Carhart Faces Pro-Life Pushback on New Abortion Centers, May Lack Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2010   |   2:32PM   |   Washington, DC

Late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart may want to expand his abortion business to Iowa, Indiana and Maryland but he is already facing a push back from pro-life groups and may lack the funding to expand.

Carhart has announced he hoped to bring his late-term abortion business to Council Bluffs, Iowa, an undisclosed location outside Washington, D.C, and to re-focus an abortion business in Indianapolis he will be taking over that will reportedly only do early-term abortions, not those later in pregnancy.

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman tells his group has been closely following Carhart’s expansion operation and he has his doubts he will ultimately be successful.

“We have known about his desire to expand into other states and have been watching his progress. We are also aware that he lacks the finances to implement his expansion plans and has been attempting to solicit donations for his late-term abortion scheme,” he said.

Newman added: “Carhart is in a desperate situation because he needs to do the lucrative late-term abortions to remain financially solvent. Lee has never really been a very good business man and investment in any business venture he is involved in is a foolhardy waste of money.”

Operation Rescue obtained a copy of a letter from Carhart dated September 22 outlining his wishes to expand and soliciting donations. The letter states he needs $450,000, but he told reporters yesterday the cost would be $1.5 million.

“If there is one thing we know for sure about LeRoy Carhart, it is that he rarely, if ever, follows through on his grandiose boastings about future plans. Truthfulness is not a virtue that Mr. Carhart has ever fully embraced,” said Newman.

Newman says he is confident Carhart won’t be successful because his prior plans to expand his abortion business to Kansas in the wake of the shooting death of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller didn’t pan out.

“Carhart made similar headlines when he announced last year that he would be opening a late-term abortion clinic with 25 miles of Wichita, Kansas, by December 1, 2009,” said Newman. “That clinic failed to materialize and we vow to make sure that these plans don’t either.”

Mike Fichter, the head of Indiana Right to Life, will also do everything he can to stop Carhart in the Hoosier state.

“We are deeply troubled that one of the most notorious supporters of late-term abortions appears to be eyeing Indianapolis as a site for a new business,” he told this morning.

Fichter says his group may ask the legislature to push for a similar fetal pain-based abortion ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy that Nebraska lawmakers approved and that Carhart himself credited in an interview as making it so he has to look elsewhere to do late-term abortions.

“While Indiana law carries significant regulations on late-term abortions, including the requirement that late term abortions cannot be legally done in freestanding abortion clinics, Carhart’s pick of Indiana highlights the need for Indiana legislators to act on legislation similar to the new Nebraska law that forced Carhart to look elsewhere to set up shop,” he said. “Indiana does not want to be known as the place to go for late term abortions.”

About the Iowa and Maryland expansion, Operation Rescue spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger says Carhart doesn’t yet have a building in Council Bluffs, so any proposed expansion may take some time. She says Carhart lost his funding for the new Maryland-based abortion business — which may explain his push for publicity for his plans.

“It appears from his recent fundraising letter that he doesn’t have the money and is trying to raise it through this latest wave of publicity,” she said. “Carhart is big on promising grandiose plans for the future, but has a track record of not following through.”

In Indiana, Sullenger doesn’t expect anything new from Carhart that local pro-life activists haven’t already seen:  “He’s just taking it over, but I doubt if there will be any difference in the way that clinic operates.” [related]

As to Carhart’s former plans to expand his abortion business to Kansas, Mary Kay Culp, the head of Kansans for Life, tells the election of a pro-life governor and other state officials and legislators will allow her group to promote legislation that would make his job much tougher.

“Carhart renewed his Kansas license in June [but] we surely dodged this bullet in large part because of the recent elections — where were able to rid ourselves of the [Kathleen] Sebelius-appointed Attorney General Steve Six and we gained [pro-life] Sam Brownback,” she said. “In addition, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts is finally seriously pursuing revocation of the medical license of the Kansas doctor who Tiller and Carhart used  to provide fraudulent late-term abortion referrals here.”