LeRoy “Lee” Carhart, notorious late-term and partial-birth abortionist, died Friday, April 28, in Bellevue, Nebraska of liver cancer. He was 81.
Carhart was medical director for the Clinics for Abortion and Reproductive Excellence (CARE) in Nebraska and Maryland. After Nebraska in 2010 outlawed abortion beyond 20 weeks of gestation, Carhart began splitting his time between clinics in the two states. Staff will continue to operate both clinics.
Carhart retired from the Air Force as a surgeon in 1985 and began performing abortions in private practice. In 1991, arsonists set fire to several buildings on his farm, killing 17 of his horses. He received an anonymous letter saying the fire was set in retaliation for his abortion practice.
After the fire, Carhart said he opened his clinic because “I decided I wasn’t just going to be a provider. I was going to be an activist.”
“It’s worth it to me,” he said in 2006. “You have to fight for what you believe in.”
He assisted the late George Tiller, a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, until Tiller was killed by activist Scott Roeder in 2009.
Before the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last summer, Carhart indicated he was ready to pass the forceps to younger abortionists. “I’m looking for doctors to replace me right now or to help me,” he told CNN. “The biggest problem is finding somebody who is willing to take the target off my back and put it on theirs.”
According to his daughter, Janine Weatherby, Carhart founded his first clinic in 1992 with the “simple belief that patients know what is best for their life plan… He cared for all patients with kindness, love, justice, and respect.”
Carhart testified in court several times in defense of partial-birth abortion. In one testimony, when a judge asked when the baby actually dies during the procedure, Carhart replied:
Well, you know, again, this is where I’m not sure what fetal demise is. I mean, I honestly have to share your concern, your honor. You can remove the cranial contents and the fetus will still have a heartbeat for several seconds or several minutes; so is the fetus alive? I would have to say probably, although I don’t think it has any brain function, so it’s brain-dead at that point.
So the brain death might occur when you begin suctioning out of the cranium?
I think brain death would occur because the suctioning to remove contents is only 2 or 3 seconds, so somewhere in that period of time, obviously not when you penetrate the skull, because people get shot in the head and they don’t die immediately from that, if they’re going to die at all, so that probably is not sufficient to kill the fetus, but I think removing the brain contents eventually will.
Carhart’s CARE clinics are currently being sued by two women who claim they were injured when parts of their babies were left inside of them after their abortions. He was also allegedly responsible for the deaths of several other women over the years due to botched abortions. His Germantown, Maryland clinic was also found to have a “range of deficiencies” by the Maryland health department in 2013.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, pointed out that Carhart’s death on the feast day of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, the patron saint of preborn babies, was not a coincidence.
I pray for his soul as he’s now met his Maker who also fearfully and wonderfully made the preborn children Dr. Carhart spent his life dismembering … we are grateful that Carhart was given the respect and dignity to die a natural death, something he did not afford to tens of thousands of children.