Archive for Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tiller’s abortion clinic sold

September 26, 2012


— The shuttered Wichita abortion clinic formerly operated by the late Dr. George Tiller has been bought by an abortion-rights group that intends to reopen it as a family and women's health center that will offer abortions, among other services, the group's executive director said Wednesday.

Julie Burkhart said the Wichita-based non-profit group Trust Women Foundation Inc. purchased Tiller's former clinic in late August. Erin Thompson, an attorney for Tiller's widow, Jeanne, confirmed the sale.

Burkhart, a former Tiller employee who also founded a separate Trust Women political action committee, has said for months that she was trying to raise money for a new clinic in Wichita. All of Kansas except for the Kansas City area — has been without an abortion clinic since an anti-abortion zealot murdered Tiller at the doctor's church in May 2009.

Tiller was among a few U.S. doctors known to perform abortions in the final weeks of pregnancy, but Burkhart said the new clinic won't offer such services, largely because Kansas legislators have tightened restrictions on late-term procedures. But she said the new clinic will perform abortions earlier in pregnancy as part of a wide range of obstetrical and family care.

Burkhart declined to discuss the details of the sale, but property tax records available online list the appraised value of the property as $734,100. Burkhart said she can't say yet exactly when the new clinic will open or how many doctors will work there.

"It's about more than abortion. We're about serving the needs of women," Burkhart said during a telephone interview. "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."

Kansas has three abortion clinics, but all are in the Kansas City area. The Wichita Eagle first reported the sale of Tiller's former clinic, based on public records.

The limited liability company that owns the property, Kellogg Investments, filed a document Tuesday with the Kansas secretary of state's office, listing a new agent, Topeka attorney Robert Eye, who declined to comment Wednesday. The same one-page document lists the Trust Women Foundation as the only member of the company, and it is signed by Burkhart and dated Monday.

Kellogg Investments previously had been operated by the Tiller family, and after Tiller's death, his widow was the only person listed as owning 5 percent or more of the company.

"The family is no longer involved," Thompson told The Associated Press, saying she had no other details.

Abortion opponents have been watching for signs that a new clinic would open in Wichita, and earlier this months, anti-abortion groups said the expected Burkhart to open one early next year.

"It is tragic Burkhart appears poised to re-engage in destroying unborn children and exploiting women for money," Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said in a statement Wednesday.

In a recent advertisement circulated by email to abortion-rights supporters, Trust Women said it was looking for medical staff experienced in first and early-second trimester abortions and planned to open its clinic between mid-November and January 2013.

Burkhart said the group looked at seven or eight buildings but concluded others were not the correct size or needed too much renovation. Tiller's former clinic, with 8,800 square feet of space, had been listed for sale starting in 2010.

"We never looked at renting," Burkhart said. "Frankly, this building was the best building. It made the most sense for us."

But when Tiller operated the clinic, it was the site of regular protests by abortion opponents, including large "Summer of Mercy" demonstrations both in 1991 and 2001. Burkhart was a clinic employee and ran ProKanDo, a PAC formed by Tiller, from 2002 to 2009.

Burkhart acknowledged the building's past was an issue in the search for a new clinic site but said the good that can come from reopening it as a medical center "outweighs any stigma that people might see."

"We want to work to take the abortion piece of health care out of the corner and normalize it," Burkhart said. Women should not be ashamed. Women should not be intimidated."


Agnostick 1 year, 6 months ago

It's always fun to watch the recurring trolls slink out of their holes when the word "abortion" is mentioned... ;)

And it sounds like at least a couple of folks are worried about LEOs watching these forums.

No, no one has contacted me... yet.


none2 1 year, 6 months ago

I think plenty of people are uncomfortable with the topic of abortion, and third trimester seems especially uncomfortable. I would assume that many of these expectant mothers knew they were pregnant and had every reason to want the baby/fetus/whatever-you-want-to-call-it/him/her. If not, then I doubt they would have waited so long to go to an abortion clinic?

From what I have read about these particular abortions is that something has gone HORRIBLY wrong. Isn't that the case? Surely it isn't because the mother is upset about stretch marks, has changed her mind on a whim, was disappointed with the gender, hair/eye color, or didn't know she was pregnant. I also have heard that some serious genetic condition tests cannot be conducted until later in the pregnancy.

Can someone give examples where third trimester abortions are for insignificant, minor reasons? I suppose there are horrible mothers-to-be simply because any permutation of human personality is possible including the darker side of humanity. However, I just cannot bring myself to believe that a pregnancy would go on for so long in such cases. Am I wrong?


