“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.”