Anti-Abortion Supporters March in Opposition of Germantown Doctor
Opponents of abortion demonstrated their position against abortion on Sunday, while pro-abortion rights supporters defended the woman's right to choose.
Hundreds of anti-abortion supporters converged in front of Dr. LeRoy Carhart's office on Executive Park Terrace on Sunday, protesting the abortion clinic that the Nebraskan doctor opened in Germantown last month.
According to Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks, the demonstration began around 2 p.m. in front of Carhart's office and after about 25 minutes of speech, where anti-abortion supporters spoke out against Carhart's late-term abortion practices, the group then began to march in what they called a 1.5-mile "prayer walk" circulating the area around the Germantown Commons shopping center.
The group started down Wisteria Road to Germantown Road to Middlebrook Road to Father Hurley Boulevard, back to Wisteria Road.
The anti-abortion supporters, while large in number, were largely quiet and somber, most of whom were carrying red signs that read "Praying for the Protection of Life" while others carried more personal signs, such as one that read "I regret my abortion."
Many of the walkers cited religion as their main reason for protesting Carhart, such as Josh Boyed, a member of the nearby Christ Community Church.
"It's completely against everything in scripture," said Boyed. "I just can't believe this is happening right here in Germantown. It's just tough to even think about it."
"I believe every life is sacred, even a young life. Every individual deserves a chance at life," said another anti-abortion advocate, who chose to remain anonymous. "It just breaks my heart that this is happening here in Germantown."
MaryAnne Wright of Germantown added: "People are definitely willing to adopt, so I don't understand why people would do this."
A much smaller, yet more vocal group of Carhart and pro-abortion rights supporters also showed up with a message of their own, holding signs such as "This Clinic Stays Open," "Thank You Dr. Carhart," and "Keep Abortion Legal" and also chanted messages such as "Roe v. Wade is here to stay" and "Not the church, not the state, a woman must decide her fate."
Among the dozens of pro-abortion rights supporters was Lindsey Gray, who was among those carrying a "Thank You Dr. Carhart" sign.
"I just think it's important to keep abortion safe and legal," said Gray. "Abortions are going to happen no matter what so you might as well keep them safe and healthy."
"It's our legal right," said Janice Pemberton, another pro-abortion rights supporter. "It's not like we're pushing abortions to schools or to anyone. Women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do."
Today's demonstration comes one day before the annual “March for Life” demonstration in Washington in opposition to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court case which sought to protect a woman's right to choose.
Germantown and Montgomery County residents have spoken out about Carhart's arrival since fall, when it was announced that Carhart would be leaving Nebraska after 25 years to open his practice in Maryland.