By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
A short letter to the editor from an ordinary pro-life citizen has beautifully undermined a celebratory April 3 newspaper story that ran under the headline, “Wichita clinic says provided 1,200 abortions.” The Wichita Eagle report gushes over what is now called the SouthWind Women’s Center, which opened one year ago amidst nationally-orchestrated fanfare.
What did the letter remind us of? That in only six weeks, just one Wichita pro-life center alone sees 1,200 women! And rather than offer death, it offers true ‘service.’
What is the SouthWind Women’s Center (SWWC) and who is behind it? For starters, it is located in the building that for decades was used by the late George Tiller, internationally known for performing late, late abortions. It most famously included an onsite incinerator for the “human remains.”
And it is now owned by former Tiller lobbyist, Julie Burkhart whose “quest” to reopen the abortion clinic was the subject of numerous sympathetic profiles.
“Patient numbers are right in line with our projections,” Burkhart said, 1,500 patients for reproductive care, including abortions up to 14 weeks. A fair question to ask both of the Wichita Eagle and Burkhart is when has any abortion business ever sought a story to proclaim how many abortions it sold?
It could be because Burkhart is trying to reassure her funding base that her business will be successful in the face of yet another annual state report showing a decline in the number of Kansas abortions. As reported in NRL News Today last week, there were 7,479 abortions in 2013–or less than 145 per week, including out of state women who came to Kansas for their abortions.
“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 told the Eagle. “I wish he [Tiller] could be here, I miss him every day. He lives on through our work here.”
Put aside the disturbing idea that someone “lives on” through the death of thousands of unborn babies and recall that SWWC is “flying-in” abortionists because it’s unable to secure local doctors.
Instead consider this letter to the editor that focused on true women’s health care that is being provided for free by at least eight local organizations. The author writes
“Let’s put this in perspective. A Better Choice [a Catholic local help center] sees an average of 200 clients per week. So it [alone] passes the 1,500 mark in seven or eight weeks. …Nobody flies in to assist these women. Local providers – doctors, nurses, counselors, sonogram technicians and volunteers – guide women with unplanned pregnancies to motherhood.”
What a great perspective!
Let’s compare what SWWC sells as women’s health: “OB care” is defined as pregnancy & infertility counseling, pregnancy testing and referrals to local obstetricians. Their “adoption” service is linked with an Ohio abortion clinic that says it also arranges adoptions.
SWWC’s bread and butter, of course, is the abortion business advertised at $600-$700 each, with a special ‘speedy’ option for another $200. And 1,200 abortions provide them conservatively with three-quarters of a million dollars in revenue.
Meanwhile, what are the genuinely helpful services available for women in Wichita beyond the essential pregnancy testing and ultrasound services? First of all, the assistance is personal— provided without cost by professionals and volunteers with no financial stake in the outcome. No “out of staters” or phone networking, but real people with a stake in helping local women lacking essential information and support.
A large variety of services are readily available, including
- Help in establishing medical care for your pregnancy;
- Nutritional assistance;
- Access to maternity and baby items;
- Information on adoption and support afterwards;
- Therapy, including substance abuse and domestic battery issues
- Budget and job search training;
- Education on childbirth and parenting;
- Mentoring and peer support;
- Specialized hospice for potentially lethal fetal abnormalities; and
- After-abortion recovery care.
Kansans are pro-life and resent the re-opening of an abortion business. However the Wichita community is showing its heart, year after year, in providing authentic health care for pregnant women and their families.
Editor’s note. Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.