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By Nancy Flory, an Associate Editor at The Stream, Aug. 30, 2017
A Germantown, Maryland abortion clinic that provided late-term abortions is under contract to be purchased by a pro-life group, The Washington Post reported.
The pro-life group Maryland Coalition for Life is purchasing the property after years of protests against the clinic. Dennis Donnelly, media director for the coalition, explained how the deal finally came together. Over the summer the group was able to raise money to buy the facility. “It’s a miracle. You fight for something for seven years, and all of a sudden it’s handed to you.”
The Germantown Reproductive Health Services clinic has been open for 20 years. Its abortionist has a ghoulish professional history. LeRoy Carhart was once an apprentice of George Tiller, the late-term abortionist who was murdered in 2009. After Tiller’s death, Carhart began performing late-term abortions — those after 26 weeks gestation — in Nebraska. When they were outlawed in that state, he moved his practice to the Germantown abortion clinic. Carhart insists that he will provide late-term abortions at the clinic “until we’re forced to close our doors.”
“I am doing everything in my power to keep my practice open, and I am considering options looking toward the future,” said Carhart. “It’s heartbreaking that anyone would want to take health care away from women and families by targeting our clinic.”
Pro-life groups began protesting abortions outside the clinic as soon as Carhart arrived in Maryland. Within a few months of his arrival, the Maryland Coalition for Life opened a crisis pregnancy center across the parking lot. They also launched a campaign called “Kick Out Carhart.”
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue is ecstatic about Carhart’s departure. “We were there the first day the dreadful Mr. Carhart showed up,” he said, “and we are delighted to see him leave.” The Germantown clinic was one of three in the U.S. that routinely perform late-term abortions. The other two clinics are in Boulder, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
At least one abortion activist said that Carhart intends to open an abortion practice elsewhere. Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Diana Philip said that she’s talked to Carhart about his plans. “He is in the process of trying to get his facility operating,” she said. “It will be the same clinic staff and they are hoping not to have any interruption in providing this service.” His new clinic could be open as early as this fall.
According to a Guttmacher Institute study, the national abortion rate as of 2014 had dropped below 1973 levels — 16.3 per 1,000 women — when the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade made abortions legal.