Longtime friend of Dispatches (and of me) Gretchen writes about a heckler’s veto being attempted in Kansas to prevent an abortion clinic from opening in the same building used by George Tiller before he was murdered. An anti-abortion group is arguing that the clinic will be disruptive. Why? Because they’ll protest there after it opens.
That’s why I’m concerned about a ridiculous but possibly effective ploy being pulled by opponents of the opening of a new clinic which would provide abortion services in Wichita, in the same facility previously owned by Dr. George Tiller (murdered in 2009). It will be called South Wind Women’s Center and run by Trust Women founder Julie Burkhart, who used to work with Tiller. But pro-life group Kansans For Life has, completely unsurprisingly, been attempting to fight the new clinic in any way they can think of. Right now they are attempting to have the area re-zoned, because– get this– it’s bad for the neighborhood to have the disruption that constant protesters cause. Protesters like who? Why, Kansans For Life!
The group swears that it will never let the clinic operate peacefully and without protest, saying, “It’s never going to happen. Abortion is never going to be accepted in this country. We’re never going to be quiet and let it go on.” Okay, that’s fine. You can protest all you want. But your right to protest does not translate into a right to have the clinic shut down, or prevented from opening.