– Today marks the fourth anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a 67-year-old abortion provider who was shot point blank in the forehead as he attended church services in Wichita, Kansas. Tiller’s clinic was one of a handful in the nation that performed abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. He faced constant threats and incidents of violence and vandalism in the decades leading up to his death. The man who assassinated him, anti-choice extremist Scott Roeder, is serving a life sentence and was recently reprimanded in prison for making intimidating remarks against other abortion providers. The four years since Tiller was murdered have seen a wave of new abortion restrictions. Eight states now ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, clinics across the country have been threatened by laws aimed at shutting them down. After working with Tiller for eight years, our guest Julie Burkhart joins us from South Wind Women’s Center, the newly reopened abortion clinic where Tiller worked. She is director and founder of the Trust Women Foundation. “We have had approximately 200 patient visits in just the two short months that we’ve been open. We are just so happy to be back in this community,” Burkhart says. On threats made against the clinic and her life she says, “These threats are definitely to be taken seriously and they are chilling. However, women still need abortion care. … I don’t think that the rights of women in this part of the country should be curtailed just because we have extremists.”
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