The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 9, 2009

Local woman formerly worked for slain Kansas abortion doctor

Luhra Tivis thought she was pro-choice until she worked for the late Dr. George Tiller.

Tivis, who now lives in Enid, said she worked for Tiller in Wichita, Kan., in 1988. Tivis did computer work at the abortion clinic, filing Medicare records. She also underwent some sales training and answered calls from patients. She now is employed at StarTek and also works for Wheatheart Nutrition delivering meals.

Since her experience working in the clinic, Tivis has changed her opinion about abortion, is a member of Operation Rescue and an outspoken opponent of abortion, speaking at rallies throughout the United States.

“It was a little tense because of the protests. Dr. Tiller had the kind of personality that was wound up, he was very intense,” she said.

Tiller was shot to death May 31 while ushering in his Wichita church. It was not the first time he had been shot, and his clinic also had been bombed by anti-abortion acti-vists.

His family said Tuesday his Women’s Health Care Services Inc. clinic will be closed permanently.

All of those incidents occurred after Tivis left Tiller’s employment. However, while she was there she said a group of nuns held a prayer vigil outside the office.

“All these little old lady nuns were kneeling and saying their rosary,” she said.

Other times, people walked up and down in front of the clinic handing out pamphlets. In one other instance Tivis said she had to drive slowly through a large group of people to reach the clinic gate.

“He got a lot of weird mail, but no death threats at that time,” she said.

The intensity of the protests and the controversy eventually took a toll on her, she said.

Tivis worked at the clinic about a year before she started to have second thoughts about the job and began applying for other jobs. She applied to an attorney who called Tiller. When Tiller discovered she was looking for a job he fired her, Tivis said.

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