- Dr. LeRoy Carhart (Photo: Associated Press)
It's on: After months of protests outside Dr. LeRoy Carhart's Germantown abortion clinic, anti-abortion groups Operation Rescue and the Maryland Coalition for Life are stepping up their efforts to intercept Carhart's clients and prevent them from receiving abortions. On April 2, the groups will team up to open a new crisis pregnancy center directly across the street from Carhart's clinic, complete with free ultrasounds and pregnancy "counselors."
"The office will be used as a place of prayer for pro-life supporters, but will also act as a resource and referral center for vulnerable and needy pregnant women as well as post-abortive women," Operation Rescue wrote in a press release today.
Anti-abortion activists have targeted Germantown's Reproductive Health Services since December, when Carhart joined the clinic and began performing abortions there, some of them later in pregnancy. Because Reproductive Health Services is tucked away in an office complex and is not visible from the street, anti-abortion sidewalk protesters have struggled to reach Carhart's patients directly. Some protesters have erected large, graphic fetus posters in an attempt to get the message across.
It's unclear whether Operation Rescue's new crisis pregnancy center will be more successful in netting women heading in to Carhart's office for abortion care. But it will certainly achieve a more conspicuous—and permanent—on-site presence for Carhart's loudest opponents.
"Locating an office like this across from the most notorious late-term abortionist in the country was a high priority for us. We wanted to do more than just ask women not to abort their babies," Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said in a statement. "We wanted to provide them with practical assistance, spiritual guidance, and true friendship so that abortion would no longer be a consideration. This office will do all of that."