George Tiller

Exactly 10 years ago, on May 31, 2009, an anti-abortion zealot gunned down ob/gyn and reproductive rights advocate George Tiller as he was distributing literature in the foyer of his Wichita church.

His murder marked the culmination of 18 years of militant anti-abortion protests that began with massive demonstrations in Wichita in June 1991. Protestors blockaded abortion clinics for weeks during the “Summer of Mercy,” police made more than 2,600 arrests and a judge ordered U.S. marshals to keep the gates of Tiller’s clinic open.

In April, the Kansas Supreme Court said the state’s constitution gives women a right to abortion.

That landmark ruling bolsters an ongoing lawsuit to expand access to abortion in Wichita. The case aims to clear the way for a clinic there — unable to find any willing, local doctors — to lean more on physicians in other states.

Courtesy photo

An anti-abortion activist who shot and wounded George Tiller in 1993 and firebombed clinics in Oregon and elsewhere has been released from prison to a halfway house to finish her sentence.

The Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Minnesota, confirmed Tuesday that Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon has been sent to a halfway house where she will complete a 20-year sentence stemming from two Oregon cases for arson and other crimes targeting abortion clinics. Her final release date is Nov. 7.

rtdna.org

KMUW news director Aileen LeBlanc and assistant news director Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of anti-abortion demonstrations to Wichita.

The award recognizes excellence in hard news reporting in the small-market radio category. The story also won the regional award.

Bloomsberries, flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma court has thrown out a law that required abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges.

The law required doctors who performed abortions in the state to be able to admit patients to nearby hospitals. Doctors must apply for the privileges and go through a credentialing process.

The court ruling that threw out the law is seen as positive by people who support abortion rights. Trust Women of Wichita – which runs Southwind Women's Center, the former site of Dr. George Tiller's clinic – has recently opened a clinic in Oklahoma.

The man convicted of murdering abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in 2009 will serve a 25-year-to-life sentence for the crime.

Roeder, 58, had been sentenced to a “Hard 50” in 2010.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that an enhanced sentence needed to be presented and ruled on by a jury. Roeder appealed and, on Wednesday, was given the lighter sentence.

Screenshot via MSNBC

The man convicted of killing a Wichita physician who performed abortions will face a new jury this fall. Scott Roeder admitted to shooting Dr. George Tiller in 2009. A jury will be tasked with deciding the length of Roeder's prison term before he is eligible for parole.

The trial to resentence Scott Roeder is set to begin Nov. 28 in Sedgwick County District Court in Wichita. A motions hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21.

Then And Now: The Summer Of Justice

Jul 20, 2016
Carla Eckels / KMUW

Twenty-five years ago, thousands of people came to the Summer of Mercy abortion protests in Wichita. This week, Operation Save America is back in the city to demonstrate, pray, and to stop abortions.

Activists, Wichita Law Enforcement Prepare For Summer Of Mercy Anniversary

Jul 15, 2016
Courtesy Operation Save America's Facebook

Events surrounding the Summer of Justice start tomorrow in Wichita, marking the 25th anniversary of the Summer of Mercy, when mass demonstrations led to nearly 2,700 arrests outside of local clinics that provide abortion services.

Twenty-five years after tumultuous mass protests led to nearly 2,700 arrests outside local abortion clinics, Wichita is bracing a Summer of Mercy anniversary that supporters hope will draw hundreds of activists.

The Wichita Police Department has spent months putting together a 60-page operational plan that aims at ensuring that everyone is safe.

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