Friday, May 03, 2019

What's NOT The Matter With Kansas?



Is it possible that Thomas Frank's thesis is no longer entirely correct?

From Reis Tebault of the WaPo...

Julie Burkhart was in her early 20s when she responded to the person yelling at her as she walked into work. How could she ever take a job at a place like that? the woman wanted to know. Burkhart didn’t realize it then, but she’d have that same argument for decades.

It was 1991, and Burkhart had returned from college to discover that her hometown of Wichita had become the front line of the religious right’s battle against abortion. She went straight into the trenches.

At a local clinic, she took calls from women who wanted abortions and scheduled their appointments. That’s where she met the protesters, and there were a lot of them that year.

Those sweltering months would come to be known as the Summer of Mercy, when members of the bellicose antiabortion group Operation Rescue traveled to the Midwestern city in droves and swarmed abortion clinics. The next month and a half radically changed the politics of abortion in Kansas...


...Nearly three decades later, Burkhart sat down at her desk in a women’s clinic not far from the place where she first encountered the antiabortion activists. On Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution fundamentally protects abortion rights.

The news flashed across her screen, and her staff rushed in to read it with her.

Kansans have “the ability to control one’s own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination. This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life — decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.”... 


...“I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet,” she said Friday evening. “It means, for me … this has been worth the fight."

And there were times, over the past 20-some years, when she wondered whether it would be worth it — like in 2009, when an antiabortion extremist murdered her mentor, physician George Tiller, who also ran a clinic in Wichita...

All of which just goes to show that, maybe, just maybe, it is still possible for folks to understand what is actually best for them and theirs, especially if the fox-flung sand can be washed from their eyes and the hate radio prop-goop can be drained from their ears.



1 comment:

e.a.f. said...

Thank you for that post.

I remember all of those times well.

Didn't watch the news for a few days, so this was great news.

Can't believe women are still fighting to be able to have the right to control their own bodies.

Its always worth the fight!.