WHEN TERRORISM PRODUCES THE DESIRED RESULT…. Women who are late in their pregnancies, who learn of catastrophic health issues, have limited options left in the United States. As of today, those options dwindled just a little more.

The Wichita abortion clinic run by a doctor who was shot and killed will remain closed permanently, his family said on Tuesday.

Dr. George R. Tiller’s clinic was one of the few in the country to provide abortions to women late in their pregnancies, and for decades, women had traveled there from all over the nation and from overseas. It was also the only remaining abortion clinic, even for first trimester abortions, in the Wichita region.

“The family of Dr. George Tiller announces that effective immediately, Women’s Health Care Services, Inc., will be permanently closed,” according to a statement issued on Tuesday morning by the family’s lawyers. “Notice is being given today to all concerned that the Tiller family is ceasing operation of the clinic and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic.”

The development adds insult to tragedy. A violent lunatic murdered a law-abiding physician in the hopes of preventing rare late-term abortions at Tiller’s clinic. And now that Tiller is gone, the assassin has the result he wanted.

Even some abortion opponents, who had long devoted their efforts to closing down Dr. Tiller’s clinic, said they did not wish to see it happen under these circumstances. Last week, Troy Newman, the leader of Operation Rescue, had said that closing the clinic now would send a worrisome message. “Good God, do not close this abortion clinic for this reason,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “Every kook in the world will get some notion.”

Just to be clear, I’m not blaming the Tiller family for the decision to close the clinic. They likely have limited options right now, and my heart goes out to them. It’s just a shame to see the story end this way.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.