By Michele Hendrickson, Capital Area Regional Coordinator
Last week, on February 3rd, Johns Hopkins University’s Medical Students for Choice hosted Dr. Leroy Carhart at an open invitation dinner event. Dr. Carhart is one of only a handful of late-term abortionists in the country, who by his own admission has committed 80-100K abortions, and hasn’t done a lecture in public for years.
Around 6:45PM, a crowd of 50 or so gathered inside one of Armstrong Medical Education Building’s lecture halls in preparation for Carhart’s talk.
As we all lined up to sign-in to the building’s security desk, I realized Leroy himself was just one person behind me awaiting his turn.
The man who I’ve only read about in press releases that covered his latest medical fiasco, was now so close to me that I could determine which parts of his shirt needed to be tucked in a bit more. (The right side)
The evening ran a bit behind while we all waited for the Chinese food delivery to arrive, although I hardly had an appetite. My goal for the night was to fit in and glean as much information as I could. This was a huge chance to honestly observe and learn the perspectives of late-term abortion supporters. Here were some of the highlights:
- Carhart reflected on his past experience with Supreme Court cases and fighting against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, [in the first few minutes] “In reality if you think about an abortion, there isn’t an abortion done that doesn’t remove part of the fetus before it dies, and the rest of it afterwards. So it was really, could be interpreted as a total-abortion ban. Or definitely was interpreted as a second-trimester ban. Anything after 14 weeks.” Unless of course, you are Leroy Carhart, one of about four others in the entire country who makes a living ending the lives of babies as far along as 30+ weeks. Babies who can feel pain or be born and survive. He prided himself of being among the few to perform “fetal injections”, thus euthanizing the baby from the inside as a loop hole to the Partial-Birth Ban.
- JHU student and Voice for Life member Katherine Hamlet asked Carhart his opinion on the upcoming Supreme Court case, Whole Women’s Health vs. Cole, which challenges many of the common sense requirements finally being placed on abortion facilities. Certainly someone like Leroy Carhart who has claimed the lives of young women through abortion would see the importance of running a clinic that is up to par, yes? Not so much.
“As far as like having hospital-type requirements for the clinic, which is what they want, ya know 250 square foot surgery rooms, 6ft aisles and 6ft hallways, and it’s just ludicrous. It’s just not needed.”
- I often hear challenges from students such as, “no one knows when life begins” or “it’s not a baby”, yet here they all sat in awe and wonder as Carhart spoke on and on… about dead babies and the methods he uses to kill them. He described the importance of using the fetal injections because then “[the babies] were not alive after the first visit. They were dead”
- [Beginning of the tape] He explained the Supreme Court ruling that it was “illegal to remove a fetus partly before killing the fetus, and then deliver the rest of the parts.”
About 15 minutes in, he explained how he knows a baby could never be born alive using his procedure of fetal injections because “We know the baby has been dead for multiple days.”
- Carhart made a few confusing and contradictory statements concerning his role in the woman’s choice to have an abortion. He made a statement that he performs abortions at such late stages of gestation based on “extreme cases” and not simply due to “unplanned pregnancies”. [About 12 minutes] “Most of us are probably results of unplanned pregnancies (laughter from the audience). However there are pregnancies that are devastating to a woman’s plans.”
Then he changes his tune and says, “Certainly if it was an unplanned pregnancy and they come to the office I’ll take care of them. I see my part as a provider to provide abortions to the people who have made up their mind that that’s what they need. I will not help the patient to make that decision… I’m not going to put myself in her head and say if it’s a good idea or a bad idea.”
Then later when pressed on the issue he states, “I have to be totally convinced that they know that this is not just the option that they need, but it’s the only option that they need.”
A student continues to push, “Is that just like a gut feeling?”
Carhart responds, “I don’t know. I hope we’ve made it a little more scientific than a gut feeling. I can tell you I’ve rejected people who everybody else thought we should do. And, should I do that? I don’t know.” — wait, what??
- Hang in there, we’re almost to the end of the evening, and almost at the pinnacle of shocking statements. This next comment is brought to us by a student who asked, “What is your advice for those wanting to become future abortion providers?”
[About 17:20] “When you’re burned out of doing labor and delivery and OB and Gynecology and you’re 55 or so, you might come back and work in the abortion field.” Did I just hear that correctly? When you’re done bringing life into the world, switch it up and end some instead.
- [About 20:30] Student Question: “I’m wondering if your clinic provides any support, mental health support, for the women who come see you.”Carhart: “We don’t – but we have referral sources.” Anyone shocked here?
- Someone asked Carhart to explain some of the worst fetal abnormalities he has seen [around 40 minutes in]. He lists several but then defends aborting babies with Down Syndrome. He discusses how he hears from families who have a child with Downs who is doing great but says that you can’t even know that in advance so aborting babies with Downs is fine to do.
As the evening came to a close, there was one last remark Carhart gave which made everything else seem like an episode of Sesame Street.
“I believe I’m doing God’s work.”
This is not in the recording as it was an impromptu response to a question asked in a small group setting later by Andrew Guernsey, a senior at Johns Hopkins and former president of Voice for Life. Guernsey asked if Carhart considered himself a Christian, and his response was yes.
Carhart then shared with our small group that, to him, the Bible isn’t clear on the issue of abortion. If Jesus didn’t say anything against it exactly – then it’s all good to him.
Lastly, he offered to all the students in the room to come visit his abortion facility and see for themselves exactly what happens inside.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m starting to feel a little ill – and I don’t think it’s the Chinese food.
Carhart’s entire discussion is available here:
The very NEXT day after this talk, an ambulance was called to Carhart’s late-term abortion facility in Maryland, for the second time this year. More info is here on that call.