Dr. Means is a family practitioner who is currently in training to begin offering abortions as part of her practice. She is based out of Wichita, KS- the same city in which Dr. Tiller practiced. Dr. Tiller, for those who don’t know was murdered because he provided late term abortions. Even before his murder in 2009, he suffered from years of harassment and an attempt on his life in the early 1990’s. Since his death, women in the Wichita area had to either drive to Kansas City or carry the pregnancy to term.
Thanks to Dr. Mila Means, they will soon have a local option for abortions up to 15 weeks. Dr. Means has made it clear that despite threats and harassment she intends to go forward with her plan to add abortion to her practice. She has even had to settle a lawsuit with her landlord, who was suing her to ensure she wouldn’t perform abortions on their property. She is now looking for a new location to continue her practice in.
She had received numerous threats including a letter warning to check for bombs under her care because “today is maybe the day someone places an explosive under it.” Her response to this was to buy a bright yellow Mini Cooper with lightning bolts emblazoned on it, saying “It’s partly an in your face response; you’re looking for me. Here I am.”
Many of her critics are pointing out that she is doing this in part for financial reasons. She herself has admitted that her financial situation isn’t the best and according to the NY Times, “Her credit card companies have taken her to court and her checks occasionally bounce. “ Let’s be honest… don’t we all do our jobs at least in part for financial reasons? I mean really, this woman received a letter telling her to watch out for bombs under her car… and she’s still going to go ahead with her plan. No one faces bomb threats because they want the money; they do it because they know it matters.
In an interview on the Rachel Maddow show, Dr. Means risked exposure to unstable anti-choice activists throughout the nation. I for one admire her courage. Regardless of any secondary motivations she might have, she is still willing to face something I wouldn’t. At least she can rest easy knowing the person who sent the bomb threat has been charged by the federal government, hopefully that will deter any one else considering attacking her.