A new late-term abortion facility in Oklahoma City is facing growing protests from its neighbors before it even opens.
On Monday, about 100 people from a nearby Catholic church held a prayer vigil outside the abortion center, The Oklahoman reports. Members of St. James the Greater Catholic Church said their concern is not only that the abortion facility will be killing unborn babies but it also is located near their church and St. James Catholic School.
“A lot of people just find this inappropriate and wrong,” the Rev. Bill Pruett, pastor of St. James, said. “We don’t want our kids exposed to all this either.
“We don’t like our neighborhood being singled out for something like this,” he continued. “We would love it to be closed before it ever opens.”
During the vigil, the priest and parishioners formed a single line on the sidewalk outside the facility and prayed several prayers and the rosary, according to the report. Pruett said they plan to continue holding prayer vigils every day this week.
The facility, Trust Women South Winds Women’s Center, is supposed to open this summer, owner Julie Burkhart said previously. The businesswoman has a shady reputation, having once run political operations for late-term abortionist George Tiller. She currently owns and runs an abortion business in Wichita, Kansas.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Burkhart boasted that her new abortion clinic will do abortions later than any other facility in Oklahoma. In a February interview, she said they will do abortions up to 24 weeks, LifeNews reported.
Other nearby churches and residents also are upset by Burkhart’s plans. The new abortion center is just down the corner from another church, the Liberty Worship Center, Oklahoma News 9 reports.
Local Pastor Fernando Esquibel said he wants to do something to stop abortions from happening in Oklahoma City. The late-term abortion facility will be the first to open in the area in decades, according to the report.
“I think abortion is a crime,” Esquibel told the news station. “It’s killing babies, and I don’t think it’s a good idea. I believe in life, not death.”
Some local businesses also have refused to work with the abortion group. Burkhart complained to Rolling Stone that she felt “ostracized” because many Oklahoma businesses did not want to do work for her. She also said the state Department of Health made it difficult to get an abortion clinic license.
“I think it was a mixture of people not understanding or knowing exactly what to do — because no provider of abortion had wanted to open a clinic since the Seventies — and I think we had some obstructionists in the Department of Health who thought maybe we would just go away,” Burkhart said.
Despite Rolling Stone’s glowing report, Burkhart and her abortion facility in Kansas have poor reputations for patient care and safety. Cheryl Sullenger, a leader of Operation Rescue, described Burkhart this way:
Burkhart is a militant pro-abortion activist who once worked for the notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller as head of his now-defunct political action committee. During that time, Burkhart was paid by Tiller to lobby against common sense laws that provided late-term abortion limits, as well as safety standards and accountability for abortion clinics. She also opposed efforts by [Kansas] Attorney General Phil Kline to investigate the non-reporting of child sex abuse at Kansas abortion clinics.
In December, pro-lifers uncovered even more evidence of shady goings on.
A 911 call from November revealed a desperate mother saying that her teenage daughter was being forced to have an abortion at Burkhart’s Wichita facility, LifeNews reported. According to police, the mother called 911 after receiving text messages from the teen saying that her estranged father was holding her at the abortion facility against her will. Police arrived at the scene but Burkhart did not cooperate well with the police, according to reports. She refused to say whether the teen was inside her facility or speak to police while being recorded, according to the report. Her obstruction prevented the police from checking on the teen’s welfare.
Last July, pro-lifers also uncovered evidence that a woman had been severely injured in a botched abortion at her Wichita facility. According to 911 audio from the incident, Burkhart initially told an ambulance crew not to rush there or turn its lights on for the woman, LifeNews reported.