Wichita, KS — Operation Rescue has announced that it has purchased the building that housed Central Women’s Services, an abortion mill located at located at 3013 E. Central in Wichita, Kansas. The building will be renovated and serve as Operation Rescue’s headquarters, and will feature a memorial to the pre-born.
Quick action closes mill
Operation Rescue learned in late April that Central Women’s Services had not been able to pay its rent in months, and that the property was for sale. OR acted quickly to make an offer on the building through a third party, and specifically requested that the current tenant not be retained. That stipulation was placed into the real estate contract.
It was later learned that Central Women’s Services had come up with the back rent after the building had entered escrow, and asked to continue their rental agreement under the new owner. However, because the property was under contract, the abortion mill was instead forced to close.
“We have no doubt that if we had not moved quickly to buy that building, this abortion mill would still be in operation today,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
50,000 dead babies
The abortion mill, which did business under a variety of names over a span of nearly 3 decades, had operated in the current location for 23 years, opening on August 31, 1983, after relocating from an office near Pine and Emporia in Wichita. It is estimated that over 50,000 pre-born babies were aborted there.
The abortion mill captured the attention of local pro-lifers during the 1991 Summer of Mercy when a Pastor’s Rescue, led by Operation Rescue tactical director Jeff White, resulted in the arrests of 80 members of the clergy in what was likely the largest incident of civil disobedience by pastors in the history of the pro-life movement.
Small groups of sidewalk counselors have faithfully offered help to women at that location ever since.
Operation Rescue comes to town
In 2002, Operation Rescue relocated its offices from Southern California to Wichita and began a campaign to expose the abortion industry there. Since that time abortions have dropped a whopping 16% in Kansas.
Operation Rescue believes the drop in abortions has hurt the abortion industry across the board, and heavily contributed to Central’s financial difficulties. “Any company that looses 16% of their business is going to be hurting,” said Newman.
In addition to providing seasoned sidewalk counselors at the Central location, Operation Rescue purchased an empty lot behind Central Women’s Services and placed a large billboard sign there warning women of the dangers of abortion. This sign faced the main entrance, and was repeatedly vandalized. The Truth Truck was also frequently parked in the lot during abortion days.
Since the mill is now closed, Operation Rescue has donated the lot to A Better Choice, the crisis pregnancy center next door. Plans have been made to turn the lot into a park.
In recent months, Central was open for abortions only two days per month, contributing to their financial woes. Abortionist Kristin Newhaus once operated there until she quit the Central mill in 2001, finally leaving the abortion business for good in 2002 under a cloud of accusations that she had committed an abortion on an unwilling woman and other infractions. Abortionist Sherman Zaremski of Kansas City took over for Newhaus, driving three hours to Wichita to kill babies at Central. Then in December of 2005, the mill closed for five weeks. When it reopened, there was a new abortionist, Planned Parenthood employee Ronald Yeomans, also from Kansas City. Operation Rescue published exposés on all three abortionists and conducted First Amendment outreaches in the home communities of Zaremski and Yeomans.
In July, 2005, Operation Rescue documented a suspected botched abortion at the now closed abortion mill.
“God accomplishes His work through the obedient lives of His people. We believe that God brought us to Wichita to stop abortion, and that closing this mill and reclaiming it for Christ was part of His plan for us,” said Newman. “We are humbled and thankful that He chose to use us in this way.”
Selling out and leaving the horrors behind
In May, 2006, while the building was in escrow, Operation Rescue staff member Cheryl Sullenger attended a yard sale at Central Women’s Services where office supplies and equipment were being sold. She noted that the office was dingy, cramped, and dirty. The abortion business vacated the mill immediately after the sale.
During a walk-through of the vacant structure with a realtor after the abortion business moved out, the full nature of the filthy conditions were revealed.
“There was mold, and general filth,” said Sullenger. “The carpets outside the abortion rooms were stained with blood, even though it was evident that some effort had been made to clean them. The ceiling nearby was broken. All of the walls were dirty and some were covered with cheap contact paper instead of being properly maintained.”
