Kansas

In the wake of Dr. George Tiller’s assassination on May 31, 2009, Julie Burkhart founded Trust Women Foundation in order to honor his legacy and to continue fighting for reproductive rights. At the time of his murder, Dr. Tiller was one of the few physicians in the United States who provided later abortion care for women from across the United States, as well as from around the world. Trust Women re-established abortion care in Dr. Tiller’s former clinic in 2013, after a nationwide capital campaign. At the time, the clinic was the only abortion provider within a 200-mile radius. On September 10, 2016, Trust Women opened a second clinic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Until Trust Women’s clinic opened, Oklahoma City was also the largest metropolitan area in the United States without abortion care. In 2017, Trust Women launched a social media campaign, Lies into Laws, hosted grassroots house events, and knocked on 65,000 doors in Kansas and Oklahoma to promote awareness around harmful and medically inaccurate abortion restrictions. At the same time, they engaged with lawmakers to build support for proactive reproductive health and rights bills in the state legislature. This work built on Trust Women's 2016 work with NIRH to build support for abortion in Kansas, including through advancing proactive abortion legislation and organizing supporters and new activists in key parts of the state. Trust Women also began to build a grassroots base and relationships with leaders in Oklahoma. Trust Women Foundation (Kansas) built a strong coalition of pro-choice supporters and elected officials, challenging assumptions that the current legislature reflects the beliefs of the majority of Kansans. Trust Women supported legislators in introducing three new proactive bills (HB 2850, HB 2851, HB 2586) that would increase access to, and destigmatize, reproductive health care, including abortion. Press conferences and lobby days were held for all three bills with more than 100 participants in attendance. In 2011, Trust Women (Topeka, Kansas) conducted a messaging training for Kansas legislators on current reproductive health policy and provided messaging training on insurance coverage of abortion.