The Los Angeles Times has a devastating article about one woman’s reluctant quest to replace Dr. George Tiller, the murdered Kansas abortion provider. The woman’s name is Dr. Mila Means:
After his killing on May 31, 2009, the decision to step into his place did not come as an epiphany but rather over time, with sad reluctance.
In the past, if her patients with unwanted pregnancies asked where to get an abortion, she sent them to Tiller. After his death, women seeking the procedure increasingly turned to her for advice, often with panicked eyes and voices, asking what to do and where to go.
"I didn't have an answer," she said. "I kept thinking one of the OB-GYN doctors would start, but slowly it became apparent no one was going to step up."
But Means had no idea what “stepping up” would involve:
A letter arrived from an antiabortion activist who befriended Scott Roeder, the man convicted of killing Tiller, after he went to prison. That letter, now in federal hands, warned Means to check under her yellow Mini Cooper for explosives before turning the key….
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….
In spring 2011, some of the most sweeping antiabortion measures in the nation became Kansas law, including the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the imposition of building specifications and medical equipment requirements — both of which Means said would put abortion providers out of business.
Means hasn’t yet helped any woman terminate a single pregnancy. Not because of the death threats—she’s willing to face those—but because of the legislature.
Is Roe v. Wade really still the law of the land?
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