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Abortion clinic plans to open in OKC

Posted at 7:42 AM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 00:22:27-04

It’s been around 40 years since a new abortion clinic was added to the state of Oklahoma, but that could change soon.

The Rolling Stone is reporting that Trust Women CEO Julie Burkhart is attempting to open a clinic in Oklahoma City.

Just last week, Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed legislation proposed that would have made performing abortions a felony in the state of Oklahoma.

In addition to being the CEO of Trust Women, Burkhart is also the owner of South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas. She spoke with the Rolling Stone about opening a clinic in the Sooner state saying, “It seemed like a natural progression — being in a neighboring state [to Kansas], the fact that Oklahoma has similar laws as those in Kansas, that it's a state where access is limited for people. After the physician in Oklahoma City went out of business, I felt like it was even more important. If you want abortion care in Oklahoma, currently you have to go to Tulsa or Norman. Our clinic will go further in terms of gestational limit, and it will be one more site for people to go to.”

There were several factors in the process that pushed back on Burkhart’s plan to open a clinic, according to Rolling Stone.

Burkhart said her crew has been working for almost 25 months to secure a location and get the project rolling. She told Rolling Stone that it took almost 18 to 19 months to find a lender in Oklahoma.

“After we closed on the mortgage and we submitted the initial application and revisions on that application for our license to the Oklahoma Department of Health, it kept denying us,” she told the Rolling Stone. “I think it was a mixture of people not understanding or knowing exactly what to do — because no provider of abortion had wanted to open a clinic since the Seventies — and I think we had some obstructionists in the Department of Health who thought maybe we would just go away.”

As of right now, Burkhart said they are planning to move in by June 20.