LifeSiteNews: Dr. Cheryl Chastine, the successor of George Tiller at a Wichita facility, says she became an abortionist out of “a moral obligation” and that if she stopped performing abortions, it would constitute “a victory for terrorism.”
“When I was in medical school I got the message that there is a shortage of abortion providers and that, therefore, if more of us, including myself, did not become providers, that there would be women who [would] not be able to access abortion when they needed it. So, when I got the call to help open this clinic, I felt a very strong pull of moral obligation,” Chastine said in an interview on the far-left program Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman last week.
“I went to medical school to help people, same as all of us do,” she told co-host Nermeen Shaikh. “So, I felt like … I could not in good conscience say no.”
“If I allow myself to be deterred during this work, then I am allowing a victory for terrorism,” she said. While stating that people who shoot abortionists “are admittedly on the fringe,” she claimed “they are nonetheless encouraged by the mainstream movement.”
Chastine is the medical director and primary abortionist at South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, a facility that performed 1,200 abortions last year. Because state law bars insurance coverage for abortion, “all of our patients are paying out-of-pocket for the procedure, which is a significant amount,” she said.
But Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League told LifeSiteNews he doesn’t believe money is Chastine’s primary motivation.
“I’ve always thought that she was more of an ideologically motivated abortionist,” he said. “I think that she’s sincere when she says that” abortion helps women. He said it made him feel “real sorrow that someone’s moral compass would be so misaligned with reality, with what women really need.”
“I can’t guess what in her own experience may have led her to this belief, but she’s certainly wrong,” he said. Chastine, who has never said she has had an abortion, has stated on her Twitter feed that she has suffered from numerous bouts of depression.
“In some way, it’s easier to understand the abortionist who doesn’t believe in anything and wants to exploit this opportunity to make a whole lot of money and take advantage of people for their own personal gain,” Scheidler said.
Chastine has said she has suffered for her devotion to abortion. “As a result of my choice to do abortion work, I have given up a number of things that most people and most physicians take for granted,” she told MSNBC late last month. “I have lost my private, full-spectrum family medicine practice. I lost my relationship with my practice partner. I’ve lost job offers that had been previously extended to me, and I’ve had a number of personal relationships become strained.” (Well at least you didn’t lose your life.)
One of those positions was at Total Wellness, Inc., located in the affluent Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Scheidler said he believes “she was fired from that job because of all the controversy she brought to that office.” Scheidler and Jill Stanek, who are both based in Illinois, helped organize multiple protests outside the business.
Chastine, who has been making the rounds of left-leaning media, had shunned the spotlight when she first began flying from Illinois to Kansas. She told an Operation Rescue investigator, “I had been hoping not to be mentioned by name” after it discovered her affiliation with SWWC.
The facility is operated by Julie Burkhart, the former leader of George Tiller’s political action committee, ProKanDo. She opened SWWC on the grounds of Tiller’s practice, using the services of out-of-state abortionists Chastine and Valencia Stevens of Arizona. Burkhart has had her share of jaw-dropping comments, as well. “Abortion is about motherhood,” Burkhart told Mother Jones magazine last year.
“It just goes to shows how warped our culture is, and how big a challenge we have as pro-lifers,” Scheidler told LifeSiteNews. “The only way we can do that is with love.”
“Clearly we are living in a culture that is lacking love – God’s love, love of our fellow man, love that is supposed to knit men and women together – all of these things are missing. Only in the absence of true love could you believe that abortion could be the answer to anyone’s problems,” he said.
“I think we have too much of a tendency to be angry with people who are in the dark for being in the dark. It’s our responsibility to shine the light,” he continued. “The light is Christ, and the only way they’re going to see it is through us. We have to love those who are helping her do it as best as we can. It’s really the only solution.”
Scheidler revealed that Chastine is one of the three people he prayed for every day during Lent. “I prayed for her while I was in Rome visiting the tombs of the martyrs,” he said.