Abortion Clinic Hopes to Open in Casper This Summer
In Wyoming, the Women's Health Center and Family Care Clinic in Jackson is currently the only place in Wyoming for women to get legal abortions.
But that may change sometime this year with a new clinic being opened by Circle of Hope Health Care Services in Casper.
Julie Burkhart, the founder of Circle of Hope, said that they've run into similar issues as other businesses when it comes to trying to get their building completed.
"We've had the same hiccups that other businesses have had in terms of getting materials for construction, but that's just the way of the world right now, unfortunately," Burkhart said. "We're in the process of getting staff hired, doing physician recruitment, just getting all the I's dotted and T's crossed in terms of treating folks and making sure all our policies are in place. We have to have a certain type of insurance to practice."
Burkhart said that they plan on providing other services besides abortions, including family planning, gender-affirming care for transgender individuals, and possibly sex education.
This isn't the first clinic Burkhart has helped get off the ground before she resigned in 2019 as CEO of the Trust Women Foundation which set up abortion clinics in Wichita, Kansas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and one in Seattle, Washington that closed in 2019.
While there is a vigil planned on April 21 against the clinic, Burkhart said that she hopes people understand that someone's opinions shouldn't get in the way of someone else getting an abortion.
"Their opinions are there's, but their opinions, it's not appropriate for them to push their opinions and ideology on people who might want abortion care, who might want contraception, people who are coming in we hope are within the LGBTQIA community for care," Burkhart said. "So we all have our own thoughts and opinions, I just hope that they will be cautious, and not everybody holds that same belief system. But where we are coming from is we just want to help people in the community and that's all we want."
While there has been opposition to the clinic, Burkhart said after an article was written about the clinic in the Casper Star-Tribune, they've gotten more positive feedback than negative.