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With Carhart’s Md. abortion clinic closed for the week, Summer of Mercy plans post-protest protest

MahurinPointing_Thumb1_2221.jpg
MahurinPointing_Thumb1_2221.jpg

Every Monday since Dr. LeRoy Carhart began performing late-term abortions in Germantown, Md., on Dec. 6, 2010, a few handfuls of Maryland residents have gathered in front of Carhart’s clinic to protest.

Many of the women, men and teens who hang out by the curb on Wisteria Drive and Executive Park Road to try to dissuade women from going through with their scheduled abortions also work as volunteers in the so-called “crisis pregnancy center” located across the street from Carhart’s clinic. They come on Mondays because that is the day women obtaining a late-term abortion begin the multi-day procedure.

However, this Monday, the third day of the Summer of Mercy 2.0, there were no abortions performed at Carhart’s clinic. Carhart himself was not there, according to Becca Malloy, one of Carhart’s nursing technicians at his clinic in Bellevue, Neb. She said there would be no abortion services offered at the Maryland clinic this week.

“[T]he patients don’t need this craziness,” Malloy told The American Independent.

Because no abortions will be performed this week, the Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, one of the Summer of Mercy sponsors, announced to his supporters that efforts are being made to organize a large protest in front of Carhart’s clinic next Monday, when abortions are expected to resume.

Malloy, who has been working at Carhart’s Nebraska clinic as a nurse technician, said she traveled to Maryland this week in order to participate in the Summer Celebration of Choice, the Summer of Mercy counter-protest on Monday. Malloy held a bright-pink circular sign produced by the Feminist Majority Foundation that read, “Family Planning Saves Lives Worldwide.”

“[Carhart] is the most caring person I’ve ever met,” she said.

A block away from the 20 or so abortion-rights protesters that stood and sat under the midday sun holding “Trust Women” and “Pro Choice” signs, stood more than 40 anti-abortion rights advocates and religious leaders, their heads bent in the 90-plus-degree heat, conveying the opposite message.

Mahoney led the supporters in 30 minutes of formal and “conversational” prayer.

“It’s about prayer,” Mahoney said. “We’re praying that where they go,” referring to the anti-abortion rights protesters, “it’s not a lot hotter than here.”

Carhart and the Summer of Mercy protesters have been fighting through The Washington Post for the past few days following a feature profile of Carhart that was published last Sunday. Later in the week, Mahoney released a statement by a Philadelphia woman named Keisha, who alleges to have scheduled a late-term abortion at Carhart’s clinic for reasons unrelated to the health of her unborn child, which contradicts a statement Carhart initially made to the Post that all late abortions at his Germantown clnic have been the result of fetal anomalies. In response to Keisha’s claims, Carhart told the Post she was likely a plant for anti-abortion protesters and that he doubted her story.

“LeRoy Carhart [offered Keisha] no counseling,” Mahoney said. “What did he offer her? The right to pay $3,500 to take the life of her child. Then he has the absolute nerve to go to The Washington Post and say she was a plant and lied. I don’t know about you, LeRoy Carhart, but I believe women.”

Kurt Linnemann, executive director for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform — whose “Choice” truck plastered with blown-up images of an aborted fetus drove up and down Wisteria Drive through the early afternoon — told TAI Carhart practices murder.

Chris Slattery, of Expectant Mother Care in New York City, reminded the crowd that the week’s mission was a peaceful one. But regarding Carhart, Slattery’s message reflected that of the others praying.

“He is a corrupt man and has to be chased out of this town — legally,” Slattery said.

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