Germantown clinic will offer late-term abortions

By Rob Stein
Wednesday, December 1, 2010; B10

A Nebraska doctor who performs abortions late in pregnancy is planning to begin offering the controversial procedure at a clinic in Germantown, an official said Tuesday.

LeRoy Carhart plans to begin working on Monday at Germantown Reproductive Health Services, which already performs abortions earlier in a pregnancy, according to Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation.

"Women will have increased access to reproduction health-care services, which is a good thing for women in Maryland and the surrounding area," Saporta said in a telephone interview.

Carhart could not immediately be reached to comment.

In November, Carhart said he planned to open new clinics in Iowa and the Washington area because Nebraska had implemented a law that made it illegal to perform abortions beyond the 20th week of a pregnancy.

Only a handful of doctors publicly acknowledge they perform abortions late in a pregnancy, and Carhart has been the target of abortion protests. George Tiller, who was one of the few doctors who were public, was fatally shot by an antiabortion demonstrator while attending church in Wichita in 2009. Carhart said he worked with Tiller in Kansas for 11 years and had hoped to continue providing the procedures at Tiller's clinic but decided to look for locations elsewhere after Tiller's family decided not to reopen that facility.

At the time, Carhart would not disclose the exact locations of the new clinics, citing concerns about protests. The Germantown location was selected based on a combination of factors, including which area jurisdiction had the most favorable laws, he said.

"Operation Rescue is working with Maryland and Washington, D.C. pro-life groups to employ peaceful, legal means to halt Carhart's plans to do late-term abortions in Germantown," the group said in a statement. The antiabortion group has long protested the activities of Carhart and other abortion providers.

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