The Hard Road To Following in the Footsteps of Dr. George Tiller
Far from maintaining a low profile, Dr. Mila Means, is showing no fear even as she receives threats - including one to continually look under her car for explosives.
Yet, the ability to provide safe and legal abortions there is up in the air as the anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue are redoubling their own efforts to thwart any abortion providers from operating there:
But Dr. Means is certainly not the ideological warrior many expected to fill his void. She said her decision to start performing abortions was as much about making money for her struggling practice as about restoring access to a constitutional right.
A second effort to establish an abortion clinic is under way, led by a group of prominent abortion rights advocates. The group has raised money but is still searching for a doctor willing to provide abortions in a city where doing so has in recent years required a bulletproof vest and an armored car.
“It’s about restoring access and standing our ground,” said Julie Burkhart, a former political director for Dr. Tiller who now runs the group Trust Women.
Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, based in Wichita, said that abortion opponents were committed to blocking another clinic here, and that the level of protest facing anyone who participated in such an efforts would be “beyond anything anyone could imagine.” He spoke with particular disdain for Dr. Means.
“We will ensure that this community remains abortion free,” he said.