Ten Women’s Health Heroes Who Inspired Us In 2013 by Tara Culp-Ressler- Published on December 19,2013 at 10:00 am

Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Rose

“In April, Julie Burkhart re-opened the clinic that used to house Dr. George Tiller’s former practice. Thanks to Burkhart, the women who live in Wichita have access to abortion services for the first time since Tiller was gunned down in 2009. It hasn’t been an easy road, though, as anti-choice activists have done everything in their power to prevent the new clinic from opening to the public. Burkhart has been subject to personal harassment; protesters have picketed outside her home and distributed flyers referring to her as a “killer.” In April, an anti-choice activist was even caught on tape suggesting that it would a “blessing to the babies” if Burkhart was shot, just like her predecessor.

Burkhart ended up tightening the security at her clinic. But she’s stood firm, repeatedly speaking out about Wichita women’s right to accessible reproductive care.

“A year and a half after we lost Dr. Tiller, we were really able to say, ‘Okay, this is going to be hard, this is going to be challenging — probably the biggest challenge of our lives — but we’re going to get this done,’ ” Burkhart told Mother Jones in February. “Here we live in a pretty good-sized city, Wichita, with a metropolitan area of around 650,000 people. It’s like really, come on. We’re a town that used to have three abortion clinics. Shouldn’t we be able to have at least one ob-gyn practice that offers abortion care? We realized we just needed to pick up the torch and do it.””

You can read the rest of the article at ThinkProgress