Nebraska physician vows to keep Tiller's abortion clinic open

Wichita EagleJune 1, 2009 

WICHITA, Kan. — Women's Health Care Services, the clinic that has been bombed, blockaded and vandalized for more than 20 years because late-term abortions are performed there, will be closed this week to mourn the slaying Sunday of founder George Tiller.

But the clinic will resume normal operations next Monday, said LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska physician who has been coming to Tiller's clinic on a rotating basis for more than 10 years now.

"What people need to know is... the women's services that we provided for 30 years are not going to change," Carhart said. "The same abortion services will remain available in Wichita."

Tiller, 67, was shot to death just after 10 a.m. Sunday in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church, where he was serving as an usher.

Scott Roeder, 51, of Merriam, has been arrested in connection with the shooting, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office. He remains incarcerated at the Sedgwick County Jail pending the filing of charges.

Carhart said he drove to Wichita last night. He met with clinic staff members and Tiller's wife and daughters Monday morning.

"It was a really, really good meeting," Carhart said. "It was a chance to go over all the important things and the good things George had done for each of us, and ways that we could appreciate all that he's done for the community and the women of this country.

"His daughters and his wife are doing far better than I would be doing if I just lost my life partner or my mother or father," he said.

Patients who had appointments this week have been notified of the clinic's closing, and other arrangements have been made, Carhart said.

"Starting next Monday we should be back to 100 percent," he said.

Carhart said he and two other out-of-state doctors have been rotating weekly shifts at the clinic, and that will continue.

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