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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Burkhart’

Cheryl Chastine

Cheryl Chastine

Last Friday was the fifth anniversary of the slaying of George Tiller, notorious for performing late abortions up through the ninth month of pregnancy. There were a number of stories lauding Tiller.

We learn from the Wichita Eagle that a joint media conference call from Julie Burkhart, Tiller’s former Political Action Committee (PAC) director, generated the “Tiller legacy” tribute stories at NPR, MSNBC, Wichita Eagle, Salon, and other pro-abortion outlets.

These reports served several purposes: to portray Tiller as a hero, vilify pro-life legislation, and to promote the fledgling South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) abortion clinic. SWWC is run by Burkhart, using an Illinois fly-in abortionist, Cheryl Chastine.

SWWC is located in the same Wichita, Kansas, building Tiller occupied for decades. Reporters were informed SWWC hopes to expand to Oklahoma City and possibly beyond.

The engine for the “Tiller legacy” media campaign is Burkhart, who ran Tiller’s ProKanDo PAC from 2002 until 2009. The PAC spent over $2.4 million dollars to elect pro-abortion candidates, including former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (see details here).

After the Kansas State Healing Arts Board initiated legal actions to revoke Tiller’s medical license for violating the Kansas post-viability abortion ban, Burkhart left for St. Louis to head Missouri ProVote, a pro-Obama / pro-abortion political activist coalition.

Within a year of Tiller’s death, Burkhart had created a new group -–the Trust Women PAC– with the mission of stopping pro-life legislation and increasing abortion businesses in the “underserved” Midwest and South.

When the Tiller clinic was still in business in 2009, the Kansas legislature passed additional “Woman’s Right to Know”(WRTK) provisions aimed, in part, at the many women who were being led into late abortions to “resolve” their medically-challenging pregnancy.

The improved WRTK provisions included:

  • where to get free medical help, including perinatal hospice, for grave or lethal fetal conditions, and
  • a mandate that the clinic accommodate women who want to hear the fetal heart tones or see a current sonogram before obtaining an abortion.

This WRTK law requires the state health department to prepare medically-accurate pregnancy and fetal development materials in booklet form and available online, and to maintain a 24 hour phone hotline. Of course, according to Burkhart, this is just another “measure designed to shame and guilt” women, and burden clinics.

WHAT ABORTIONIST CHASTINE TOLD MEDIA
Based on several of her statements recorded in Friday’s Salon article, the 32-year old Chastine seems especially uninformed about Kansas’ WRTK abortion law. She said,
“It feels like there’s a third party in the exam room that doesn’t belong there, and I’m very clear with patients when I tell them that. I tell them, ‘The state wants me to tell you this. They also you to do this.’ I don’t try to hide the intrusion. I make sure that they know so that they can understand how their care is being influenced by unnecessary legislation.”

Chastine is quite emphatic about giving SWWC clients a rebuttal to information that she wrongly believes Kansas law requires her to “tell” abortion clients. But Kansas does not require the abortionist to say anything.

WRTK information was in fact designed as an out-of-clinic resource to both counter misconceptions relayed by abortion personnel as well as remedy a lack of relevant information preventing a woman from a freely formed abortion decision. WRTK laws offer a counterpoint to a rushed, forced, and irrevocable abortion, which is why abortion clinics hate them so.

Salon interviewer Katie McDonough further prods Chastine with this:
“Kansas is passing legislation designed to shame patients and place barriers to access in their way. I’m thinking of the 24 hour waiting period here, which is both intended to be a logistical barrier but also an insult to a patient’s intelligence….You probably see people who have come a long way, who have saved up, who taken off work — and you then have to tell them, “I can’t do this for you today. You have to wait 24 hours…”

To which Chastine responds,
“That’s extremely frustrating… I tell the patients…I trust you as a moral decision-maker, and I’m sorry that the state doesn’t do the same.”

The reality is that Kansas’ 24 hour period of reflection is nothing new. It was passed seventeen years ago. Moreover,  it does not require two onsite clinic visits and, in all likelihood, women don’t make two trips to a Kansas abortionist.

They can call the abortion business, tell them their estimated age of pregnancy, get told via phone or clinic website where to access the state materials, and make one appointment. The fact that pregnant women can stay out of the clinic and contemplate medically accurate materials is to their benefit and to the detriment of the abortion clinic’s bottomline.

