Kansas Anti-Abortion Activist Mark Gietzen Says Abortion Clinic is 'Trying to Provoke an Incident' of Gun Violence

| by Emily Smith
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A newly opened abortion clinic is “trying to provoke an incident” of gun violence in order to raise money, Chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life Mark Gietzen told The Huffington Post on Thursday.

The Wichita clinic reopened in April for the first time since the 2009 shooting of Dr. George Tiller, the former medical director of Women’s Health Care Services and proponent of late-term abortions, who was shot by an anti-abortion activist.

Gietzen claimed that the clinic hoped patient escorts would provoke the crowd, which could lead to a shooting, and blame the anti-abortion activists for the violence in order to receive more funding.

Gietzen added that an angry husband or boyfriend might arrive at the clinic and shoot at the crowd in protest.

He “walks up carrying a gun, and he doesn't want that abortion to happen,” Gietzen said. “Somebody is going to get a bullet in their head.”

Gietzen warned the Wichita City Council earlier this week that if it does not force the clinic out of its current location, the clinic’s neighbors will continuously be “in the line of fire”.

Julie Burkhart, the founder and owner of the clinic, said the area has been zoned medical since the 1930s. If the clinic were to be rezoned, the chiropractic and kinesiology clinics would also be zoned out, which Burkhart believes is unlikely to happen.

Kansas for Life distanced itself from Gietzen this week, wishing to remove themselves from Gietzen's controversial statements.

“He said things nobody should say,” said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.

Sources: Salon, The Huffington Post