Tiller’s former abortion clinic beefs up security in preparations for reopening

By Arturo Garcia
Monday, February 25, 2013 10:25 EDT
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South Wind Women's Center director Julie Burkhart
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The head of a new Kansas women’s health clinic said the facility is improving security measures leading up to its reopening.

“We take security very seriously,” South Wind Women’s Center director Julie Burkhart told KWCH-TV on Sunday. “There have been moments when I’ve been scared, that’s for sure.”

South Wind, she said, will work with a private security company, but did not provide many more details due to concerns about retribution from anti-abortion activists. Burkhart said that contractors working with the facility have already been harassed, and that she has also been targeted at her home.

“I don’t sleep with one eye open, but I do take the safety of my family very seriously,” she told the station.

Burkhart said the center, located at the site of slain physician Dr. George Tiller’s clinic, will offer abortion and other reproductive health services to women in Wichita, Kansas. The Wichita Eagle reported on Feb. 6 that unlike Tiller, South Wind will not offer late-term abortions. Tiller, one of the only physicians in the country who performed those kinds of procedures, was killed by an anti-abortion activist outside a local church in May 2009.

Trust Women, the advocacy group she leads, acquired the building in September 2012. No date has been announced for South Wind’s reopening, but Think Progress reported that she is hoping to have the center up and running in spring 2013.

“We want to be here as a full-spectrum medical facility that speaks to the needs of women, no matter where they’re at in their pregnancy,” she said.

Watch KWCH’s report on the improved security at South Wind Women’s Center, aired Sunday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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