WASHINGTON – Less than a month after a Nebraska fetal pain law took effect, an Omaha doctor who performs late-term abortions announced plans to open new clinics in the Washington area and Iowa and to expand an existing clinic in Indiana.
“The laws are more favorable in these other jurisdictions, and we’re going to do the maximum the law allows,” Dr. LeRoy Carhart told The Washington Post.
The first of the new clinics, called Carhart Centers for Sexual and Reproductive Health, is to open Dec. 6 in the Washington area, but Carhart declined to give an exact location.
“The patients, when they call, will be told where to go,” he told the Post. “The ‘antis’ will find out soon enough, but I don’t want to help them. We will be subject to protests, but I’m not going to give them a head start.”
The other new clinic is to be located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, across the Missouri River from Omaha, and the expanded center is to be in Indianapolis.
Nebraska’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting any abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy because of pain to the fetus, took effect Oct. 15, 180 days after the end of the state’s legislative session.
Supporters of the law had expected a legal challenge by opponents, but no lawsuit has been filed yet.
Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, said Carhart’s decision “shows that LB 1103 (the fetal pain law) was the right strategy.”
“It’s interesting to us that Carhart needed to expand to three other states to replace the over 1,000 abortions he did every year in Nebraska,” she added.