Leading up to the Summer of Mercy 2.0, a nine-day protest against Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s late-term abortion practice in Germantown, Md., which begins Saturday
Leading up to the Summer of Mercy 2.0, a nine-day protest against Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s late-term abortion practice in Germantown, Md., which begins Saturday night, anti-abortion rights organizations sponsoring the event have recently labeled the abortion provider a liar.
Last Sunday, The Washington Post published a profile on Carhart. One statement in particular led the anti-abortion rights groups to accuse Carhart of lying and the Post for not doing its homework. The Post:
All the late abortions Carhart has done in Germantown have involved fetuses with anomalies, [Carhart] said.
On Thursday, Operation Rescue, a Summer of Mercy 2.0 co-sponsor, posted on its website a press release from the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Washington-D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, challenging the statement Carhart supposedly made to the Post.
The thrust of the claim that Carhart was lying is based on a woman referred to as “Kiesha” in Mahoney’s release and “Keesha” on the Summer of Mercy 2.0 website. According to Mahoney, this woman at one point sought a late-term abortion from Carhart but then changed her mind. He writes:
[She] was never questioned once by Carhart about the health of her baby. She was however, told in detail, how much the abortion would cost. Kiesha, who just gave birth to a healthy baby girl, was originally planning on getting the late-term abortion because of the pressure the child would bring into her life, not for any fetal anomalies or health issues.
On a webcast hosted Thursday night by Michael Martelli (who called the Post article a “40-paragraph front-page love fest”) of the Maryland Coalition for Life, Dr. Grace Morrison of the Vitae Foundation, said she has spoken with 25 mothers who at one time sought late-term abortions at Carhart’s clinic, including Kiesha, and said that the majority of the mothers who seek abortion at Carhart’s clinic are not doing so for medical reasons. Morrison has been hosting morning vigils outside of Carhart’s Germantown clinic every Monday since the clinic opened on Dec. 6, 2010.
“There has only been one case of a mother seeking a late-term abortion because of a poor prenatal diagnosis,” she said.
“It’s a horror,” Morrison continued, referring to the three-day abortion process. “It’s a modern-day Auschwitz out there. … For these women, it is clearly not a choice. They feel they have no choice. They feel they have no hope.”
Kiesha also spoke briefly on the webcast from Philadelphia, where she lives. She gave birth to a daughter on July 22.
“The guy that was gonna do the abortion, he wasn’t gonna do the abortion because my baby would have been sick or anything, he was just going to do it for the money,” Kiesha said.
Carhart was not immediately available to respond to claims he lied to the Post.
Lindsey Creekmore, co-chair of the board of Carhart’s nonprofit corporation Abortion Access Fund, Inc. (AAF), told The American Independent via email: “If Dr. Carhart says all the late-term abortions he has done in Germantown have involved anomalies, then they have.”
Kiesha is listed on the Summer of Mercy 2.0 event schedule to speak during Saturday’s rally outside the Covenant Life Church (7501 Muncaster Mill Rd., Gaithersburg, Md.), beginning at 7 p.m. but it was revealed during the webcast that she will be speaking via a video.
Summer of Mercy 2.0 is the culmination of a long-term campaign to close Carhart’s Germantown clinic. The nine-day event is also a sequel to 1991′s Summer of Mercy, which targeted the late Dr. George Tiller.
Among abortion-rights advocates, Operation Rescue is often accused of perpetuating harassment outside of the clinics it protests. The organization publishes names of abortion providers on its website as part of its “Project Daniel 5:25” and tells activists “to maintain a prayer and sidewalk counseling presence at these sites and act as watchdogs over the abortion cartel. We encourage pro-life supporters to carry cameras and other recording devices and document incidents of abortion injury and other wrongdoing, so that it can be reported to the proper law enforcement or oversight authorities.”
Joan Lamunyon Sanford, executive director of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Albuquerque, N.M., recently told TAI that incidences of harassment have increased at Dr. Curtis Boyd’s Southwestern Women’s Options ever since two Operation Rescue staff members set up shop in front of the clinic.
“We know Operation Rescue attracts people,” Sanford said. “Their language is inflammatory in a way that attracts people who will do real violence. They are good at provoking incidences and claiming they are victims.”
With the language and signs the activists use, Sanford said, they “provoke an emotional response” from women on their way in or out of the clinic. Operation Rescue recently posted on its website a video of a woman outside the Albuquerque clinic striking activist Bud Shaver’s head with a key.
In a counter-protest to Summer of Mercy 2.0, AAF and other abortion-rights groups are hosting a week of events called Summer Celebration of Choice, which begins Sunday with a kick-off walk, at Wisteria Drive and Executive Park Circle in Germantown, Md.
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