Mississippi’s Only Abortion Doctor: Terrified, But Defiant

JACKSON, Miss. — The death of Dr. George Tiller terrified the only abortion provider in the state of Mississippi. “It really shakes you up when you know this extremism is back again, apparently, and it does make you fear for your life,” Dr. Joseph Booker said Sunday. Dr. Joesph Booker Tiller was serving as an usher during morning services Sunday when he was shot in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. Police said the gunman fired one shot at Tiller and threatened two other people who tried to stop him. The suspect, identified by one law enforcement agency as Scott Roeder, was taken into custody some 170 miles away in a Kansas City suburb and has since been returned to Wichita where he is being held without bond. Tiller was one of the few doctors in the U.S. who performed late-term abortions. Booker is the only Mississippi doctor certified to perform abortions in the state of Mississippi. After an abortion doctor in Florida was gunned down, Booker underwent U.S. marshal protection for two years. Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh, the director of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, watches protesters gather outside the clinic. The murder of Tiller in Kansas prompted the clinic to call for security. “I’ve been busy contacting local, state, and federal law enforcement advising them of the situation,” Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh, the director of Booker’s clinic, said. Kohsin-Kintigh said that she had been friends with Tiller for 17 years. “In this country, in fact, internationally, we have lost a great ally of women and their families,” Kohsin-Kintigh said. This battle is decades old but Booker says his fears of being attacked won’t keep him from doing his job.

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