The Trust Women Foundation, an abortion and reproductive rights advocacy group, is reopening the clinic of murdered physician Dr. George Tiller, who was killed by an anti-abortion extremist in 2009. According to the Wichita Eagle, Trust Women filed documents with the Kansas Secretary of State's office indicating that the foundation is now the sole owner of the property at 5017 E. Kellogg St. in Wichita, which housed Tiller's clinic, Women's Health Care Services.
Julie Burkhart, a former Tiller employee and abortion rights activist, directs Trust Women. The organization has fought since Tiller's death in 2009 to re-establish women's health services in the area.
Tiller was gunned down in church on Sunday, May 31, 2009, by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder, who justified his actions by claiming he was saving the lives of unborn children. Dr. Tiller was one of the few doctors in the country whose clinic offered late-term abortion services.
His murder came after years of vilification by religious leaders and television news personalities like Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, who referred to Tiller as "Tiller the Baby-Killer" in his broadcasts, saying the doctor was guilty of "Nazi stuff" because of his work with women in need of late-term abortions for medical or other reasons.
Prior to Trust Women's filing regarding Tiller's clinic, the office space was held by Kellogg Investments LLC, a company wholly owned by Tiller's widow, Jeanne Tiller. According to the Eagle, "The new document filed with the secretary of state on Tuesday identified Trust Women Foundation as the sole owner of the limited liability company."
Tiller family attorney Erin Thompson confirmed that the family sold the building and that Jeanne Tiller would have no further involvement with the property or with Kellogg Investments.
"That's all the information I have," Thompson told the Eagle.
Tiller's murder was the second attempt on his life. Anti-abortion activist Rachelle Shelly Shannon is currently imprisoned for trying to kill the doctor in 1993.
[image via Flickr Commons user pdeonarain]