A legal Kansas abortion does require the woman to sign a paper that she accessed WRTK info 24 hours before undergoing the abortion. Hopefully, each woman does attentively review the WRTK info (including ultrasound images)—especially those who are young, conflicted about abortion, or being coerced. Past testimony to Kansas legislative committees, as well as letters to the U.S. Supreme Court, have expressed the negative effects upon women who did not recognize the humanity of the unborn until years after experiencing an abortion.

Chastine maintains abortion is a “decision” morally equivalent to delivering a child.
“The people who are having abortions and people who give birth are not different people; they are the same people. And they make both of those decisions with their full moral decision-making capacity and for the same reasons.”

That kind of messaging may impress the SWWC staffers who (we are told) have graduated college with gender or women’s studies degrees. Those viewing everything through a lens of “patriarchal repression” may also agree with Chastine’s opinion that,
“I am very, very terrified of the rollback in access to reproductive healthcare… because the people who suffer from this are the most vulnerable in our society and the most voiceless.”

The rest of us think that the most vulnerable and voiceless are the unborn.

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One of many Wichita pro-life help centers

A short letter to the editor from an ordinary pro-life citizen has beautifully undermined a celebratory April 3 newspaper story that ran under the headline, “Wichita clinic says provided 1,200 abortions.”

The Wichita Eagle report gushes over what is now called the SouthWind Women’s Center, which opened one year ago amidst nationally-orchestrated fanfare. What did the letter remind us of? That

in only six weeks, just one Wichita pro-life center alone sees 1,200 women! And rather than offer death, it offers true ‘service.’

What is the SouthWind Women’s Center (SWWC) and who is behind it? For starters, it is located in the building that for decades was used by the late George Tiller, internationally known for performing late, late abortions. It most famously included an onsite incinerator for the “human remains.”

And it is now owned by former Tiller lobbyist, Julie Burkhart whose “quest” to reopen the abortion clinic was the subject of numerous sympathetic profiles.

“Patient numbers are right in line with our projections,” Burkhart said, “1,500 patients for reproductive care, including abortions up to 14 weeks. ” A fair question to ask both of the Wichita Eagle and Burkhart is when has any abortion business ever sought a story to proclaim how many abortions it sold?

It could be because Burkhart is trying to reassure her funding base that her business will be successful in the face of yet another annual state report showing a decline in the number of Kansas abortions. As reported in NRL News Today last week, there were 7,479 abortions in 2013–or less than 145 per week, including out-of-state women who came to Kansas for their abortions.

“I feel that in this line of work, with the legislation that’s become law and the political climate, our work at times feels tenuous at best,” Burkhart told the Eagle. “I wish he [Tiller] could be here, I miss him every day. He lives on through our work here.”

Put aside the disturbing idea that someone “lives on” through the death of thousands of unborn babies and recall that SWWC is “flying-in” abortionists because it’s unable to secure local doctors.

Instead consider the letter to the editor that focused on true women’s health care that is being provided for free by at least eight local organizations. The author writes

“Let’s put this in perspective. A Better Choice [a Catholic local help center] sees an average of 200 clients per week. So it [alone] passes the 1,500 mark in seven or eight weeks. …Nobody flies in to assist these women. Local providers – doctors, nurses, counselors, sonogram technicians and volunteers – guide women with unplanned pregnancies to motherhood.”

What a great perspective!

Let’s compare what SWWC sells as women’s health: “OB care” is defined as pregnancy & infertility counseling, pregnancy testing and referrals to local obstetricians. Their “adoption” service is linkage with an Ohio abortion clinic that says it also arranges adoptions.

SWWC’s bread and butter, of course, is the abortion business advertised at $600-$700 each, with a special ‘speedy’ option for another $200. And 1,200 abortions Burkhart claims were obtained in 2013 provide them conservatively with three-quarters of a million dollars in revenue.

Meanwhile, what are the genuinely helpful services available for women in Wichita beyond the essential pregnancy testing and ultrasound services? First of all, the assistance is personal— provided without cost, by professionals and volunteers with no financial stake in the outcome. No “out-of-staters” or phone networking, but real people with a stake in helping local women lacking essential information and support.

A large variety of services are readily available, including

  • Help in establishing medical care for pregnancy;
  • Nutritional assistance;
  • Access to maternity and baby items;
  • Information on adoption and support afterwards;
  • Therapy, including substance abuse and domestic battery issues;
  • Budget and job search training;
  • Education on childbirth and parenting;
  • Mentoring and peer support;
  • Specialized hospice for potentially lethal fetal abnormalities; and
  • After-abortion recovery care.

Kansans are pro-life and resent the re-opening of an abortion business. However the Wichita community is showing its heart, year after year, in providing authentic health care for pregnant women and their families.

