Postcard from Wichita

A controversial Kansas abortionist is gunned down in church. But this prairie town grew tired of that culture war long ago. George Tiller's murder won't change that

Kelly Glasscock / Getty

Quiet Wichita never asked to be ground zero in the abortion wars.

Why, for so many years, have flights to Wichita carried so many worried women and frightened girls? Why are certain cemeteries dotted with cryptic messages on tiny headstones? Why have so many fervent souls, fiery with outrage, made the long trip across dry prairies or through flint hills to weep and pray in a parking lot along a busy highway? Why here?

It was never about Wichita. There is no cultural or sociological or historical artifact to explain why this place became a magnet for abortion seekers and protesters alike. The reason was George Tiller. He could have happened...

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