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Dr. Mila Means Is Still Trying To Establish Abortion Clinic In Wichita Despite Threats

Dr. Mila Means is still trying to establish a Kansas abortion clinic to replace the resource lost after the political assassination of Dr. George Tiller. So they may have found the right person but the mountain of obstacles grows: WICHITA,

Dr. Mila Means is still trying to establish a Kansas abortion clinic to replace the resource lost after the political assassination of Dr. George Tiller. So they may have found the right person but the mountain of obstacles grows:

WICHITA, Kan. — Not long ago, Dr. Mila Means, the physician trying to open an abortion clinic in this city, received a letter advising her to check under her car each morning — “because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it,” the note said.

There was reason for concern: the last doctor to provide abortions here was shot to death because of his work. But rather than lower her profile, Dr. Means raised it by buying a car that nobody could miss: a bright-yellow Mini Cooper, emblazoned, appropriately enough, with lightning bolts.

“It’s partly an in-your-face response,” she explained. “You’re looking for me. I’m here.”

Two years have passed since this city, for decades the volatile epicenter of the national fight over abortion, was shaken by the murder of Dr. George R. Tiller — a controversial figure because of his willingness to perform later-term abortions — by a man who said he wanted to stop the killing of babies.

Since then, abortion rights advocates have hoped that someone would take Dr. Tiller’s place to show that violence is not an effective way to stop abortions. Despite their vows to redouble their commitment, the murder of Dr. Tiller actually scared people away. Opponents, even those who criticized the killing, have noted with some satisfaction that no abortions have been provided here since.

Now a little-known physician has stepped into this tinderbox environment to take the mantle — indeed, the very instruments — of the man many abortion rights advocates regard as a martyr.

But Dr. Means is certainly not the ideological warrior many expected to fill his void. She said her decision to start performing abortions was as much about making money for her struggling practice as about restoring access to a constitutional right.

But Dr. Means decided last summer that she had little choice but to try.

Go read the rest, which follows Dr. Means' journey of conscience from fundamentalist Christian to abortion provider.

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