Julie Burkhart worked side by side with Dr. George Tiller for seven years. She first began working with him as the Chair for the Wichita Choice Alliance. It was there that she led the charge against the anti-choice organizations that were attempting to “finish the job” and shut down Women’s Health Care Services, Dr. Tiller’s clinic, during the 2001 Summer of Mercy Renewal. Ms. Burkhart was the spokesperson for his clinic between 2002 and 2006.
In 2002, Dr. Tiller created ProKanDo; thus, establishing what would become the largest political action committee in Kansas. Ms. Burkhart built and then directed the organization for seven years, which engaged in legislative and political work on behalf of physicians and women’s rights constituents. Ms. Burkhart now continues Dr. Tiller’s vision for reproductive rights as the Founder and Executive Director of Trust Women. In line with the mission of Trust Women, South Wind Women’s Center opened to provide reproductive health care services to the women of Wichita, Kansas and the surrounding 200 miles. The clinic opened in Dr. Tiller’s former medical facility.
Before working for Dr. Tiller, Ms. Burkhart was at ground zero during the infamous Summer of Mercy in 1991, as she worked at the Wichita Women’s Center, which was heavily targeted by Operation Rescue, the Lambs of Christ and other anti-choice extremists. Driven by political justice, she went on to manage a number of political campaigns in Washington State and as well as working for the Washington State Democratic Party and the Washington Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
Ms. Burkhart holds a Bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University and a Master’s degree from Wichita State University, both in Political Science with an emphasis on African Studies and Politics.
Ms. Burkhart was inspired by the feminist movement of the 1970′s and has dedicated her life’s work to the protection of reproductive freedom, with the encouragement and backing of her mother and grandmothers.
Ms. Burkhart is a frequent speaker and commentator on reproductive justice issues and has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC Live, the Alan Colmes Radio Show, Democracy Now, The Young Turks, NPR and various local news and radio programs. She has also had opinion pieces appear in a variety of newspapers, such as the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, LA Times, CNN and Kansas City Star. She has also been quoted and interviewed by national press, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, MORE Magazine, Mother Jones, ThinkProgress, the Rolling Stone, the LA Times, the Huffington Post, Pacific Standard Magazine, PBS News Hour and international media, such as Annabelle in Switzerland and ARD in Germany. She has been interviewed in extensive pieces by MSNBC and for various documentaries.