One of only a handful of clinics in the United States providing later abortion care is closing its doors after the owners reportedly sold the facilities to an anti-choice organization.
Maryland’s Germantown Reproductive Health Services is under contract to be purchased by the Maryland Coalition for Life, an anti-choice organization that has targeted the clinic with protests, reported the Washington Post. The clinic will be replaced by an anti-choice fake clinic.
The Maryland Coalition for Life operates a fake clinic across the parking lot of Germantown Reproductive Health Services. A fake clinic, commonly known as a crisis pregnancy center, does not provide full reproductive health-care services and seeks to dissuade people from seeking abortion care with anti-choice propaganda.
The owners of Germantown Reproductive Health Services also own Prince George’s Reproductive Health Services, which does not provide abortion care in the later stages of pregnancy. Both Maryland clinics have now been permanently closed, according to the organization’s website.
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LeRoy Carhart, one of the few physicians in the United States who provides abortion care in the later stages of pregnancy, has provided abortion services at the Germantown clinic since 2010. Carhart told reproductive rights advocates that he plans to continue to provide abortion care in the area at a new clinic.
Carhart said in a statement to the Washington Post that he would continue to provide care for his patients.
“I am doing everything in my power to keep my practice open, and I am considering options looking toward the future,” Carhart said. “It’s heartbreaking that anyone would want to take health care away from women and families by targeting our clinic.”
Diana Philip, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, said in a statement that the “most immediate concern” is how the clinic’s closure will affect patients’ access to abortion care in the later stages of pregnancy.
“For the last few years, Dr. Carhart has shared his vision with allies to create his own facility in Maryland to address the dearth of training available to medical professionals in later abortion care,” Philip said.
Philip said the Planned Parenthood clinics in the state and Carhart’s new practice should ensure that pregnant people in Maryland will continue to have access to reproductive health care.
Three of the seven Planned Parenthood clinics in Maryland provide abortion services.