Jacki G., 29, went to Dr. Tiller for an abortion in 1996 after she was raped. She can still remember her trepidation when she and her mother pulled up to the clinic a few weeks into her pregnancy.
In middle school in Wichita, she said, children chanted “Tiller, Tiller, the baby killer.” She recalled the gory Truth Trucks driving around town and the 1991 “Summer of Mercy” protests, when hundreds were arrested for blockading Dr. Tiller’s clinic.
“It makes an impression,” she said.
Not only did she fear the protesters, she also worried about whether Dr. Tiller would be gruff and cold, “only in it for the money,” as his critics alleged. It was almost a shock, she said, to instead meet a slightly nerdy doctor who gently explained every step and kept asking, “Are you doing O.K.?”