Kansans recoil at upcoming abortion business opening at Wichita location

By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director
Kansans for Life
Julie Burkhart

Julie Burkhart

Ever since the death of George Tiller in May 2009, there’s been a national push to re-open his late-term abortion clinic, led by the abortion advocacy group, Trust Women. That organization is run by Julie Burkhart, a one-time Tiller employee who ran his Political Action Committee from 2002-2009. That effort is, unfortunately, apparently closer than ever to success.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press  covered Burkhart’s announcement that the South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) expects to open in Wichita in the next few months with one full-time and two part-time abortionists. SWWC “has contracted with the doctors and has hired most of the other nine or 10 people it plans to employ,” according to the AP story.

Kansas abortion clinics are either local physician offices or single-day surgery centers licensed by the state health department.  Interestingly, no physician names were divulged yesterday, or whether the abortionists are state-licensed, or reside in Kansas. A public records request last week showed no official clinic application is yet on file 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.

Burkhart says SWWC “will offer prenatal, obstetrical and gynecological health care services as well as abortions.” In a “virtual chat” online at the Trust Women website this fall, those services were touted as medical (chemically-induced) abortions, and fertility services. Burkhart continues to try to erase this community’s memory of the Tiller location as the home of an actual onsite crematorium for the bodies of unborn children who were 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.