Dr. Leroy Carhart is closing his Nebraska clinic, which the anti-choice movement declares to be a victory. But is it really a victory when he’s opening up three new clinics instead?
Via the Washington Post:
A Nebraska doctor who is one of few in the U.S. performing late-term abortions said Wednesday he wants to ensure more women have access to the procedure by expanding to states where it remains legal.
Dr. LeRoy Carhart said he wants to open new clinics near Washington D.C. and in Council Bluffs, Iowa, while expanding operations at his existing clinic in Bellevue, Neb. and at a clinic in Indianapolis to offer other reproductive medical treatments. Late-term abortions would be offered at the clinics in the Washington D.C. area and Council Bluffs, he said.
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“There’s certainly a need, and these areas are where the laws are favorable for us to do the practice that I need to do,” Carhart said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.
The anti-choice activists are downplaying the fact that their push to oust Carhart in Nebraska is simply moving him about 20 miles down the road, as well as encouraging him to open additional locations.
Carhart says he plans to have three new abortion facilities up and running by January with one in the Maryland-D.C. area, and another in Council Bluffs, Iowa offering late-term abortions. He also is acquiring an Indianapolis abortion clinic, which specializes only in early-term abortions.
He said that the reason for moving his late-term abortion business out of Bellvue is Nebraska’s new abortion ban, Legislative Bill 1103. The law prohibits elective abortions after 20 weeks post-conception on the basis that science definitively shows an unborn child feels pain at that age. That standard effectively prohibits Carhart from performing late-term abortions, which provide the bulk of his business.
“This sort of forced us. We had to do it,” Carhart told the Omaha World Herald. “In Iowa and Maryland, we can do the later cases.”
The abortionist plans to coordinate with his lawyers on filing a constitutional challenge against LB 1103, as he moves his business to the new locations.
Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, told the World Herald that Carhart’s decision to move out of state “shows that LB 1103 was the right strategy.”
The anti-abortion groups behind the “Fetal Pain” act now admit that their main goal was to get a challenge to the bill that might get them in front of the Supreme Court. Since that didn’t happen, now they are claiming moving Carhart is just as big of a victory.
The genius behind the legislation was the thinking that it would be challenged in court and the pro-life movement could win a favorable decision from the high court on the heels of the ruling upholding the national partial-birth abortion ban.
Mary Balch, the state legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, said at the time that she hoped it would cause a national discussion on the pain unborn children feel because it draws attention to their humanity and need for legal protection.
Also, she hoped the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act could see the same group of five members of the Supreme Court who backed the partial-birth abortion ban uphold it as constitutional and allow more abortions to be prohibited.
But, with the news that the late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart is possibly relocating to another state and him saying the fetal pain bill is responsible, Balch says the further genius of the bill is seen.
“This announcement illustrates the importance of having states pass protective laws such as the one passed in Nebraska,” she told LifeNews.com this afternoon. “Now is the time for Right to Lifers to capitalize on the dramatic pro-life gains in state legislative and gubernatorial elections last week and to make it illegal to kill unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.”
“As a result of last week’s elections, the number of states where pro-life legislation stands a realistic chance of enactment has substantially increased,” the pro-life attorney added.
With a number of state legislatures moving to complete GOP control, copy cat legislation can be expected to pop up all over in the next session. The idea that this type of onerous, controversial bill could be held to one state is no longer a given, and a court challenge is likely to be the only way to avoid a country that will allow women the right to an abortion after 20 weeks only if she is lucky enough to live in a certain state.
Mini Roundup: Maybe abortion doesn’t cause mental health issues for every woman, but the public still believes every woman should at the very least be ashamed. And if you aren’t, you’re just “hiding” from it.
November 11, 2010
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