Abortion Practitioner Leroy Carhart Lays Off Half His Staff, Says Abortions Down

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 21, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Practitioner Leroy Carhart Lays Off Half His Staff, Says Abortions Down

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 21
, 2009

Omaha, NE (LifeNews.com) — Late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart announced today that he had laid off nearly half of the staff at his Omaha, Nebraska-area abortion center. The move came after a coalition of pro-life groups submitted a complaint to the state attorney general asking for an investigation.

Carhart told the Omaha World-Herald he was not aware of the complaint and said he could not discuss the reasons for the layoffs.

“This is nothing new,” he said. “They are always making stuff up, and they aren’t very credible.”

But, in a letter to staff that the newspaper obtained, Carhart indicated the number of abortions at his center has dropped off. He said the layoffs were the result of “the recent decrease in patient numbers and income.”

News of declining abortions at Carhart’s abortion center comes as other reports throughout the year have shown the poor economy contributing to a rise in the number of abortions.

A former employee furnished a copy of the letter and said four of the 10 people who worked at Carhart’s abortion center were fired.

The complaint saw four pro-life groups band together to alert state officials about apparent problems with Carhart and his abortion center. Leah Bucco-White, a spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has confirmed the complaint has been forwarded to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Yesterday, in a letter to Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, Chief Deputy Attorney General David Cookson wrote, “While we have referred your matter to them, we will continue to monitor the progress of their investigation.”

Marla Augustine, a spokeswoman for the health department, would not comment for the newspaper on the complaint.

Three other groups including Christian Defense Coalition, Nebraskans United For Life, and Rescue the Heartland joined in asking for the probe.

Carhart runs an abortion business in Bellevue, an Omaha suburb, and the pro-life groups expressed concerns about the legality of certain aspects of Carhart’s abortion business. They are also worried about the condition of Carhart’s run-down abortion facility that was damaged by an accidental fire earlier this year.

In their letter to Buning, they asked that "your investigation not be limited solely to the concerns listed in this letter. Women’s lives and future health literally depend on it."

They also supplied Buning with a packet of documents including information about incidents of botched abortions involving Carhart that required emergency transport to the hospital along with photos of the ambulances involved in those incidents.

The information included a complaint filed in Kansas about Carhart’s part in the third-trimester abortion death of Christin Gilbert.

It also included photos of dilapidated conditions at his abortion clinic, the Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Nebraska. The abortion center didn’t stay open long after the fire because repairs on it hadn’t passed a city inspection.

He was accused of putting women’s health at risk by reopening without the inspection and broke the law by operating the abortion center without an occupancy permit he needed to do so. Carhart later admitted to the Bellevue Leader newspaper that he operated without a permit for three days.

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