Wichita, KS – Pro-life supporters are bracing for the apparent opening of a new abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas, a city that has been abortion-free since the closure of George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services in 2009. The new clinic, going by the name South Wind Women’s Center, says it will open next week and will provide abortions up to 14 weeks.
But Operation Rescue isn’t convinced that the clinic will be able to legally or safely operate.
The clinic is being operated by former Tiller lobbyist Julie Burkhart, who has no medical background. She has hired three apparent out-of-state abortionists to fly into Wichita to provide abortions none of which are expected to have local hospital privileges.
One female abortionist, who refuses to be named at this time, has given interviews about her expected involvement in the Wichita abortion business.
“My experience in reproductive justice began Dec. 18, 2012,” she recently told the Wichita Eagle of her first visit to Burkhart’s clinic, which was purchased from George Tiller’s wife last year.
According to that same news article, the abortionist “has never performed elective abortions.”
“How would you like to be patient number one, or five or ten for this particular abortionist? Odds are high that in addition to the distinction of being one of her first test subjects, you will also earn an ambulance ride to the local hospital where she isn’t even allowed to practice,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “Using only fly-by-night abortionists will dramatically increase the dangers to women because they will have no ability to provide continuity of care should an emergency arise.”
Operation Rescue is also concerned about the legality of Burkhart’s operation and is working through legal avenues to ensure that the clinic closes if it is found in violation of the law.
Operation Rescue will work with local groups to maintain a pro-life presence outside the clinic, should the need arise, but for the most part Operation Rescue plans to focus on behind the scenes cooperation with oversight agencies to hold the clinic to the strictest adherence of the law.
“Burkhart’s former abortion boss didn’t follow the law, as evidenced by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts disciplinary petition that was pending against Tiller at the time of his death, and there’s no reason to believe that she will either. We are watching closely and are more than willing to contact the authorities when we document wrongdoing at her clinic,” said Sullenger. “Even if she does open, we are confident that she will not be able to stand up under that kind of scrutiny for long.”