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BleedingKansas (2)“Bleeding Kansas” was the moniker for our state during the mid-nineteenth century when guerrilla warfare raged between forces for and against slavery, until Kansas was accepted into the Union as a slave-free state in 1861.  That disposition not to yield to evil is seen in the Wichita community’s reaction to the announced opening of a new abortion clinic at the location of the infamous late-term clinic of George Tiller.

Since the death of Tiller in May 2009, a national push to re-open his abortion clinic has been led by the abortion advocacy group, Trust Women, headed by Julie Burkhart.  Burkhart was a Tiller employee who ran his PAC (political action committee) from 2002-2009.

Yesterday, the Associated Press covered Burkhart’s announcement that the South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) is “expected to open in the next few months with one full-time and two part-time doctors amid heightened security and community outreach efforts.”  SWWC “will offer prenatal, obstetrical and gynecological health care services as well as abortions” and “has contracted with the doctors and has hired most of the other nine or ten people it plans to employ.”

Interestingly, no physician names were divulged, nor whether they are state-licensed, or reside in Kansas.

Kansas abortion clinics are either local physician offices or single-day surgery centers licensed by the state health department (KDHE).  A public records request last week showed no official clinic application is yet on file with KDHE for the SWWC location, possibly because the names of the facility’s physicians would have to be revealed.

The AP report indicated remodeling is scheduled for the clinic to meet the abortion facility standards Kansas passed in 2011. Those licensing and inspection standards –similar to what other states have passed–were long sought by Kansas pro-lifers and were signed into law in the first term of Gov. Sam Brownback.  However, the standards are not in force due to litigation by another abortion clinic in suburban Kansas City.

In a “virtual chat” online at the Trust Women website this fall, SWWC services were touted as medical (pill) abortions, and fertility and transgender services. Burkhart continues to try to erase this community’s memory of the Tiller location as the home of an actual onsite crematorium for unborn children destroyed up through the third trimester.

Kansans for Life (KFL) contends that reopening the place as an abortion clinic would disturb what has become a quiet, residential area.  The KFL citizen petition drive–urging city officials to rezone the area– is well on its way to exceeding the goal of securing 20,000 signatures. “As Wichitans we know that when an abortion clinic opens in a neighborhood everything changes,” said David Gittrich, KFL development director. “Abortions means taxis and traffic, police cars and ambulances, barricades and signs. People who support abortion – and people who believe every abortion kills an innocent baby – come to demonstrate.”

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After over a year of threats by ex-Tiller political operative, Julie Burkhart, to re-establish a Wichita abortion business, the Wichita Eagle reports that Burkhart’s Trust Women group officially owns the old Tiller clinic building.

The Eagle obtained no definitive information about how Burkhart would be using the building, but Kansans for Life had alerted its members September 12th of credible inside information that a Wichita clinic staffed with three non-Kansas abortionists would indeed be opening in January 2013.

If in fact Burkhart does open a business with itinerant abortionists, women will be in much jeopardy. Out-of-state physicians do not have

  • a stake in the community with family ties,
  • a medical reputation to maintain,
  • a permanent real estate investment.

Abortion clinics are notorious for sending abortion-injured women to the hospital without the necessary first-hand information for accurate emergency treatment– apparently what happened in the Tonya Reaves botched abortion death from a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood this July.

This is the reason that a provision requiring local hospital privileges for itinerant abortionists was passed in 2011 as part of the abortion clinic licensure law.  Unfortunately, this law is under injunction and thus not in effect, so the Eagle report is wrong that at least one of Burkhart’s abortionists would have to attain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the clinic.

An abundance of incidents across this nation have documented a variety of schemes with abortionists crossing state lines to take advantage of differing state laws governing abortion. Without a clinic licensure law in effect, the Kansas state health department cannot inspect, restrain, or penalize clinics.

Additionally, the Healing Arts Board cannot discipline a non-resident abortionist who drops his/her license and leaves Kansas.  Even if malpractice has occurred, the Board cannot chase abortionists into other states and force them to return to testify in Kansas, nor can the Board compel information from other state medical boards.  And certainly, personal lawsuits for injury and death on behalf of a woman or her family cannot be filed in other states.

If the information Kansans for Life received is true, the abortionists for the slated new clinic are residents of Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, a longtime Tiller-associate, still possesses a Kansas license.

Two other former itinerant Tiller abortionists, Shelly Sella and Susan Robinson, did not renew their Kansas medical licenses after Tiller’s murder.  Although this past year, Kansas State Board of Healing Arts did revoke the medical license of Tiller associate, Kris Neuhaus, for repeatedly violating the medical standard of care, they took no actions to discipline Carhart, Sella and Robinson for fraudulent late-term abortions.

