Julie Burkhart discussed the hard work of counteracting the opposition and violence currently facing the choice movement.
Julie Burkhart speaks
Julie A. Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women is a former advisor to Dr. Tiller and has led the fight for choice in legislatures, courtrooms. She has been at the frontlines of reproductive justice for three decades.
In 2013 Trust Women opened its flagship clinic in Wichita, returning abortion services to the people of South Central Kansas and beyond. In 2016 they opened the second Trust Women clinic in Oklahoma City, expanding abortion access in the country’s red areas.
In a report published last week by The Washington Post analyzing two decades of data compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United States is experiencing a significant increase in violent domestic terrorism incidents over the last two decades, with a peak in 2020. For those working in abortion and reproductive services, domestic terrorism has been a constant threat.
“Abortion service providers, particularly those living in the heartland of America, have for decades been on the front lines of this growing extremism,” said Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women and former advisor to Dr. George Tiller, who was assassinated on May 31, 2009, by right-wing extremists. “Faced with constant threats of violence – both at work and home – the threat for us is ever looming. The report by The Washington Post provides analytical data backing up the experience we live in regularly. Unless our leaders are willing to take the necessary steps to combat this growing threat, it will only grow and cause more tragedy.”
In The Daily Beast piece, The Capitol Rioters Pro-Life Extremist Connection is Real, Burkhart writes:
“To date, anti-choice extremists have murdered 11 Americans who worked in abortion care. My former boss, Dr. George Tiller, was executed at a peaceful Sunday morning church service. Anti-choice extremist Cheryl Sullenger, who had harassed Dr. Tiller for years and was convicted of bomb-making in the 1980s, had an affiliation with the gunman who murdered him. In January, along with former President Donald Trump and 70,000 others, Sullenger had their accounts suspended from social media due to her statements during the recent insurrection.
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