City Council Votes Unanimously to Block Late-Term Abortion Practitioner

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2010   |   12:48PM   |   Council Bluffs, IA

The Council Bluffs City Council voted unanimously last night to prevent late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart from obtaining a parcel of land on which to build a new abortion facility.

Carhart made national news recently when he promised he would expand his late-term abortion business to Iowa and Maryland and take over operations of another abortion center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

At issue was a city council vote on 24,393 square feet of vacant city ground near the intersection of Avenue G and North 15th Street that Carhart possibly hoped to obtain for his new abortion center.

But, as the Omaha World-Herald reports, council members voted unanimously to sell the parcel of land with the stipulation that an abortion facility not be build on it.

“I think the council is unified on this,” Councilman Matt Schultz said. “We’ll try to do what we can to prevent this type of activity.”

“We do take this seriously,” Schultz told the approximately 300 people who attended the meeting to speak out against Carhart’s coming to town. “Over the five years I’ve been here, we’ve worked hard to make this a positive place to work and live.”

The newspaper indicated Mayor Tom Hanafan said no one had come to the city yet to seek permission to build a new late-term abortion center or buy an existing building to house one.

Steve Brody, the executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life, told there was an “incredible turnout last night at the Council Bluffs City Council meeting” and he was pleased by the city council’s decision “to prevent a parcel of land from being turned into an abortion clinic.”

“This parcel was rumored to be a location being eyed at by LeRoy Carhart,” he said.

“Congratulations and praise goes out to the approximately 300 that turned out last night, and for the organizers that helped get the word out to generate such an awesome turnout,” Brody added. “Please pray that efforts like this will continue to bear fruit and keep Carhart out of Iowa.”

Ever since Carhart announced his intentions to come to Iowa, pro-life advocates there have been pushing back.

Jennifer 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.