be deeply missed by friends, family and colleagues.
The words “This Do in Remembrance of Me,” engraved on the table on which Dr. Tiller’s photo rested, seemed to hold so much meaning. I am privileged to be among those who honor Dr. Tiller’s life by working to ensure that every woman is free to make her own fully informed choices about her reproductive life and health. May his light shine on our continued struggle and may his contributions never be forgotten.

Many thanks to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice for organizing this beautiful service.

About the Author
Orelia Busch


  1. Betty Jeanne

    thanks! was surprised you didn't mention that a UU seminarian (darcy baxter) spoke as well.

  2. Orelia Busch

    Thank you Betty Jeanne. Unfortunately, none of the speakers were identified as UU in the program. The service was truly moving and well-attended. You can see more photos from the service here.

    I'd also like to share this blog post from Beacon Broadside about Dr. Tiller's work.

  3. D. Baxter

    Smile- after posting the prepared words I delivered at a gathering of abortion providers, activists, and supporter organized by the DC Abortion Fund, I began to get paranoid about what information about me existed on the internet. So I googled myself. And I came across this, my friend and colleague Betty Jeanne looking out to represent UUism and me 🙂 Thanks Betty Jeanne–you are a good friend.

    I too was sad that no UU voice was present in the RCRC's memorial, particularly because our denomination that was one of the earliest supporters for abortion rights among protestant congregations.

    If you are interested in my UU perspective (I am a UU minister in training at Starr King School for the Ministry and a 3rd generation Unitarian Universalist), then read my prepared words here


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