Kansans for Life Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, commented:

“It is tragic Burkhart appears poised to re-engage in destroying unborn children and exploiting women for money, again using out-of-state abortionists who can escape discipline from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, and not yet subject to our new licensure law due to litigation; Burkhart knows that illegal abortions in Wichita were not penalized, and more recently, Planned Parenthood escaped prosecution when state documents were shredded with impunity–a situation that key legislators are currently investigating.”

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The political season is upon us, even though Kansas is awaiting judge-drawn maps to determine voting district boundaries for state senators, reps, school board and U.S. Congressional seats.

There’s no way to predict how equitable the judge-drawn state district maps Kansas will be, but the fight to retain pro-abortion Senatorial power played heavily into this situation.

Certain Republican Kansas Senators (whom the media calls “moderates”) have been trying to escape announced challenges from conservative, pro-life opponents.  They hoped to create contorted boundaries for their districts that would exclude their challengers in the face of the the growing strength of the Kansas pro-life electorate.

In the stories covering redistricting, the media groans that Kansas Republican conservative lawmakers want “moderates” eliminated, but the same media remained undisturbed by years of bare-knuckle politics against pro-life Senators from these moderates.

 Pro-life bills were prevented from getting hearings in the Kansas Senate because GOP moderates loaded all committees relevant to abortion with a pro-abortion majority and a pro-abortion committee chair.

To retain their pro-abortion voting block in the redistricting situation, moderates joined with Democrat Senators (all but one of whom is pro-abortion). In the past, both groups were supported for re-election with abortion-funding, (more…)

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Mila Means (LATimes photo)

Some recent pro-abortion media entries (see here and here), along with a piece in today’s Los Angeles Times, bemoan the alleged “hounding” of Mila Means, a would-be Kansas abortionist, and Kris Neuhaus, an ex-abortionist facing the imminent loss of her medical license. Collectively, the accounts blame a pro-life governor and pro-life bills (which are conveniently mischaracterized), in the process ignoring that both women have a disciplinary history with the state Healing Arts Board.

According to Times reporter Jenny Deam, in the summer of 2010, “Means began going each weekend to Kansas City, Kan., to learn first trimester abortion procedure.”  For $20,000 she bought out the equipment of another abortionist “which cut deeply into her practice’s meager budget.” So, according to the story, why is Means not doing abortions? “It’s the lawmakers who now prove to be her most daunting opponent,” Deam writes. “She says she doesn’t dare go forward now. So she waits.”

Really? No.

In fact, there is no practical barrier to opening an abortion business in Kansas. State health department rules for abortion clinics developed in 2011–while attained by Planned Parenthood– were successfully enjoined (more…)

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Julie Burkhart

In what she no doubt thought was a clever entry Friday on her TrustWomen abortion advocacy website, Julie Burkhart called for the new Kansas Office of the Repealer to delete abortion ‘informed-consent’ requirements from 1997, as well as four new abortion-regulating laws enacted this July.

Burkhart, the former top aide to late-term abortionist George Tiller, left Kansas soon after the state Healing Arts Board filed to remove Tiller’s license in Dec. 2008. Burkhart is now itching to set up a new Wichita abortion clinic. She may be dreaming about reclaiming the approximately 2,500 non-late-term abortions that were done annually in Tiller’s clinic until his death 2 ½ years ago. At an average abortion cost of $500-$600, the clinic could gross $1.5 million.

For Burkhart to call for repealing every law constraining unethical conduct at her hoped-for abortion clinic is like a notorious slum landlord calling for repeal of home safety inspections and fair housing laws under the claim that such regulations impede providing more affordable housing to the poor.

Although Burkhart began her ‘sore loser’ list of complaints with a tongue-in-cheek premise, she was dead serious about these assertions:

  • abortion helps poor women;
  • abortion is part of ‘maternal’ care;
  • abortion of disabled children is economically beneficial;
  • private abortion clinics should not be held to the same patient protections required of surgery centers and hospitals;
  • new abortion regulations have been enacted against the will of Kansans.

None of those claims are true. Kansas pro-life laws were certainly not whisked into place by whim! The health insurance law operated for decades in the eastern part of the state.  (more…)

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LJ Leatherman (LJWorld, 7-12-10)

Links to Kathleen Sebelius (governor of Kansas from 2003-2009) and the political action fund started by deceased Wichita abortionist, George Tiller, continue to shape actions blocking the operation of Kansas’ abortion facility licensure law.

