Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wichita clinic says it provided 1,200 abortions

April 3, 2014


— The Wichita clinic opened after the slaying of abortion provider George Tiller has provided about 1,200 abortions in its first year of operations.

South Wind Women's Center said it served about 1,500 patients for reproductive care, including abortions up to 14 weeks.

The clinic, the only one to offer abortions in Wichita, opened in April 2013 in the same building where Tiller had provided abortions before he was gunned down in 2009 by abortion opponent Scott Roeder as the doctor served as an usher in his Wichita church. Tiller's clinic had remained shuttered for four years following his death until his widow sold it to an abortion rights group which had raised money from across the country to reopen it.

The Wichita Eagle reported that patients came from across Kansas, as well states such as Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Patient numbers are "right in line with our projections," said Julie Burkhart, founder of Trust Women, which opened the clinic. "I feel, of course, positive about that. We have women coming to see us."

Anti-abortion activists sought to close the clinic even before its opening with zoning proposals and complaints about its finances to state regulators.

"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 said. "It's disconcerting feeling like another shoe could drop."

David Gittrich, state development director for Kansans for Life, said he is "very disappointed" the clinic remains open.

"Abortion does hurt women. It's a bad choice, and it's something that will stick with them the rest of their lives," he said. "I don't think any of them realize that."

The number of abortions in the state declined slightly last year despite the clinic opening. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a preliminary report that 7,479 abortions were performed last year, the second-lowest number since 1987. A total of 7,598 abortions were performed in 2012.

South Wind said it is flying in doctors to provide abortion care. A doctor who helped open the clinic left in May, returning to her practice. Burkhart said she believes in time the clinic will find more people in the region willing to come forward.

Although the clinic is still paying off debt, it is financially "on track," she said.

Burkhart, who once worked for Tiller, said working in his former clinic seems fitting, but is at times emotional.

"I have these moments walking through the clinic and feel this great sense of loss and I wish he could be here," Burkhart said. "I miss him every day. He lives on through our work here."


Dan Rose 4 years, 2 months ago

It's like my momma always used to say - "If you're against abortion, don't get one." lol, there's truth to it.


Gregory Sharp 4 years, 2 months ago

It's nice you are so cavalier about it. Kinda of sickening

Brian Hall 4 years, 2 months ago

It's also kind of sickening that anti-abortion advocates are the usually the same people who want to cut funding for food stamps and other services that may make raising a child easier. They'll stand outside the statehouse and cheer at bills designed to make getting abortions harder but are nowhere to be found when bills are passed cutting food stamps, defunding education, raising taxes, making sure the ACA doesn't come to Kansas--all of which make it harder to raise a child.

They're not pro-life, they're pro-birth.

Bob Forer 4 years, 2 months ago

What is really sickening, Greg, is that you apparently believe you have the right to impose your moral and religious beliefs upon others.

Gary Anderson 4 years, 2 months ago

I've always wondered how people who believe abortion kills a Human...a can they sit back and allow mass murder to occur? They should be storming the facilities by the millions. Where are they? Where are their convictions? I don't agree with their beliefs...but I don't understand them.

Gregory Sharp 4 years, 2 months ago

Bob explain to me how my comment is imposing my moral and religious beliefs. I think dan's comments are like it's no big deal. Lol?? My momma said if you don't like abottion don't get one. I think it's a women's right to do whatever she wants too. I just thought dans comments were juvenile and insincere much like yours

Brian Woods 4 years, 2 months ago

How were his comments juvenile and insincere? Its pretty black and white to me, if you're against it don't get one.

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