Friday, June 09, 2017
The 8th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller
From Julie A. Burkhart, Founder and CEO, Trust Women Foundation:
Wednesday, last week, we marked the eighth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller. As I reminded staff at the foundation and clinics, I founded this organization out of the rubble after his death. It seemed absolutely senseless that people be denied their reproductive rights and what is legally theirs under the law because of anti-choice extremists who would bully us into submission.
That couldn’t stand for the people who needed access to health care, and it was not right for those of us who are passionate about this work.
I am absolutely amazed that after eight years, this organization has grown to two clinics and more than 30 people.
Thank you for everything you’ve done to support us along the way.
What's new at Trust Women:
· As I mentioned in the May newsletter, I am a regular opinion contributor for The Hill. My first column — in response to NPR and ProPublica’s report about maternal mortality rates in the United States — appeared May 18. The United States has the highest mortality rates stemming from pregnancy and childbirth in the developed world. While other countries have taken positive steps to decrease these deaths, the rates continue to climb in America. Here’s an excerpt from the column:
“A study last year in the medical journal “Obstetrics and Gynecology” reported that the rate of maternal deaths in the United States rose from 18.8 per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 23.8 in 2014, an increase of 27 percent. This can’t be allowed to continue.
These deaths occur in a country where lawmakers are taking a scalpel to women’s reproductive rights. Owning and operating reproductive healthcare clinics that provide abortion care in Kansas and Oklahoma, Trust Women sees firsthand the devastating impact of anti-choice laws on women. When the life of a fetus trumps the life of a woman, women will die. They already are — at the rate of 700 to 900 annually in this country.
Women who desire to be mothers, or to add to the families they already have, deserve far more from our healthcare system than to have their own health overlooked in doctor’s offices and hospital maternity wards and at follow-up visits.
When lawmakers are more concerned about whether a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks than about whether a woman will survive pregnancy and childbirth, something is absurdly wrong with our country’s priorities. Trust Women calls on lawmakers to follow the example of their colleagues in other countries and implement policies and programs to help prevent women from dying.”
· Our clinics welcome Dana Smith as our new director of nursing and quality assurance. We’re excited to have her on board.
· We have hired canvass managers in Oklahoma and Kansas and soon will be training canvassers who will go door-to-door in select districts to talk to people about reproductive rights. If you know of anyone who would like to work in the afternoons or evenings, please reach out to Tamber Hepner, our director of advocacy and outreach, at 316-425-3215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
· We are disappointed that Kansas legislators on Tuesday passed Senate Bill 83 requiring clinics such as ours to disclose medically unnecessary information about our physicians that further stigmatizes abortion care. The bill is now on its way to Gov. Sam Brownback, who will likely sign it as he's never opposed any anti-choice legislation to cross his desk.
· The Lady Parts Justice League is bringing its Vagical Mystery Tour to Oklahoma City on June 13 and to Wichita on June 15. There are many other locations too. Lizz Winstead, the co-creator of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” is the force behind Lady Parts. She was the headliner at our Third Annual Gala. Click on the tour link above for ticket information.
· You’ll be hearing a lot from us in the coming weeks about our monthly contribution program, the Circle of Trust. The program is an easy way for you to support the work we do with contributions that fit your budget. Monthly giving, starting at $5, keeps our fundraising costs low and better yet, allows us to plan ahead for expanding abortion access. Bonus: If you sign up for the Circle of Trust, you’ll get a Trust Women T-shirt!
I hope you have a great week.