Press Advisory: Nebraska-style legislation urged in wake of late-term abortionist’s expansion plans for Indianapolis

November 17, 2010

Indiana Right to Life is calling on Indiana legislators to move quickly in the upcoming legislative session to enact a Nebraska-style ban on late- term abortions in response to news reports that Leroy Carhart, a late-term abortion specialist, plans to expand his business to Indianapolis.

Carhart, described by Newsweek in 2009 as “a person determined to train as many late-term abortion providers as possible” and “the abortion evangelist”, made national news last week when he announced that he would be leaving his late-term abortion business in Nebraska in favor of three new locations, including Indianapolis. Carhart’s move came after a new Nebraska law banning abortions on pain-capable unborn children after 20 weeks went into effect on October 15.

Carhart gained national attention by unsuccessfully challenging the federal ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure in Carhart vs. Gonzales.

“The very fact that Leroy Carhart has targeted Indiana as a state in which to expand his abortion business reveals that current Indiana law regarding late-term abortions is insufficient,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “The Nebraska legislature has established a groundbreaking precedent by enacting a law that protects virtually all pain-capable unborn children beginning at 20 weeks after fertilization. Indiana needs to follow Nebraska’s lead by adopting similar legislation in the 2011 legislative session.”

While Indiana law does not allow abortions after the first trimester in freestanding abortion clinics, abortions after the first trimester and before viability are permitted for virtually any reason if done at a hospital or ambulatory outpatient surgical center. Late-term abortions are permitted for virtually any reason after viability if done at a hospital and if a second physician is on hand to care for the child if born alive.

Viability, however, is not defined by current Indiana abortion law.

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