Archive for Saturday, December 5, 2009

Late-term abortion provider plans to expand operation in Nebraska

December 5, 2009


— An abortion doctor said Friday that he will likely perform more late-term procedures at his Nebraska practice to meet the demand left when a Kansas physician was shot and killed earlier this year.

The move could solidify Nebraska’s and Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s place at the center of the fight over abortion because he’s trying to offer the late-term procedures his friend Dr. George Tiller offered in Wichita before his death.

Carhart has considered opening a clinic in Kansas, but said he thinks expanding his practice in the Omaha suburbs may be the best option because it is easier for patients to get flights into Omaha than Wichita.

He said his lawyers have told him he’s not breaking state law by performing late-term abortions in Nebraska, but he hasn’t made a final decision on the clinic’s future.

“We have not given up on the plan,” Carhart said. “But we feel pretty confident that we’re going to be able to do everything in Nebraska that we could do in Kansas.”

The Nebraska attorney general’s office declined to comment Friday on Carhart’s clinic and what state law allows.

Earlier this year, Carhart said he had not performed any abortion past the 22nd week of pregnancy at his own clinic because he never trained his staff to do them. He said Friday that his staff in Bellevue has now been trained to handle abortions later in pregnancy.

Carhart said he is performing one late-term abortion every eight to 10 days in Bellevue, but he didn’t say how late in pregnancy those abortions were performed. If he decides to do more late-term abortions in Bellevue, Carhart said he would remodel his clinic to handle a higher number of them.

The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue praised the news that Carhart may not open a clinic in Kansas. Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said he considers it a victory that Tiller’s clinic has remained closed since his death in late May.

Now Newman plans to continue putting pressure on Carhart so he won’t be able to offer the late-term abortion service Tiller provided.

“His abortion clinic is one of the ones that we desperately want to close,” Newman said.

Operation Rescue and other groups have staged protests outside Carhart’s clinic in recent months, and the number of protests has increased.

The protests outside Carhart’s facility are similar to what regularly took place outside Tiller’s clinic, which concerns the National Abortion Federation.

The federation works with local and federal law enforcement to track incidents outside clinics and ensure protesters aren’t allowed to commit crimes that might escalate into violence, said President Vicki Saporta, whose group represents more than 400 abortion providers, including Carhart.

“We certainly are concerned about the security of Dr. Carhart and the rest of our members,” said Saporta, whose group also advises doctors on security.

Before Tiller’s death May 31, Carhart performed late-term abortions at Tiller’s clinic although he’s run his own clinic in Bellevue since 1985. Tiller’s clinic was one of only a few facilities in the country that performed third-trimester abortions.

Carhart said he really doesn’t expect another legal fight because of the changes he’s contemplating at his practice.

“We’re not going to do anything that even approaches illegality,” Carhart said.

Nebraska law does not allow an abortion if the fetus is considered viable, or able to survive outside the womb. Kansas law allows abortions on viable fetuses after the 21st week if carrying the pregnancy to term would endanger the mother’s life or cause a “substantial and irreversible impairment” of a major bodily function. Courts have interpreted a “major bodily function” to include mental health.


SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 4 months ago

"Courts have interpreted a 'major bodily function' to include mental health."

And as long as our courts maintain this ridiculous point of view, our nation will continue to lose thousands of lives every year to late-term abortion.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 4 months ago

Everyone ignores the fact that the Bible actually instructs priests to perform abortions on unfaithful wives.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 4 months ago


Because the mental health exception is an intentional loophole designed to allow a woman to claim that the stress of being pregnant or the anxiety accompanying raising a child is a legitimate reason to abort a child.

Katara 8 years, 4 months ago

People such as SettingTheRecordStraight would much rather have the baby born and then killed by the mother during a postpartum psychosis. This way they can feel all good about how they protected the sanctity of life AND they get to condemn the woman who obviously is being punished by god for the sins she committed by getting pregnant in the first place.

mr_right_wing 8 years, 4 months ago

...and meanwhile we sit down here waiting for another butcher to come to Kansas and offer to physically scramble little innocent babies and then toss 'em in a dumpster. Infanticide in the "free state" just hasn't been the same since we lost Tiller...


BigPrune 8 years, 4 months ago

The pro-abortion liberals so reminds me of Hitler's Germany and the complacency and justification of the German people in the extermination of the Jews.

We have our own Holocaust happening right here in the land of the free, except the procedure itself is banned from being shown on television - out of sight out of mind.

What a messed up country.

headdoctor 8 years, 4 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says… “Courts have interpreted a 'major bodily function' to include mental health.”

