Wichita Anti-Choice Leaders Raising Funds for Multi-Million Dollar “Pro-Life Memorial” As Children Suffer From Budget Cuts


In the midst of tax and budget cuts so severe they are poised, in the words of former Kansas Republican Chairwoman, Rochelle Chronister to take the state to the edge of a “finanical cliff,” Kansas is in a serious crisis. Referring to a recent tax bill signed, sealed, and delivered by Governor Sam Brownback, Chronister stated:

“The governor has taken us to the financial cliff, and only he has the ability to stop us from going over.  This is not a game. The magnitude of this bill cannot be overstated, and the impact that it will have on our communities and schools will be real and unforgiving.” 

That impact is already being felt as, for example, deep cuts are made in social support programs and state spending, putting vulnerable children at risk. Shannon Cotsoradis President of the child advocacy group, Kansas Action for Children, said further tax cuts, “will have devastating consequences for Kansas children and families.” 

Ms. Cotsoradis has been watching Governor Brownback and his administration closely this session as attempts have been made to strip children of vital programs and services at every turn. In response to the tax bill Kansas Action for Children said in a statement

A new report produced by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that the only income group that will see their taxes increase under the tax bill recently signed by Gov. Sam Brownback are the poorest 20 percent of Kansans, those with an average income of just $11,000.

That group will pay about $148 more in state taxes, while the wealthiest 20 percent of Kansans will see their tax burden drop $21,087 on average. This tax plan will begin to negatively affect the Kansas budget as soon as next year. By 2018, the bill is expected to cost the state $4.5 billion.

Yet while Kansas children may not be getting social support, what the state is getting is a great-big Liberace-esque multi-million dollar “pro-life” memorial for which millions of dollars are being raised. A group led by Wichita anti-choice leaders, Mark Rotola and Mark Holick, has embarked upon what they are calling an “ambitious project,” but would more aptly be dubbed a monument of their perceived victory by assassination. Wichita is the location of the life, work and ultimate assassination three years ago this past May of Dr. George Tiller, a physician that provided abortion care here. The announcement of the memorial was released just one week after the third anniversary of his murder in his own church.

Dr. Kris Neuhaus was a colleauge of Dr. Tiller’s, and the physician who provided the second opinions required by Kansas law for women seeking safe abortion care later in pregnancy at Dr. Tiller’s practice, Women’s Health Care Services.

As an abortion doctor, Dr. Neuahus has been the object of terrorist intimidation. As such a physician and as a friend of Dr. Tiller’s, she has strong feelings about the proposed “memorial.” She told RH Reality Check:

At a time when many of its parishioners may be having trouble paying their mortgages and wondering how to survive massive layoffs, this church wants to erect a massively expensive monument to their victory in the murder of Dr. Tiller. Kansas’ career anti-choice activists are literally salivating over a “one of a kind” tourist attraction rivaling the Creation Museum, to drive an influx of cash and the credulous.

The following is a copy of Mark Holick’s press release obtained by RH Reality Check:

Wichita, Kansas will become the home of the National Pro Life Memorial and International Life Center. A large tract of land has been secured at 37th. St. North and North Meridian in Wichita, Kansas to construct the center. An international fund raising effort has been launched. The facility will be operated as a tax exempt 501C3 entity.

Among other things, the Memorial will consist of the National Pro Life Monument entitled “Not Forgotten.” An exact replica of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and memorial gardens are included as a place of healing for women and families. Additionally, sixty crosses will be strategically placed on the grounds to memorialize the sixty million babies aborted since Roe v. Wade.

The International Life Center facility will include among its activities a 24 hour a day International Pro Life prayer center. An international crisis pregnant hotline and clearinghouse will offer counseling and referral services for women to pro life services in their local communities. Family counseling and job counseling services will also be available.

The International Pro Life Institute will be housed at the center. The International Pro Life Institute’s focus will be preserving, promoting and protecting the unborn and families against the international Holocaust being promoted by governments and individuals (including the United States) against the unborn. 

The pamphlet attached to the email goes on to state that the Pro-Life Center “will stop the world wide genocide” and will “generate 500,000 visitors yearly.” In a recent interview about the proposed monstrosity Mr. Rotola stated,

I thought it would be great if Wichita could develop a brand new reputation as the “pro-life capitol of the world”.  

