There are no crosses in the grass and no protesters on the sidewalk. There haven't been for more than a week now.
With the Women's Health Care Services clinic closed since Dr. George Tiller's murder, Tiller's family announced early Tuesday the doors will remain shut permanently.
In a statement released by Tiller's attorneys, the late-term abortion provider's family said it was "ceasing operation of the clinic and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic."
The news came as a surprise to some, especially those who live and work near the building off East Kellogg. Shane Van Dusen doesn't believe in abortion, but he'd hoped the clinic would reopen less than a block from his house. He says Dr. Tiller was practicing medicine within the law and his clinic should be closed because of violence.
"That is something that should never have happened," says Van Dusen. "If it was to close, it should have been for a different reason. It should have never closed for this."
At Kansans For Life, David Gittrich said he was "delighted" with Tuesday's news, but it was difficult to call the clinic's closure a victory. Many anti-abortion groups have condemned Dr. Tiller's killing, and Gittrich says the hope was always to close the clinic through legal means.
"Eventually, I think it would have resulted in the closing of his clinic," says Gittrich, "and it's too bad it happened this way because I think we would have gotten it there the other way."
Dr. Tiller's family also said past patients' medical records would be "fiercely protected." The statment praised Tiller's courage and says family members, "know that women's health care needs have been met because of his dedication and service. That is a legacy that will never die."
Statement from Family of Dr. George Tiller
June 9th, 2009
Lee Thompson and Dan Monnat, attorneys for the family of Dr. George Tiller, issued the following statement today:
"The family of Dr. George Tiller announces that effective immediately, Women's Health Care Services, Inc., will be permanently closed. Notice is being given today to all concerned that the Tiller family is ceasing operation of the clinic and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic.
We are proud of the service and courage shown by our husband and father and know that women's health care needs have been met because of his dedication and service. That is a legacy that will never die. The family will honor Dr. Tiller's memory through private charitable activities.
The Tiller family wishes to assure Dr. Tiller's past patients that the privacy of their medical histories and patient records will remain as fiercely protected now and in the future as they were during Dr. Tiller's lifetime."
There will be no more statements or comments on behalf of the family on this matter.