Late-term abortionist Le Roy Carhart is set to open a new clinic in Germantown, Md., on Monday.
Nebraska abortionist Carhart announced last month that we was going to expand his operations and next week he will deliver on that promise with a new clinic in the Montgomery County, a nearby suburb to Washington, D.C.
National Abortion Federation CEO Vickie Saporta told the Business Gazette that Carhart chose the largely Democratic state because its abortion laws are more progressive than his home town.
"Maryland is a progressive state and a woman's access to contraceptives, emergency contraceptives and abortion is better than many other states in the Deep South or the Midwest," Saporta said.
NARAL Pro-Choice America gives Maryland an "A" on its abortion legislation. The state is also ranked fifth in its nationwide evaluation of women's reproductive rights.
Maryland's Freedom of Choice Act prohibits the state from interfering in a woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy at early stages or at any time if the termination procedure is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman or if the fetus is affected by genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality.
By contrast, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill in April stating that unborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks and banning their abortion after the 20-week gestation mark.
"Maryland should be proud that they are rated as a state that protects women's access to contraceptives and abortion. Such actions protect women's health and save women's' lives," boosted Saporta.
Maryland Right to Life is outraged that its state's relaxed laws have encouraged Carhart to turn Maryland into a safe haven.
"By failing to hold abortion facilities and providers to even minimum standards of medical care, Maryland has become a haven for purveyors of this grisly and inhumane procedure," said MDRTL executive director Angela Martin.
Pro-life groups in Indiana and Iowa, where Carhart hopes to expand in the coming year, are already taking action to keep him out.
"We know what Dr. Cahart is about. We know that he is not welcome in Iowa. We will fight and pull out all the stops to make sure that he is not able to practice in the state of Iowa," said Iowans for L.I.F.E. executive director Maggie DeWitte.
Already, Iowa's Council Bluffs City Council attached restrictions to the sale of the 24,393-square foot lot rumored to have caught Carhart's interests. The restrictions on the city-owned property would bar it from being used for an abortion clinic.
National Right to Life is urging its affiliates in various states to push state lawmakers to adopt fetal pain bans similar to Nebraska.
Jessica Rogers of the NRTL said it "encourages our affiliates to make this legislation the priority for 2011."
NRTL will be holding a conference on Dec. 7 to discuss fetal pain ban legislation and develop some strategies.