Late-Term Abortion Practitioner LeRoy Carhart Hampered by New Nebraska Pro-Life Laws
by Steven Ertelt
April 14, 2010
Bellevue, NE (LifeNews.com) — LeRoy Carhart, one of the few late-term abortion practitioners left in the wake of the death of George Tiller, has to be frustrated by legislation in Kansas and Nebraska that makes continuing or expanding his abortion business more difficult. Nebraska yesterday saw two new pro-life bills go into law that adversely affect his business.
In Nebraska, one new law makes abortion practitioners engage in better screening and gives women a chance to file lawsuits over post-abortion mental health problems.
The other bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because unborn children can feel pain.
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman tells LifeNews.com the legislation will hamper Carhart’s abortion business when they go into effect in October.
"We are extremely happy that the Nebraska fetal pain bill has been signed into law, along with another that will require mental health screening for abortion patients. These laws will essentially ban all abortions beginning at 20 weeks when it has been determined that pre-born babies can feel pain," he said.
Last year, Carhart threatened to reopen an abortion clinic in Kansas and continue post- viability abortions after the closure of Women’s Health Care Services that Tiller ran.
Operation Rescue launched a campaign that successfully prevented Carhart from coming back to Kansas where he had worked for over 10 years doing abortions on women in their latest stages of pregnancy.
"It soon became clear that Carhart planned instead to conduct the late-term abortions at his existing clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska," Newman said. "[We] later confirmed that Carhart has in fact been doing a small number of post- viability abortions in Nebraska, possibly as late as the thirtieth week of pregnancy."
In response, the group conducted an outreach in Nebraska last summer that garnered a great deal of publicity. During interviews generated by that event, Carhart boasted that Nebraska laws were lenient enough to allow him to conduct late-term abortions in that state.
"Those statements caught the ear of Speaker Mike Flood, who sponsored the two groundbreaking bills aimed at preventing Carhart from conducting late-term abortions while providing new protections for pre-born babies," Newman said.
Newman said the bills were passed thanks to hard work from Nebraska Right to Life and Flood and that the bills combined with complaints against Carhart, based on affidavits from former Carhart employees that were submitted by Operation Rescue, Nebraskans United for Life, and Rescue the Heartland, are hurting Carhart’s abortion business.
"It is our prayer that one day soon there will be a peaceful end to Carhart’s entire abortion business," he said.
Meanwhile, Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life, agrees with the analysis.
"Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, like many Nebraskans, was very troubled when he heard that Carhart wanted to become the go-to late term abortionist of the Midwest after George Tiller’s death last summer." said Schmit-Albin. "Carhart moonlighted with Tiller for ten years in Wichita, Kansas. Speaker Flood was in a position to do something to ensure that Nebraska does not become the late term abortion capital of the Midwest and we thank him for his diligence and leadership in introducing and prioritizing LB 1103."
"For years LeRoy Carhart has thumbed his nose at Nebraska’s outdated post viability statute which contains a health exception you could drive a Mack truck through," the pro-life Nebraska leader added.
"LB 1103 creates a case of first impression for the courts to acknowledge the capability to feel pain as a compelling state interest to protect those unborn babies from an excruciatingly painful death. The more narrowly defined medical emergency exception with an objective standard should go a long way towards closing the loopholes in current Nebraska statute," she told LifeNews.com.
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