Pro-Life Groups in Iowa, Maryland Push Back Against Late-Term Abortionist

State   Steven Ertelt   Nov 12, 2010   |   1:43PM    De Moines, IA

Nebraska-based late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart may be hoping to expand his abortion business to Iowa and Maryland but pro-life groups in both states promised to push back.

As LifeNews.com initially reported, Carhart says he plans to open new abortion centers in the two states and take over an existing one in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jenifer Bowen, the director of Iowa Right to Life, says the 2010 elections put the pro-life movement in a position to promote legislation like the fetal pain bill in Nebraska that bans abortions after 20 weeks and is prompting Carhart’s proposed relocation.

“A seeming blow like this, a late-term abortionist set to move his killing into the state, I believe will actually work in our favor,” she said. “I can say with confidence that the majority of Iowans do not want ours to be seen as a safe haven state for a late- term abortionist.”

Because of the problem of Planned Parenthood expanding abortion with the use of the controversial telemed abortion procedure, Bowen says pro-life groups are reinvigorated and ready to work with newly-elected officials on legislation or investigations of abortion practitioners like Carhart.

“Our growing pro-life coalition of more than five dozen state and national organizations and individuals will continue to strengthen in unity. Such a clear message will be sent to LeRoy Carhart in the coming weeks, both from the groundswell of pro-lifers and our pro-life legislators set to head into session in January, that this will become the last place Carhart will want to move,” she promised.

This upsurge in involvement is clearly evident after a very successful, well-attended pro-life townhall meeting held in Des Moines in late October and a general election with resounding pro-life victories throughout state offices, including a pro-life governor, lieutenant governor, senators and representatives, Bowen said.

“The energy level of our grassroots is re-charged and ready to move into action. Active participation has been mounting state-wide as we have continually been seeking an end to illegal webcam abortions in Iowa,” she said.

Maryland Right to Life officials also responded to Carhart’s announcement with concern that more state laws are needed to crack down on late-term abortions.

“The notorious late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart of Nebraska has announced that he plans to open an abortion facility in Maryland on December 6,” Angela Martin, executive director of Maryland Right to Life, told LifeNews.com today. “Maryland has almost no regulation of abortion providers or  facilities. Maryland’s only requirement is that abortions be performed by a licensed physician.”

“Maryland already has the third highest abortion rate of the 50 states, according to a research institute formerly associated with Planned Parenthood,” Martin added, worrying that Carhart’s presence would increase them.

The MDRTL director says abuses at other abortion businesses should prompt concern about Carhart’s opening a new one.

“At least three abortion facilities in Maryland have closed recently, following revelations that women had been harmed by negligent and substandard medical practices. One, in Severna Park, is closed permanently; the fate of the others remains in doubt,” she said.

“We commend Nebraska for taking a stand against late-term abortion, which endangers women’s health and causes unborn babies unimaginable pain,” said Martin. “By failing to hold abortion facilities and providers to even minimum standards of medical care, Maryland has become a haven for purveyors of this grisly and inhuman procedure.”

Maryland has one of the most permissive abortion laws in the nation. It has never banned partial-birth abortion and is one of just 16 states to have no meaningful parental involvement statute for minors seeking abortions, Martin explained. Maryland is one of only five states that voluntarily pays for elective abortions with state Medicaid funds, one of just four states that does not collect any data on abortions.

Steven Brody, the executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life, and one of the leading opponents of Planned Parenthood’s telemed abortions, also pledged to do everything he can to combat Carhart’s expansion in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“Iowa has become ground zero in the fight to protect both the unborn child and the mother. The abortion industry is committed to doing whatever is necessary to stay in business at the expense of murdered babies and injured mothers,” he said.

He told LifeNews.com: “If LeRoy Carhart thinks that Iowa is an abortion-friendly state, he is about to encounter a rude awakening. The pro-life and pro-family coalition that has formed to fight telemed abortions, combined with a newly-elected pro-life friendly Governor and Legislature, will work as a united front to remove the welcome mat from under his feet.”