Christine Anderson 1 year, 6 months ago

I do believe abortion is murder, and yet I will be voting Democrat this year, because I finally came to realize there are many issues to weigh, not just one. I do not believe in the use of violent means to further pro-life beliefs. Yes, those who criticize pro-lifers for caring only about life before birth, you have a very valid point. If we as a people, (and our political candidates) claim to be pro-life, then it must include ALL life. It must include not revering a governor who doesn't give a shirt about children after they are born, as evidenced by his cuts in food stamps and medicaid. It must include funding things like the Ryan White foundation, instead of spending the money on a damn rose garden ! It must include the belief that our disabled and elderly's lives are equally preciious as ours. It means don't shut down their respite care programs that allow them to remain in their homes. Being truly pro-life means ALL stages of life.


Constitutional_Malfeasance 1 year, 6 months ago

Why is the abortion lobby allowed to be so tight with the federal government? I though it was a private industry. Why all the PACs and lobbying to the federal government. I suppose they need a leg-up with government protections. Many other groups get it too; many others do not.


donttreadonme 1 year, 6 months ago

"SageonPage14 hours, 42 minutes ago Sad that these people are so eager to begin killing innocent children..."

Nice strawman. Now go mind your own business.


Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

let the economy go...... let reality go.....some people love the distraction of this whole abortion issue enough to ignore's the woman's choice.... not a gazillion willfully deceived godlicans who create an issue while ignoring all of the blood spilled in the name of their religions so that other cultures and lands could be conquered....their cultures vanquished.....and the guilty allegedly forgiven.....


Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 6 months ago

Conservatives- If you want to prevent abortions, you make sure everyone has health care, a high school education and birth control. Not the exact opposite.


Machiavelli_mania 1 year, 6 months ago

What a sad, sad, sad day in history. The Religious Rite are terrorists. I am not the only one who thinks so. The FBI does too.


Cait McKnelly 1 year, 6 months ago

Calling it "Tiller's abortion clinic" is inflammatory and an attempt at an insult. First, he was DOCTOR Tiller. Give the man the respect of his title. Two, he ran a full service women's clinic that included much, much more than just abortions, even including, /gasp, prenatal services. I don't know who wrote the headline but their prejudices clearly shine through.


SageonPage 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's use the 'logic' of some of the Liberals on abortion. They say 'it is not a child until born' and that it's just a 'FETUS'. Okay now substitute the word slave for fetus, are they in favor of killing a slave because it is not a free man with rights? It doesn't matter to the Liberals I guess, its just an inconvenient slave afterall. Whereas I believe that the slave is a human whether society thinks it is one or not, and so it is given rights by God to live as he created the life within the slave. So, a Fetus is a human as wel,l and the law of man does not change this fact. Left alone to grow and be born it is a human. A human and will always be a human no matter what side of the womb it is on.


tange 1 year, 6 months ago

Why do you think they call it 'abortion?'


Cai 1 year, 6 months ago

These comments for the most part sadden me.

This clinic will provide abortions, yes. but so many of you are missing the other piece of this. SO many women can't find a women's health clinic that would provide IN pregnancy care (you know... that care you need because you've chose to continue your pregnancy?) , birth control, STD tests, etc.

This clinic will provide all of THOSE services too.


Mike Ford 1 year, 6 months ago

nice to know that as poor people and their children starve you don't care about them. you only care about the wedge issues that your small brain can wrap itself around. to think that the world can go in the tank and three issues are embraced by the small brains.....god, guns, and abortion.....some people are distracted like bugs in a bug about them being born but don't worry if they struggle and end up poor or cannon fodder.......


SageonPage 1 year, 6 months ago

Sad that these people are so eager to begin killing innocent children in the womb again. May God have mercy on their murderous souls and open their eyes now before it's too late for them to be born again.


Constitutional_Malfeasance 1 year, 6 months ago

I would literally get chills up my spine if I walked into that clinic, knowing what had gone on in there over the years.


Romans832 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't equate pregnancy with illness; therefore, I cannot call abortion "health care." I receive health care when I am sick.


Enlightenment 1 year, 6 months ago

Best of luck with the opening Ms. Burkhart. There need to be more clinics that offer a range of women's healthcare, inclusive of abortion services.


KansasLiberal 1 year, 6 months ago

It's nice to see Ms. Burkhart isn't letting the terrorists win. Good for her.


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