And as long as our courts maintain this ridiculous point of view, our nation will continue to lose thousands of lives every year to late-term abortion.

Where do you people come up with some of these figures. Do they just drop put of thin air or fall out of your butt and then you decide to post it thinking everyone should believe it? Some of you are just as bad as the politicians. No wonder people get into arguments. Try working with the truth for a change. Using lies in a post doesn't help one's credibility at all even if you have a strong argument for a given situation.

mr_right_wing 8 years, 4 months ago

What is it that makes an anti-life fanatic so void of any homan compassion? (Yeah, I can be "obnoxious" about the killing of innocent life that is unable to defend itself.)

Amy Heeter 8 years, 4 months ago

The prochoicers are too narrowminded to see their justification for late term abortions actually supports Roeder's nessesity defense.

LoveThsLife 8 years, 4 months ago

Passed 22 weeks? That makes me sick.... by 18-20 weeks you usually find out the sex of the baby and if you ever have had an ultrasound done you can see them rolling around and moving..sometimes sucking their then you can feel them rolling around in your 26 weeks they can possibly survive outside of the womb if they are in a NICU....sad.sad.sad.

Katara 8 years, 4 months ago

What is so sad. sad. sad. is that some are so ignorant about conditions that prevent a fetus from being viable. What is so sad. sad. sad is that late term abortions are incredibly rare and happen to families that planned for and wanted to give birth to a baby. What is so sad. sad. sad. is that many of those conditions that make a fetus not viable are diagnosed in the 2nd trimester.

It sure would be nice is people actually bothered to learn the facts about this but I guess that is asking too much from some.

You want human compassion, how about reading some of the heartbreaking stories of families that had to opt for a late-term abortion? You would force those women to carry dead fetuses? You would force a woman to carry a child knowing all the while that it cannot survive birth? You would force a baby to live for a few days, a few hours, a few minutes with its only experience on earth to be complete pain? You folks have no idea of what compassion is. You are incapable of it.

And in the same breath, those of you who would force a woman to do such, are the same who scream about getting the evil government out of our health care & slashing social programs that provide needed support for families with children regardless of special needs or not. It is okay for government to interfere as long as it supports your beliefs (making abortion illegal) but heaven forbid that it might slightly inconvenience you financially to deal with the consequences of your beliefs.

You can't have it both ways. If you are going to take away all options to women and their families, you are obligated to support the "decision" you forced them to make. This means coughing out the dough. If you truly believe life is the only choice, you will, of course, be more than happy to contribute to those families' needs.

Otherwise, you can STFU.

Katara 8 years, 4 months ago

beobachter (Anonymous) says… So at 20 weeks every fetus is perfect and there are never any defects? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, of course. Duh. And every sperm is sacred.

AnnaUndercover 8 years, 4 months ago

@Katara Thank you so much for posting that.

I support choice for women across the board. All ages, all walks of life, all situations. I will never tell another woman that I know better than she does re: her personal choice.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 4 months ago

Dr. Carhart states in the article he does a late term abortion about every 8-10 days. This seems to coordinate with the rate of congenital defects that would force a woman to have an abortion that late in pregnancy, considering that woman are flying in from all over the country to have it done. Katara, despite your points I have actually heard anti-abortion advocates (I refuse to call them "pro-life") propose that women who carry non-viable fetuses still be forced to carry them to birth and the infant given "hospice services" at birth. I'm interested to know how you give "hospice services" to an infant that has, at best, a few hours to live if at all. I also would like to know what they would do with women who have dead fetuses in the womb that have not proceeded to a natural stillbirth. This presents a very grave health risk to the mother but then we don't really care about the women, do we?

LoveThsLife 8 years, 4 months ago

Porch Person - I didn't say anything about my personal religious convictions when I commented...interesting.

Katara- you make a lot of assumptions. Before you accuse me of being an in-compassionate fool. Please note that I have worked closely with children with congenital birth defects. I have also been friends with parents who have had congenital defects diagnosed at the second ultrasound and have chosen to care for the child. In some cases, what was initially thought to be a grave outcome for a child hasn't ended up being as bad as initially diagnosed. I have had other friends who have chosen to adopt children with such issues.

But those things are beside the point. There is a difference between therapeutic abortion and elective abortion. Of course if a child has died in the womb a mother would not be forced to carry the child full term. That is ridiculous and dangerous to the health of the mother. In those circumstances, the woman's ob-gyn may either induce labor, perform a d&c procedure, or even perform a cesarean depending on how far along she is and what her circumstances are. They aren't going to wait for her to get a plane ticket to some clinic in Nebraska to do the procedure. I have no problem with therapeutic abortions if the mothers health is at risk.

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