This ambition to be the best of the absolute worst among national and now international anti-choice policy, rhetoric, and terrorist action is a recurring theme within Kansas. This kind of “my pro-life is bigger than your pro-life” culture, has produced and encouraged the Phil Klines and Scott Roeders of the world. This culture was the impetus for Representative Lance Kinzer’s 70-page omni-bus abortion bill

And with Brownback, it of course emanates from the highest office in the state. As “pro-life” Brownback makes devastating cuts and even moves to further cut the state’s budget, he has accepted an invitation to speak at this year’s National Right to Life Convention. In February, he also spoke at a Kansans for Life Breakfast, where he stated:

“Kansas is a pro-life state and we’re not going back …”

“My hope is that Kansas moves forward to become the most pro-life state …”

“This is the state that has led in these moral battles in the past …”

“That’s our legacy. It’s also our heritage and it’s our gift to this state and to this country and to this world. To lead us out of this chapter of darkness. And we can do this. There is no reason we can’t do this.”

“… how about us competing with other places on life? We’re going to be the top pro-life state in the country …”

The backers of this memorial have a reputation for local harassment and clandestine connections with former Attorney General Phil Kline. They also have a history of failed endeavors. Mark Holick was a major backer of Personhood Kansas. In spite of numerous legislative attempts at Personhood, they all failed during the 2012 session. So, will this memorial prove to be yet another failure for Rob Rotolo and Mark Holick? That remains to be seen.

It might be easy to blow this off as just another pathetic media grab, but the men behind the project claim to have enlisted a Washington, D.C. group to raise funds worldwide.  Kansas has long endured anti-choice terrorism. It has survived and even thrived here. Here’s to hoping that this proves to be a failed endeavor and the life, legacy and memory of Dr. George Tiller is left to rest in peace. 

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Follow Kari Ann Rinker on twitter: @karivelvet

  • oak-cliff-townie

    Well what do you expect ?

    Some folks in North Dakota wanted to abolish property Taxes Because they cost to much …Somehow forgetting what Property Taxes Paid for .

    The proposition lost but it shows the Logic or lack of it that has taken over peoples minds .

    http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/13/12200664-north-dakota-voters-reject-measure-to-abolish-property-taxes?lite

     

  • jennifer-starr

    I guess the message in Kansas is that when you’re unborn you’re a ‘precious baby’ that they want to save…but it seems that after you’re actually born you’re kind of screwed. How typically ‘pro-life’ *snort*. 

  • coralsea

    Collective insanity, clearly, on the part of those who support this nuttiness (e.g., the tax situation, cutting services to needy children and families, celebrating violence against doctors, — and now this aptly described, Liberace palace-type structure).  At some point, “normal” people need to balk at this kind of “progress” in Kansas and tell the crazies that living children and living people also deserve compassion.

     

    And frankly, if this monument to “life” is ever built, it better devote at least half its space and budget to providing health care, food, and other vital assistance to those who have become ever more needy under the ever-increasing income inequality in this country, because if it doesn’t do so, then “life” certainly isn’t a term they should be allowed to use.

     

     

     

     

  • artisanrox

     “And frankly, if this monument to “life” is ever built, it better devote at least half its space and budget to providing health care, food, and other vital assistance to those who have become ever more needy under the ever-increasing income inequality in this country, because if it doesn’t do so, then “life” certainly isn’t a term they should be allowed to use.”

    <sarcasm>They can’t do that.  That’s Socialism and a waste of government spending!</sarcasm>

  • coralsea

    Oh, dear God!  You are right, artisanrox.  Clearly, to feed them and make sure they are healthy is a slippery slope to Socialism.  Since this is supposed to be a privately funded endeavor (although privately funded endeavors often do take public funds, and this glassy and unclassy behemoth will no doubt be exempt from the property tax rolls because it is HOLY), they could use private funds for such charitable endeavors.  But then, given the viciousness afoot now on the part of some of the more vocal anti-choicers, at least some of these folks might believe that if their mothers wanted the post-born to eat and have medical care, they would dedicate themselves fully to God, and He would instantly make them white (if they aren’t white) and upper-middle class — and that would fix everything!

     

    Also, who wants to spoil the view of all these wonders of the anti-choice monument (wailing wall, etc.) with a bunch of hungry, sick, post-born leeches who demand to suckle at the public’s (or in this case, at the anti-choicers’) teat?  The pre-born are SO much nicer because they are completely quiet and you don’t see them, and if they are born malnourished or sick because their mothers lacked proper pre-natal care, why, you can toss the mom’s in jail (or maybe that’s Indiana?).  That’ll show them what happens when you have sexxxx!

  • babydoll

    Not just Kansas, I see this pretty often. To quote George Carlin “Conservatives will do anything to save the unborn but once you’re born, you’re on your own.”