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Tiller defined by those he helped

George Tiller "was too often defined by his adversaries," columnist Barbara Shelly wrote. "On Web sites, TV and radio talk shows, and in legislative hearings, they portrayed him as the reckless 'abortionist,' willing to euthanize babies close to birth just so the mother could fit into a prom dress or attend a rock concert." Shelly contends that was a cruel deception. "The overwhelming majority of the 250 to 300 women a year who sought late-term abortions from Tiller had planned their pregnancies," she said. "They came to him heartbroken and afraid, carrying fetuses with malfunctioning kidneys, missing organs and syndromes certain to cause death in the womb or soon after birth. . . . Contrary to the false portrayal of him by anti-abortion activists and politicians, Tiller didn't automatically consent to perform an abortion for any patient who requested one. He understood the constraints of Kansas law, and he knew he was being watched."