Petition Aims To Keep Wichita Abortion Clinic From Re-Opening

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An anti-abortion group presented a petition to the Wichita City Council this morning, that aims to keep an abortion clinic from re-opening.

Tuesday morning, an activist from Kansans for Life presented the petition to council members, which contained more than 14,000 signatures.

The group is requesting a zoning change at the clinic formerly run by the late Dr. George Tiller, which closed following his murder in 2009. The zoning change would prevent another group of doctors from reopening the clinic.

The abortion rights group Trust Women bought the building and plans to offer reproductive health care services, including abortions, at the site.

"I am concerned about the safety of the people out there, when there are literally thousands of people during the Summer of Mercy," said the activist, David Gittrich. "There were tens of thousands of people out there, and there's problems when you have that many people in a residential neighborhood."

Trust Women's attorney, Robert Eye, says there is no legal basis that will justify rezoning the land. He says rezoning motivated by a political purpose is improper.

Dozens of people showed up to the meeting from both sides of the issue.

"If they're truly interested in the welfare of the community and the traffic conditions, then they would stop harassing patients that are just trying to get health care," said Corey Swertfager, a pro-choice activist with Wichita NOW.

No formal action was taken by the council.

The pro-life group will be presenting their request to the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission on February 21st. Pro-Choice activists plan on attending that meeting as well.

Lily Wu was at this morning's council meeting and will have more on later KAKE newscasts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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