By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
Well, May is here, and with it comes the now apparently obligatory annual media interviews fawning over abortion profiteer Julie Burkhart.
Burkhart started the George Tiller legacy project [“Trust Women”] after the Wichita abortionist’s death on May 31, 2009. Every May afterwards, the media spins a “memorial” of sorts to Tiller and Burkhart.
The tributes escalated beginning three years ago, when, after much fanfare, Burkhart opened the SouthWind Women’s Center on the site of Tiller’s old Wichita, Kansas location. It is part of her drive to “forge new frontiers” in the Midwest– which pro-abortionists term a “desert” of “abortion care.”
On cue last week, a lengthy pro-Burkhart feature–“Meet the Woman Opening an Abortion Clinic in the Most Anti-Choice State”- turned up in Rolling Stone.
There were numerous other local and national reports (see below).
They were orchestrated undoubtedly by Trust Women’s new publicist, Deb Gruver. It was quite the coup getting Gruver, who recently ended a 26-year news reporting career, with the last 15 years writing for the pro-abortion Wichita Eagle.
The Burkhart media blitz included:
* May 17 – a story from the liberal National Council of State Legislatures in which Burkhart complains of health inspections under conservative governors and spending over $200,000 in (unspecified) legal fees.
* May 19 – a Wichita Eagle Guest Column by Burkhart, claiming that Kansas abortion “restrictions” keep poor women in “second class” teaching and nursing jobs instead of lucrative careers and political offices.
* May 19 – a TV news feature on Burkhart’s “challenges” to opening a clinic in Oklahoma, because it is such “a politically hostile environment for women and their families.”
* May 19 – an extensive article in Marie Claire that lionizes Burkhart’s Wichita/Oklahoma fly-in abortionist, Colleen McNicholas. McNicholas admits to a rate of 31 abortions per 8-hour shift when she works at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
* May 20 – a Washington Post article (also in the Eagle) about Burkhart’s circuit-riding Missouri abortionist and her confidence that abortion attorneys will block any Oklahoma pro-life law that threatens them.
* May 20 – Robin Marty’s piece in Rolling Stone where Burkhart complains about how hard it was to find the Oklahoma location and obey state regulators; she also claims pro-life laws unfairly scare women about the caliber of abortionists and their facilities, whereas SouthWind clients compliment her “all the time” on how “clean and nice” her facility is. (I’m not kidding.)
* May 21- another Eagle/AP story that extensively details Burkhart’s financial issues, with her prediction that many “underserved” Texas women will use her Oklahoma City clinic.
The unifying media message in these articles is that (1) Burkhart battles “hostile’ pro-life state legislatures; and (2) she may lose ground in an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Texas HB 2 abortion clinic regulations law.
The Court “threat” for Burkhart was spelled out in Marie Claire:
“All three states where McNicholas performs abortions [MO-KS-OK] have admitting-privileges laws on the books…. Kansas and Oklahoma have also passed privileges laws, but both are currently on hold pending legal challenges. McNicholas has admitting privileges only in St. Louis, which means if HB2 is upheld and Kansas’ and Oklahoma’s pending laws are enacted as a result, she will no longer be able to perform abortions anywhere outside St. Louis.”
PBS reported that Burkhart’s SouthWind Wichita clinic charges up to $2,000 for dismemberment abortions past 14 weeks gestation. She is quoted in Rolling Stone that her Oklahoma City business will do higher gestation abortions—abortions on even more mature and developed babies–at expectedly higher prices.
A whole lot of money is riding on Burkhart having abortionists available for hire.
Although the media acquiesces to the annual May blast of stories portraying Burkhart as continuing some noble quest in honor of Tiller, we know better.