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An Interview with Dr. LeRoy Carhart

Dr. LeRoy Carhart talks with Patch, following a series of abortion protests outside his Germantown office.

A nondescript hotel in the suburbs is where Patch met with Dr. LeRoy Carhart, the Nebraska doctor who nudged a quiet Germantown community into the midst of a broader abortion debate.

Carhart is one of the few doctors in the U.S. to openly perform late-term abortions. Though he lives in Nebraska, he has maintained an office in Germantown — Maryland’s abortion laws are less restrictive, he said — ever since Nebraska outlawed most abortions performed after the 20th week of gestation. And ever since, Carhart’s office on Wisteria Drive has drawn supporters and protesters, most recently culminating with hundreds of people rallying in support of either the Summer of Mercy 2.0 or the Celebration of Choice in July and early August.

Carhart, 69, spoke with Patch on the condition that he was not asked about his safety or security. He responded to a variety of questions, such as how he reconciles abortion with his own faith in God and whether he sees himself continuing the work of his mentor Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who was fatally shot in 2009 by an abortion opponent during a church service.

As for the future, Carhart has said that he wants to expand in Germantown, offering more general health care for men and women, such as STD testing and other medical screenings. He said he also wants to start an adoption program here. 

“You can't really say that you offer all options to women until you really do offer all options to women,” Carhart told Patch. “Abortion is fine if that's what they need to do, but if that's not what they need to do, they need to know that, to be able to talk with people who have placed children up for adoption, be able to talk with prospective families.”

Here are excerpts from that interview.

Q&A with Dr. LeRoy Carhart 

Patch: What are your personal views, as far as religion, and where does abortion fit in to that?
Carhart: I was brought up in a family that was religious. My wife and I were active in the church until it became too dangerous for us to go— George [Tiller] and I used to joke about that. I went a couple of times with him, but I don't go to any church actively now. I don't think you have to go to a church to be a religious person. I think if you're asking do I believe in God, yeah, I do. I think what I'm doing is because of God, not in spite of God.

I think it's no different than with someone who has had a heart attack: If we were to save their life are we going against God's will because if medicine didn't intervene, the patient was going to die? Is that what God wants, for a person to die? That's not an issue, not a question. It’s the same thing with a flawed pregnancy. People wouldn't think God created a flawed pregnancy to punish or test the parents. I think that it's just like any other medical condition, something that happens. God has provided us with a way to educate people to help take care of it. I think that because a certain, small group of people don't believe in it doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do. 

Patch: In a prior interview with NPR, you mentioned that the late Dr. George Tiller told you that he wanted you to carry on his work. Why did you agree to do it?
Carhart: It seemed that there was no one coming forth to do the later abortions and that's what Dr. Tiller said to me — somebody needs to do this. He knew from talking to me where my feelings were and how important an issue I felt this was. So I think that's why he asked me. Once I started working for him, there was never any question. It takes a different skill set to do the later abortions than it does to do the early ones. People aren't trained to do that anywhere. It took a lot of training. Everybody can take care of the easy ones. It's the complications. 

Patch: Do you see yourself carrying on Dr. Tiller’s legacy?
Carhart: Yeah, I think so. I hope I am.

Patch: Why keep doing what you’re doing now?
Carhart: The problem is now that if I leave, there are still only three or four people in the country that are doing this. It's not enough doctors. If I could get the practice going, training two or three people who are younger than I am, I would gladly step down, but we're working towards that, but that's a few years away yet.

Patch: What would you do if laws in Maryland changed?
Carhart: Well, there are other states, other places. But I don't think the laws here will change. Maryland is one of the most pro-choice communities in the country. … If they make abortions where I can't do them any more, then I'm not going to do them anymore. Does that hurt me? No it doesn't. I get to retire. But does it hurt the women of the United States? The answer is yes it does.

Nataly Purrplee Medrano December 18, 2011 at 06:07 AM
He is a murderer
dfgsdgs October 19, 2012 at 09:08 PM
This man ends the life of fetuses who can live outside the womb. Why should Germantown be his new "safe haven" for nothing less than pure murder? Even those who support abortion can agree that he is taking abortion to the extreme.
cassia February 09, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Leroy Carhart I spoke to the father,son and Holy Ghost about you ! Your business of murder will end in the name of Jesus!
Jules February 09, 2013 at 03:05 PM
I have to wonder what this man sees when he sees a newborn baby in a proud parents arms. Does he see body parts? After all, he is usually seeing a sweet little severed arm here, a bloody little foot there... I am so sickened by ANYone who can say this is ok because of "helping women."
Lilly Lovejoy February 09, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Evil incarnate. Satan has taken on human form and his name is Dr. LeRoy Carhart.
Michele Allen February 10, 2013 at 07:07 PM
I wonder what the woman he killed in Germantown last week would say about how Carhart is "helping" the women in the US now. Hopefully she was able to appeal to God's endless Mercy when she met Jesus!
Tiffany Arnold (Editor) February 11, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Comment has been deleted for violating Patch's terms of use.
Katie Ingle February 27, 2013 at 05:20 AM
It absolutely BLOWS my mind that this man can go to his clinic, rip a VIABLE baby out of the womb of it's mother and then say "I think if you're asking do I believe in God, yeah, I do. I think what I'm doing is because of God, not in spite of God." NOT in spite of God Mr. Carhart?? Our Lord would never harm an innocent child. Jesus healed the blind and the medically ill. He didn't rip babies from the womb just because the mother wasn't ready for the baby or there was something wrong with the baby. He sends our children to earth so that they may love and live, laugh and learn and become something!! He doesn't say go ahead and kill a child because it is sick. Only He can decide when someone dies!!!! I hope God has mercy on your soul!!
Mikey Franklin February 28, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Dr Carhart is a hero. I'm proud he serves his community in Germantown, and I'll stand with him against those determined to send women to the back-alley.
Sue Crandall May 15, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Just saw this piece of gristle on The Factor. Didn't know about him, I live way south of Germantown. Where's the protest schedule? Is there anyone willing to file charges? Testify against him? Or is it another pass given to a butcher? And, while we're at it, lets roll this procedure back to 12 weeks. I'd say contact your representatives, but in Maryland that's pretty much wasted time. Dems are all about fixing "mistakes".
Deena Taylor May 15, 2013 at 03:57 AM
God names babies in the womb. Doctor, if you are a true believer, then fall down on your knees and beg your savior for forgiveness and do no more evil!
Deena Taylor May 15, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Heroes save innocent lives.
Ken Cook May 15, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Sue, if you are serious... I can put you in touch with the Germantown, MD Coordinator. Let me know.

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