Newman, Sullenger, and Jeff White, who was instrumental in helping Operation Rescue obtain the property, discovered a small closet between the two “procedure” rooms. The closet contained a sink surrounded by gallon bottles of bleach and drain cleaner.
“Under the sink was one of the biggest garbage disposals I have ever seen,” said Newman. “The entire area had the stench of death. It was the sink where the suction machine bottles were washed. In fact, dried blood could be seen that had seeped out from the metal band that surrounded the sink top. There was a bucket marked ‘biohazard’ next to the sink. We were all sickened by the thought of all those thousands of innocent children whose blood had been washed down that sink. It was an experience I will never forget.”
Later that day, Newman called Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade who once ran abortion mills but now works tirelessly to end abortion. He mentioned the sink and his suspicions that aborted babies were put down the drain there. She confirmed that it was once a common practice for abortion mills to put aborted baby remains down such disposals. “Oh, yes!” she replied. “And you can’t pour enough bleach down that drain to get rid of the smell.”
While there is no doubt that the bodies of aborted babies were once put down the garbage disposal at Central, in recent years the mill had apparently stopped the practice.
Central made news in 2005 when Operation Rescue learned that the packaged the remains were delivered by courier to Engineered Recovery Systems in Newton, KS, where they were “processed” and dumped in a landfill near Kansas City that had virtually become an aborted baby graveyard.
Out of death comes life
After the walk-through with the realtor, a woman approached the group to inquire about an abortion. Sullenger, a veteran sidewalk counselor, took the woman through the abortion mill and pointed out the general filth inside the various rooms. The young woman was clearly horrified by what she saw. Sullenger continued to discuss motherhood and the blessing of children with her. The woman decided against abortion left the scene with a commitment to keep her baby.
Redeemed in the name of Jesus
Plans for the building include a memorial to the pre-born and the conversion of one of the abortion rooms into a chapel. Part of the building will serve as Operation Rescue’s corporate offices.
“We want this building to be a testament to the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. If Jesus can redeem a building, He can redeem lives and heal hurting hearts,” said Newman.
“But before we can move in, we will have to do a lot of work to make the facility habitable,” noted Newman. “The stench of death permeates every corner, and the mold and general filth makes the building an unhealthy place to be at this time. The creative ladies on my staff have plans to transform it into a place that is warm, inviting, and functional for our work.”
Operation Rescue plans to celebrate the closing of Central Women’s Services with a number of activities that will be announced soon. Prayer services of thanksgiving and blessing will be held, as well as an exorcism. Then will come the Grand Opening. Pro-life dignitaries from all over the nation are expected to come to Wichita to join in the celebration.
One more to go
“In spite of our celebrations, we know our work is not finished here as long as George Tiller continues to kill children and victimize women,” said Newman.
Tiller runs the better-known late-term abortion mill in Wichita, Women’s Health Care Services, that earned the city the dubious distinction of Abortion Capital of the World. He is currently under investigation by a Grand Jury in the third-trimester abortion death of 19-year old Christin Gilbert. Operation Rescue heavily documented that tragedy and worked with a grassroots coalition of pro-life groups to gather enough signatures of registered voters to convene the Grand Jury.
Operation Rescue plans to coordinate their activities to further expose Tiller from their new offices in the former abortion mill.
“As we continue to press forward to expose the unfruitful works of darkness that Tiller is involved with, we trust that God is continuing to work His plan here. He has not brought us this far only to have us fail, but to grant us victory. With the closing of Central, God has given us the first taste of that, and has publicly validated our step of faith in coming here,” said Newman. “God has truly been glorified though this.”
“Pro-lifers need to know that this mill closed because Christians decided to take meaningful action. We pray this victory will encourage others to act in their communities, because we have it within our ability, through God’s grace, to stop the killing,” said Newman.
Upcoming events involving prayer services and celebrations of the closure of Central will be announced soon.