By Dave Andrusko
It’s tough sledding, even for the New York Times, to make establishing an abortion clinic seem like a noble enterprise. Doubly so when the abortionist says “her decision to start performing abortions [in Wichita, Kansas] was as much about making money for her struggling practice as about restoring access to a constitutional right.” Meet Mila Means.
The profile of Means in yesterday’s Times makes for fascinating reading on multiple levels (Read it here). Let’s see if I can stop at four.
#1. Reporter A.G. Sulzberger writes that Means “is certainly not the ideological warrior many expected to fill his void.” The allusion is to the killing of abortionist George Tiller in Wichita in 2009 and the expectation that if there was to be a replacement it would an abortion-rights warrior. Reading the story the primary, if not exclusive motive, for proposing to open a “family practice” that does abortions through the 15th week “seemed the easiest way to keep the doors to her small office open, she said.” Since she wants to operate a solo practice and “has had continuing problems managing money,” last summer Means decided “that she had little choice but to try.”
#2. Her pro-abortion colleagues apparently have little confidence in her.
“A second effort to establish an abortion clinic is under way, led by a group of prominent abortion rights advocates,” Sulzberger writes.
#3. The twist in the story—beyond conceding the crass commercial reasons behind her decision—is that we are to believe that even though she grew up pro-choice and remembers “her father instructing her that she would have to have an abortion if she got pregnant in high school,” she did a 180 before coming full circle. We read she became a regular churchgoer who even volunteered to work in a local crisis pregnancy center. I don’t know if it reflects more badly on her if it’s true or if it’s a fabrication.
And #4 all this is set against a backdrop of unyielding opposition to abortion. The most visible to the outsider is the blizzard of pro-life legislation the Kansas Legislature passed this year. But of more local significance is that, according to Sulzberger, “Even before those new restrictions, there had been an obstacle: her landlord had taken her to court to block her from performing abortions in her offices, and she had been unable to find anyone willing to rent her new space.”
Good for pro-lifers who have made their opposition known through the legislative process and to the landlord who, evidently, didn’t sign up for abortion.
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