As permanent health department rules for clinics were set to go into effect 2 days ago, a new restraining order was obtained by the Center for Women’s Health ObGyn /abortion business of Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. Hodes’ lengthy malpractice record helped spur lawmakers to pass earlier versions of the licensure law that Sebelius vetoed in 2003 and 2005.

The local attorney for the new litigation, LJ Leatherman of Topeka, and his wife, have long ties to Sebelius, and both have been generous donors to ProKanDo, the Tiller PAC.  LJ is the head of Sebelius’ BlueStem PAC, which is still highly active in Kansas politics, and was her election attorney in 2002.

Leatherman’s wife is JaLynn Copp, who worked under Sebelius when she was state Insurance Commissioner, and then moved with her to the Governor’s office as assistant chief counsel. Copp is now legal advisor for the Topeka police department.

Julie Burkhart guided the abortion cartel’s legislative position in Kansas since 2003 as head of ProKanDo, and continues to do so under its successor, the Trust Women abortion advocacy group. Burkhart has been hovering over the licensure litigation while feeding updates to the press on fundraising to open a new Wichita abortion business in June 2012. Burkhart claims to have already secured an abortionist, who will have to be Kansas-licensed, with local hospital privileges, when the new facility licensure law is in effect.

The law would allow twice annual onsite inspections and prompt reporting to the state of abortion-caused injuries or death of the mother.  The new permanent KDHE rules (pg 1466, here), which were devised to further implement the law, are being challenged in this state court filing.

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On Thursday, abortion supporters recited stories about the emotional pain of aborting children with fetal anomalies and offered it as opposition to HB 2218, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  UPDATE, Fri. Feb. 19: The House Fed-State committee passed the bill.

The TrustWomen PAC (created by George Tiller’s assistant, Julie Burkhart) “testified” by showing a video extolling his late-term practice–the same video shown by Burkhart to this same committee in 2007.  The committee would have been more enlightened with the following video, in which Tiller says (at the 3 minute point in video) that the unborn infant at 18 weeks feels pain:

Abortion supporters opposing HB 2218 brought no intellectual firepower to counter the medical experts that had testified definitively on Wednesday for the pro-life side.

Instead, bill opponents tried an emotional appeal by bringing Tiffany Campbell from South Dakota to the podium.  She recounted her personal situation in 2006, with a twin-to twin transfusion syndrome pregnancy.  Campbell says she followed the maternal expert recommendation to abort the ailing twin and that her only other option was a life- threatening operation.

Yet she claimed to oppose HB 2218, which clearly allows abortion when the mother’s life is threatened!

Campbell’s situation in 2006 might have qualified as a true exception permitted under HB 2218 (section 3 of the bill).  Such abortions would be permitted if, “in reasonable medical judgment”, (more…)

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Julie Burkhart

Pro-abortion zealots like Julie Burkhart are angry that Kansas politics is no longer under their thumb.

With news that annual abortion statistics will be medically accurate, Burkhart (creator of the Trust Women Political Action Committee) wailed: “The Kansas Legislature and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) have chosen to spend precious time this year, once again,

  • snooping into the private lives of pregnant women
  • collect[ing] sexual histories of women and girls and
  • policing the private lives of pregnant women.”

Wow!  Without those breath-taking lies, the ineffectual and factually-bereft lobbyists for Planned Parenthood and N.O.W. wouldn’t have any talking points.

Gone now from Kansas politics is the big money of George Tiller, the abortionist protection of the Kansas state Healing Arts Board director Larry Buening, and the power of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

That undercut the power structure for Burkhart, who was Tiller’s top aide and director of his ProKanDo PAC.  In early 2009, Burkhart fled Kansas, having learned that Tiller was going to lose his medical license under Buening’s Healing Arts replacement, Jack Confer.

While she didn’t last long leading a liberal political group in Missouri, Tiller’s death created a opportunity for Burkhart to assert herself as a national spokeswoman with her “Trust Woman” PAC.

With her idol, Sebelius, esconced as Obama’s HHS director, Burkhart probably hoped abortion clinics would cement enough federal money to prop up her pulpit.  But then came the November elections.

Still, Burkhart continues to pontificate and assert blatant misinformation to the media about Kansas legislative and administrative actions.  The truth is– other than the veiled reference to a 2005 abortion death (Christin Gilbert)–

NO medical history or personal identification of
any aborted woman has ever been revealed
by ANY Kansas agency or official.

However, by lying about that fact, abortion zealots (more…)

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