90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Defending Dr. Tiller
A memorial of flowers outside the Women's Health Care Clinic in Wichita, Kan., on June 1, 2009. The clinic was owned by Dr. George Tiller, who was gunned down during church services the day before. (AP)

A memorial of flowers outside the Women's Health Care Clinic in Wichita, Kan., on June 1, 2009. The clinic was owned by Dr. George Tiller, who was gunned down during church services the day before. (AP)

Ten days ago, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot dead in the foyer of his Wichita, Kansas church.

Yesterday, Tiller’s clinic in Wichita was closed, after years of threats and attacks — and now murder.

Abortion opposition has spoken with gunfire. Today, we’ll hear from a prominent defender. Episcopal priest Katherine Ragsdale has called abortion a “blessing.” She says there’s been too much compromise with opponents, too little straight-up defense.

This hour, On Point: In the face of gunfire, a full-throated defense of a woman’s right to choose abortion.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

The Reverend Katherine Ragsdale joins us in our studio. She is the incoming dean and president of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and outgoing executive director of Political Research Associates, which tracks right-wing political movements. She’s a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice America and a former chair of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She has been Vicar of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Pepperell, Mass., since 1996.

You can read her remarks on abortion as a “blessing,” in a speech in Birmingham, Alabama, in July 2007.

Joining us from Washington is Jim Wallis, founder and editor of Sojourners, a progressive evangelical Christian magazine and faith community. An influential voice on religion and politics in America, he’s the author of several books, including “The Great Awakening: Seven Ways to Change the World” and “God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.” (Listen to his previous interview with On Point in January 2005.)

More links:

The Boston Globe profiled Rev. Ragsdale, with a look at her involvement in national political issues, this past March.  Last week The Boston Phoenix ran this longer consideration of her thinking on abortion.

In a lenthy interview with Christianity Today last year, Jim Wallis explained his thinking on abortion, gay marriage, and other issues.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment