Julie Burkhart, who worked many years ago with late-term abortionist George Tiller, recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss abortion after the fall of Roe v. Wade. After Tiller was murdered in 2009, Burkhart purchased the building and reopened the South Wind Women’s Center on-site — another abortion business. She also founded the Trust Women Foundation, and has worked as an abortion activist for decades. But, in a new interview, she complained that despite nearly 50 years of Roe v. Wade, abortion still doesn’t garner any respect in the medical community.
Ali Velshi interviewed Burkhart about abortion today. He began by noting that, during a recent visit to Alabama, abortionists said they got little respect, something he said Tiller had complained of as well. “You often feel like you occupy the lowest rung of medicine, in terms of the way you’re treated by the outside world, but the highest rung when it comes to your patients who need reproductive health care,” he said. “Is that true?”
Burkhart has previously complained about a lack of respect from the medical community, and it seems her tune hasn’t changed.
“I would say that that is absolutely true,” she responded, adding, “Within this realm of abortion provision, within reproductive rights, oftentimes physicians are ostracized from their own medical professions, they are ostracized politically, but Dr. Tiller … was absolutely correct, that the women who are coming in for procedures, the people who need procedures, they will tell you what is really in their hearts and what’s on their minds.”
But while the abortion industry has engaged in a near-deification of Tiller since his death, actual patient reviews tell a different story. Women have spoken of being coerced into abortions by Tiller’s staff, and treated with callous disregard.
Ann Kristin Neuhaus, another of Tiller’s associates, had her license to practice medicine revoked due to a scheme she participated in with Tiller, rubber-stamping mental health forms for underage girls, claiming they were “suicidal” without ever conducting actual mental health evaluations.
Tiller also saw numerous young girls as clients, yet only notified police about an incidence of child rape once. There is also evidence to show that Neuhaus and Tiller were committing illegal abortions together. Tiller and his staff, which at the time included notorious late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, also allowed Christin Gilbert, a young woman with Down syndrome, to suffer for days after a horrifically botched abortion. She tragically died. The 911 call even showed how staff delayed emergency care for Gilbert, further contributing to her death.
It seems clear that Tiller and his protégés were hardly the saviors of women they paint themselves to be.
Burkhart is also not alone in describing the negative mindset the medical community has towards abortion. Carol Joffe, a professor at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) within UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, which trains abortionists, has also complained about this very issue. Joffe has also served on the board of the National Abortion Federation, with a program for the Abortion Care Network (a membership organization of independent abortionists), on the Advisory Board for Planned Parenthood of New York’s Clinician Training Initiatives, and as a member of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP):
Nearly 50 years after legalization nationwide, the majority of obstetrician gynecologists and primary-care doctors do not provide abortions — even though 1 out of 4 American women will have an abortion in her lifetime … Only 4 percent of abortions take place in a hospital and only 1 percent of abortions take place in private doctors’ offices. The remaining 95 percent occur in free-standing clinics, which offer excellent care, but are largely isolated from other medical institutions.
One third-generation OB/GYN told me, “In my family, the worst thing that could be said about anybody was that he was an abortionist.” His relatives did not object morally to abortion, but rather they held the assumption that illegal abortion doctors were “losers.” … Even after Roe, a physician who supported freedom of choice, commenting on the small number of doctors doing abortions in New York City, remarked: “The rest of the staff regards these doctors with esteem not markedly higher than that previously reserved for the back street abortionist.”
Susan Robinson, one of the few late-term abortionists in the country, has also said abortionists feel stigmatized. “If you do abortions, it is very hard to get the privilege to work in a hospital, because they don’t like abortion providers,” she said. “They are almost all done in outpatient clinics, free-standing clinics, in this country. Being an abortion provider is very stigmatized. Other doctors look down on you and think of you as like the lowest of the low.”
Warren Hern, another late-term abortionist, had similar complaints. “Increasingly, doctors have been made to feel irrelevant,” he said. “Feminist abortion clinics treat doctors like technicians and are especially contemptuous of male physicians. Entrepreneurs who treat abortion strictly as a retail business also tend to treat doctors as technicians. Doctors who perform abortions have usually acquiesced in these roles, and their status has plummeted lower than that of physicians who do insurance company examinations.”
Another abortion facility owner, Diane Derzis, said in an interview that even among abortion supporters, abortionists are seen as “dirty.”
Abortionists make a very lucrative living by taking innocent lives. Perhaps the reason the medical community shuns abortionists is because most doctors went into medicine to save lives, not take them.
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