by Steven Ertelt
June 30, 2006
Omaha, NE (LifeNews.com) — An abortion business in Omaha closed today and the closure follows on the heels of abortion centers closing down in Birmingham, Alabama and Wichita, Kansas. The Women’s Services P.C. abortion center is closing as a local day care and shelter has purchased the building and the University of Nebraska Medical Center bought the land just behind it.
The Child Saving Institute, which runs a substance abuse program and a foster care facility, purchased the abortion facility but does not plan to use it as a clinic or to do abortions.
The purchase may end the abortion business permanently, but there is a chance the current owner, C.J. LaBenz, may relocate the business and open it elsewhere in Omaha. However, local pro-life advocates say LaBenz has had problems finding anyone willing to lease a building to an abortion center.
If Women’s Services P.C. closes for good, it would mark the end of 33 years of abortions done by his center
LaBenz made national news in 1979 when he ordered a nurse to abandon a late-term baby weighing 2 pounds 9 ounces who was born alive during a saline abortion. The child was placed in a “dirty utility room” to cry unattended where he died two and a half hours later.
LaBenz again made news in 2002, when he was arrested for striking sidewalk counselor Sharon McKee with his vehicle, then stealing her cell phone and $350 as she lay on the ground injured. La Benz’s charges were later reduced to “disturbing the peace” after he returned McKee’s damaged phone and money.
Local pro-life advocates estimate that as many as 60,000 abortions were done in the years the abortion facility was open — which constitutes over 15 percent of the current population of Omaha.
UNMC purchased the land behind the property because a local road may be relocated to run right through it.
"Saddle Creek could run right through this strip of property," Keith Swarts, director of business services for UNMC, told the Omaha World Herald newspaper. "That’s one of the scenarios we’re considering."
With the closing of the abortion business, Omaha does not have an abortion facility. However, abortion businesses operate in nearby Bellevue and Council Bluffs, Iowa, an Omaha suburb.
Nebraska now only has two abortion centers in the state, with the Bellevue facility and an abortion center in Lincoln, the state capital and location of the University of Nebraska main campus.
Local pro-life advocates were heartened by the news, including members of Vital Signs Ministries, who talked to women and couples going to the Women’s Services P.C. abortion center. They estimate hundreds of unborn children were saved through their educational efforts outside.