VIDEO: Despite murder threats by anti-abortion extremists, new clinic aims to serve Kansas women


tiller cartoon anti-abortion

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I seethed, cried, smiled, and kept my fingers firmly crossed as I watched these two segments of The Rachel Maddow Show.

"Illegal, violent, threatening behavior" from the right seems to have become their signature conduct, yet it is allowed to continue. Loudly. Dangerously. Recklessly, via ardent spokespeople and mobs like those mentioned in the video as well as other hostile, aggressive groups.



Admiration doesn't begin to express what I feel for those involved with reviving Dr. George Tiller's women's health center against all odds and faced with such enormous, intimidating challenges.

I do have one question, though. Now that the clinic is planning to continue service, will Dr. Mila Means be involved in any way?

  • Bose

    Yeah, the absence of any reported tie between Dr. Means and the latest efforts to open the clinic stuck me, too.

    The July 2011 profile of her in the NYTimes suggests that the two efforts were running concurrently but separately from the beginning:

    "Now a little-known physician has stepped into this tinderbox environment to take the mantle — indeed, the very instruments — of the man many abortion rights advocates regard as a martyr.


    "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."

    With one brave physician standing up publicly about her commitment, and the local group of experienced hands on record as still searching for the same, it's clear they didn't find each other to be a good match.

    The site links to stories in the media about Means, the most recent being 3/5/2012 in the LAT. Key grafs there:

    "The pressure on Means was unrelenting. Her business manager quit, patients fled. A feminist group offered her a bulletproof vest. Law enforcement officials briefed her staff on how to spot a bomb."Her landlord slapped her with a nuisance lawsuit, saying the protests disrupted other tenants. When Means tried to find another office, she said, no one would rent to her. She stayed put, settling the lawsuit with a promise not to perform abortions at that location, all the while quietly working toward creating a nonprofit organization so she could buy her own building."

    Good to hear that she was still practicing less than a year ago, and her website ( still looks active... I have to assume that TRMS reached out to her this time around, but maybe she declined any comment.