Dr. Tiller’s Abortion Clinic Will Reopen – And It’s About Time

shutterstock_5979706If you pay attention to the news, you’d hardly know that a record 70% of Americans now support Roe v. Wade. You’re probably too distracted by Republican pro-life shenanigans at the state level to pay the national consensus any mind. Well – it’s true. The country is now overwhelmingly in favor of Roe v. Wade. I can’t think of any better way to mark this victory than by the reopening of Dr. George Tiller’s abortion clinic.

The Wichita, Kansas clinic that Dr. Tiller ran before he was fatally shot will soon reopen under the direction of one of his colleagues, Julie Burkhart. Tiller was Burkhart’s boss and mentor. Burkhart is working to open a new clinic in the shell of the clinic that remains, but has been closed since the fatal shooting of Dr. Tiller by a “pro-life” murderer named Scott Roeder. How ironic. Well, not really if you understand how the militant “pro-life” work. Not only did he kill Dr. Tiller, he shot him during Sunday services at the city’s Reformation Lutheran Church.

The death of Tiller and subsequent closing of his clinic left a huge hole in abortion access in Kansas. The nearest provider is now 200 miles from Wichita. It’s not easy to garner support for a women’s clinic that provides abortions in Wichita – ground zero for the country’s pro-life movement. The Daily Beast reports:

Hiring staff and doctors unafraid of the area’s violent history …has been a significant challenge for Burkhart. She’s found three doctors who will work at the clinic—two performing abortions, and one overseeing holistic women’s health-care services like Pap smears and prenatal care—but is careful to conceal their identities.

Both of the doctors who will be performing abortions will fly to Wichita regularly, as Burkhart was unable to find any local doctor willing to perform the service or one elsewhere willing to move to the area. One of those two doctors, a woman in her 30s who will fly in for two days a week to operate on women 13 weeks and under (the clinic will treat women up to 16 weeks), spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition that her name not be used, to avoid tipping off the anti-abortion activists who she said could “show up on my doorstep with signs and bullhorns.”

The clinic will not be providing the controversial late-term abortions that Tiller would provide, but it will be providing first and early second trimester abortions. First and foremost, they will be providing necessary health services to women that have nothing to do with abortion – and that the “pro-life” cause always seems to conveniently overlook. In an interview with the Associated Press, Burkhart says, ”It’s about more than abortion. We’re about serving the needs of women. Thousands of women right now have to travel three hours-plus for medical services. It’s a burden on women. It’s a burden on women’s families.”

(photo: Robert J. Daveant/ Shutterstock.com)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • cw19

      haha deletig comments? BABY KILLERS

      • meteor_echo

        And this is coming from ADULT KILLERS. GTFO, troll.

    • jessi

      I am very pro-life, but very NOT Republican… nor am I religious. You act like “pro-choice” people have never done bad things in their lives. Like, you know, have abortions.

      • waffre

        I agree that it’s inappropriate to paint everyone in a given group with the same brush, but what does that have to do with pro-choice people’s saintliness? Pointing out that people do bad things isn’t the same thing as saying other people are incapable of bad things. Also, you don’t have to have had an abortion to be pro-choice. I know several people who are pro-choice in that they don’t want to see a decision about women’s health being taken out of the hands of women and their doctors, but would never have an abortion themselves and would counsel a friend not to abort if she were faced with that possibility. On the other hand, the lack of cohesion in your comment means you’re probably a troll, so I’m probably typing into a black hole here.

      • meteor_echo

        At least we can certainly say we never did bad things like, you know, killing doctors just because they conduct operations we dislike.

      • Kat

        1. The facts don’t change depending on who can win The Nicest Person Award. While I think the debate would be far less acrimonious if pro-lifers were willing to be consistent and extend their philosophy beyond the fetus – that would still not change the fact that abortions have always existed in one form or another for millennia because they are very necessary in certain situations. Becoming pregnant does not mean a female is morally obligated to give birth. If anything, it is wiser and more compassionate to not bring young into the world in some circumstances. Abortions, both accidental and induced, are not limited to humans. It is a part of nature’s cycle – the ability to give life comes with another side as well. It is not pretty, but its necessary.

        1a. Also, you do not have to be a perfect outstanding citizen to be entitled to basic healthcare, of which reproductive healthcare is an important part.

        2. Your assumption that abortions are inherently bad is merely an opinion, and there is a lot of evidence to dispute it. They have saved women’s lives for a myriad of reasons, kept spouses from losing their loved ones, and preserved the quality of life for children who have already been born. These are all wonderful things – unless of course, you happen not to value any of the above.

        3. Nobody cares about your religion or political party (or lack thereof). An atheist who supports enacting a police state on women’s bodies and private healthcare choices deserves just as much scorn as a fundamentalist Christian who would do the same.

        4. The problem is that your ideology as it stands isn’t that every pro-life person in the world is a terrible monster. But the idea you support causes people to suffer or even die every day, either directly or indirectly, far more than abortion. Misguided pro-”life” lawmakers have caused serious societal health problems for people. Humans who are real, living, feeling people. Not a proto-human entity of non-conscious developing DNA that cannot feel love or pain.

    • meteor_echo

      About fucking time. With the abundance of disgusting pro-life shit in the US, it is quite the time for pro-choice folks to claim back what was theirs. Those doctors are incredibly brave and I applaud them.

    • Jenna

      So glad they’re reopening their doors. I wish them all the best.

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