November 19, 2010

Nebraska doctor plans to open late-term abortion facilities in Indianapolis, Iowa and Washington area

Staff and news service reports

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Less than a month after a Nebraska fetal pain law took effect, an Omaha doctor who performs late-term abortions announced plans to open new clinics in the Washington area and Iowa, and to expand an existing clinic in Indiana.

“The laws are more favorable in these other jurisdictions, and we’re going to do the maximum [that] the law allows,” Dr. LeRoy Carhart told The Washington Post.

The first of the new clinics is to open on Dec. 6 in the Washington area, but Carhart declined to give an exact location.

“The patients, when they call, will be told where to go,” he told The Post. “The ‘antis’ will find out soon enough, but I don’t want to help them.”

The other new clinic is to be located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha, and the expanded center is to be in Indianapolis.

Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, director of the archdiocesan pro-life office, said Carhart has been candid about his work as an abortionist.

“During a preliminary injunction hearing in a U.S. District Court in 1997, Leroy Carhart testified that he would sometimes dismember unborn babies during late-term abortions—while the babies were still alive,” she said. “The people of Indiana must rally against his proposed plan to expand his abortion industry in Indianapolis.”

Although it is true that Indiana law carries significant restrictions on late-term abortions, Sister Diane said it is curious that Carhart still feels compelled to establish his business in a free-standing abortion facility in Indianapolis.

“His choice to do so in Nebraska was thwarted. Legislative Bill 1103 in Nebraska prohibits elective abortions after 20 weeks since tests reveal that the unborn child experiences pain,” she said.

Nebraska’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act took effect on Oct. 15, 180 days after the end of the state’s legislative session.

Mike Fichter, the head of Indiana Right to Life, told that he will also do everything he can to stop Carhart in the Hoosier state.

“We are deeply troubled that one of the most notorious supporters of late-term abortions appears to be eyeing Indianapolis as a site for a new business,” he said.

Fichter says his group may ask the legislature to push for a similar fetal

pain-based abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy that the Nebraska lawmakers approved, and that Carhart himself credited in an interview as making it so he has to look elsewhere to perform late-term abortions.

“While Indiana law carries significant regulations on late-term abortions, including the requirement that late-term abortions cannot be legally done in freestanding abortion clinics, Carhart’s pick of Indiana highlights the need for Indiana legislators to act on legislation similar to the new Nebraska law that forced Carhart to look elsewhere to set up shop,” Fichter said. “Indiana does not want to be known as the place to go for late-term abortions.”

Sister Diane agreed. “The Indiana legislature, in its next session, must into put into law what was accomplished in Nebraska. There must be a fetal pain-based abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This will prevent Carhart, and other abortionists, from migrating to the state of Indiana with the goal of performing lucrative late-term abortions.” †

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