By Cheryl Sullenger
Wichita, KS — Operation Rescue has obtained disturbing documentation of a desperate 911 call placed by the mother of a teenage high school student who was taken out of classes without permission and taken to South Wind Women’s Center, an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. The mother was concerned that her daughter was being forced by her estranged father and grandmother to have an abortion.
The incident was uncovered while an Operation Rescue staff member was praying outside of South Wind Women’s Center when two marked police patrol cars arrived at the clinic on November 11, 2015.
According to the 911 recording and redacted police report, the girl’s mother called for help when she began receiving text messages from her daughter during normal school hours. The teen told her mom that she was being held against her will at the abortion clinic.
The teen was frightened when she was taken out of school by her father and grandmother, neither of which had legal custody of her at the time of the incident, according to the mother and the girl’s aunt, who also spoke with the 911 dispatcher. The girl told her aunt via text messages that she didn’t know where she was being taken until she arrived at the abortion clinic where her father had made an abortion appointment for her at 4:00 p.m. She continued to text her mom and her aunt that she wasn’t being given enough information by clinic staff and did not want to be there.
Wichita police officers were dispatched to South Women Women’s Center to check on the girl’s welfare. There, they were met by the clinic’s owner and director, Julie Burkhart.
“Upon arrival I contacted the director who advised she was aware of the situation but that there was not a situation. She refused to acknowledge whether the [the teen] was currently there or a patient. She also refused to speak to us while being recorded,” wrote Officer Atlee Vogt in his report.
A police sergeant soon arrived and instructed Officer Vogt to turn off his body camera, after which they once again attempted to speak with Burkhart.
“We attempted to recontact the director of the clinic after a long wait who refused to allow officers in and wouldn’t acknowledge whether [the teen] was there at the clinic,” Officer Vogt reported.
The girl’s mother and aunt, who had jumped in a vehicle and were on their way to the abortion clinic, were asked by police to meet them at a police substation and verify custody. Unfortunately, the mother did not have any current custody documents with her and since it was Veterans Day, a court holiday, police were unable to verify who actually had custody rights.
According to the redacted police report, the teen had apparently been impregnated by an age-mate, but there was some concern whether the sexual conduct was a consensual.
Because of Burkhart’s obstruction, the police were never able to check on the teenager’s welfare and it remains unknown if she was released unharmed or was forced to undergo an abortion she did not want.
“Burkhart’s interference in a police matter is disturbing, to say the least and is validation that she continues to act as if she is above the law,” said Newman, President of Operation Rescue who has worked to expose wrongdoing by Burkhart and South Wind since it announced its opening in April, 2013.
“We hope the young lady is well and that no harm was done to her at the abortion clinic, but we do not know if that is the case,” said Newman. “Burkhart’s obstructionism of police officers attempting to check on the welfare of a teen that was being held against her will by clinic staff is a cause of grave concern.”
Burkhart is a militant pro-abortion activist who once worked for the notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller as head of his now-defunct political action committee. During that time, Burkhart was paid by Tiller to lobby against common sense laws that provided late-term abortion limits, as well as safety standards and accountability for abortion clinics. She also opposed efforts by Attorney General Phil Kline to investigate the non-reporting of child sex abuse at Kansas abortion clinics.
The persistent political climate in Kansas for years has been one that essentially encourages abortionists to disregard the law. In the past, when law enforcement has tried to investigate abortion clinics, as was the case under Phil Kline’s administration as State Attorney General, the State Supreme Court instead covered up crimes allegedly committed by two abortion clinics and prosecuted Kline in order to halt his investigations.
A 2011 state law that would have finally placed abortion clinics under the oversight of the Department of Health and Environment continues to languish without significant action in a state court, blocked for nearly five years by a pro-abortion county judge.
Kansas’ highest court remains dominated by appointees of former Governor Kathleen Sebelius and her puppet, Mark Parkinson, both rabid supporters of abortion without limits or accountability. Sebelius went on to later serve as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, overseeing the launching of arguably America’s largest boondoggle, Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, which includes payment for abortions.
“Corruption that still exists in the Judicial Branch in Kansas continues to enable abortion clinics to remain above the law at the expense of the lives and health of women,” said Newman. “Abortion clinics have no oversight in Kansas, and now with police fearing to stand up to Burkhart’s bullying, there exists the same kind of ‘anything goes’ attitude at South Wind that characterized Kermit Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ abortion clinic.”
The Gosnell case, in which he was convicted of three counts of murder and one count of manslaughter among hundreds of other lesser crimes, should have taught states that a lack of oversight creates very dangerous conditions at abortion businesses. A grand jury report rebuked Pennsylvania authorities for turning a blind eye to Warning signs and complaints that had been filed throughout the years.
“Burkhart arrogantly believes she can get away with anything,” said Newman. “I have known Burkhart for many years and have seen her employ bully tactics on more than one occasion. Now, it looks like even the police are afraid to stand up to her bullying. Meanwhile, who knows what horrors are being perpetrated by Burkhart and South Wind?”
Burkhart was forced to shut down her Trust Women Political Action Committee after Operation Rescue analyzed her contribution and disbursement reports and discovered grossly shoddy bookkeeping and nearly $37,000 in missing funds that disappeared without a trace. Some money improperly went to fund start-up operating costs for the South Wind Women’s Center.
Operation Rescue filed complaints with the Federal Election commission and Burkhart was ordered to pay thousands in fines the FEC.
Operation Rescue has also filed complaints with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts against two South Wind abortionists. Those complaint investigations remain open.