Dennis Christensen is ready to retire, but can't. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin based abortionist can't find anyone to take over his abortion clinic, a self-inflicted condition he must fulfill before he retires.
Christensen and his partner, Bernard Smith, both of whom have performed over 95,000 abortions over the span of four decades, are hoping to pass their clinic onto younger physicians-but no one seems interested.
"I have always felt that this is a worthwhile endeavor and a necessary one," Christensen told the Wisconsin Sentinel. "And there aren't too many people who will do it."
The 71 year old abortionist has been practicing since 1973, the year the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion.
"I see it as a calling, I guess," Christensen said. "But I've been called, I've served and now I'd like to call someone else."
The abortionist possesses partial ownership in several other clinics around the state and has practiced in dozens of others. While doctors generally "appreciated" his practice, some members of the medical community were rather hostile.
Pro-life advocates used to come daily to his Madison home carrying signs opposing his practice, Christensen revealed, but in recent years the protests have slowly died down.
"They stopped because it wasn't getting any traction," he said, noting that protestor's messages "don't take root."
Currently, an ongoing lawsuit may change state law, requiring abortion doctors to undergo a rigorous process and prevent them doctors from practicing independently from hospitals.
Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said the admitting privileges requirement did not aim to restrict access to abortion, but to promote the safety of the procedures.
"The goal always was and continues to be to protect the care of women," Lyons said. "It's important that the care before, during and after the procedure be from one provider."
Gretchen Borchelt, a director of health policy at the National Women's Law Center, said the requirements "are not about enhancing women's safety or protecting women's health. They're about shutting down abortion clinics."
However, Tanya Fields of Minnesota Right to Life says she is "encouraged" by Christensen's inability to find a successor for his practice.
"Abortionists kill children-there is no "nice" way to put it. Personally, the fact that Christensen cannot find someone to follow in his heinous footsteps in a very small, but very signicant step in the right direction. This is huge for the pro-life community."
Lyons agrees: "You feel a passion for the people who are negatively impacted by these acts," she concluded.