It has been many years since the women of Wichita, Kansas have had access to a full range of reproductive health services—access they lost when Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his church by anti-choice terrorist Scott Roeder in 2009. But now, news is spreading that the clinic building that formerly housed Tiller has been purchased by his widow, and that the group that bought it intends to re-open the clinic and provide a full range of services. And, yes, even abortion.
According to The Wichita Eagle, the building has been purchased by Julie Burkhart, a former employee of Dr. Tiller, and the pro-choice group known as the Trust Women Foundation. The Eagle also reports that there are rumors in the community “that as many as three abortion providers are planning to set up in the city on at least a part-time basis.”
Pro-Choice Kansas heralds the news, but reminds everyone that it’s up to the community to ensure that the clinic becomes a reality.
Obviously, this type of endeavor is risky here in Kansas – lots of anti-choice crazies here. However, I think it’s time to call on the people of Kansas – really the nation to stand up and say “NO!” The intimidation, the harassment, the bullshit stops now!
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The women of Kansas have a right to reproductive health care! We will not sit idly by while another group of employees, doctors and patients are harassed, maligned and threatened. We will not stand by while politicians grandstand on an issue that is the most private a woman and/or family can make. We will not allow terrorism in our community! It ends now!
The Trust Women Foundation is bringing back our clinic, our right to full reproductive health care, right here in our community and we must stand with them!
The fear that intimidation and harassment could stop providers from coming to the clinic isn’t unfounded. Dr. Mila Means had intended to step in and take over for Dr. Tiller before constant harassment forced her to agree not to perform abortions out of fear of losing her office lease. Even after tabling her plans, Means still was the target of threats to her life.
Both the Kansas Coalition for Life and Kansas for Life have vowed to begin daily protests in front of the clinic once it opens and starts offering services. Sadly, at this point, the protesting is probably inevitable. Let’s just hope that this time the violence isn’t.