Dr. Mila Means is a family practitioner in Wichita, Kansas, and the physician caught up in the recent "public nuisance" case in Kansas, in which she was barred from providing abortion services to her patients because the protestors outside her office building were creating a "public nuisance." For more on the case, you can check out this article from MotherJones.com:
Since May 2009, after Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed in his church by a radical pro-life activist, there have been no abortion care providers in Wichita. In the interest of the health and well-being of her patients who are in need of or seeking such services--and who have been unable to access these legal, constitutionally protected services--Dr. Means decided to change that. So last year she began training with the Kansas City-based group Aid for Women to provide these legally protected services safely for her patients.
She is now trying to find a new location for her offices, where she will be able safely provide these services (and provide enough security) for her patients. Her efforts so far have been stalled by this law suit and threats against her practice and her safety by groups like Kansas Coalition for Life and Operation Rescue. But she is not quitting. She is continuing her training and preparations to make sure she can provide the highest level of care she can for her patients. Unfortunately, the publicity of the lawsuit and continuing threats from groups that oppose her, she is facing enormous difficulty in finding a new location. As she discussed on a recent episode of the "Rachel Maddow Show," some landlords are refusing to even allow her to view properties that have been vacant and on the market for 2 or 3 years.
But again, she is not quitting. And I want her to know that we appreciate her determination and courage. And that we will stand with her.
- Dr. Mila Means
As a supporter of women's reproductive rights and access to safe, legal abortions, I want Dr. Mila Means to know that I support her fully. I have watched the recent events in Kansas with dismay, but I want Dr. Means to know I am inspired by her courage and determination.
Dr. Means, you are a shining example of what it means to stand up for what you believe in, even in the face of adversity. In the aftermath of the murder of Dr. Tiller, it seemed no one would step in to fill the void left by his death. But your decision to do what others have thus far been unable or unwilling to do has, in many ways, made you the new model of pro-choice activism. You are fighting against forces of extremism with your actions, and I want to thank you for that.
The war on choice and reproductive rights is being waged in all of our backyards. But I am so thankful for people like Dr. Mila Means who refuse to back down. On behalf of the over 1.2 million women who seek out abortion services every year, I want to say thank you. It is because of courageous, caring, dedicated physicians like Dr. Means that women are able to safely and legally access these services.
Dr. Means, don't give up. We are with and we support you.
With sincerest thanks and admiration,
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