Maryland abortion protests focus on Germantown clinic

The Germantown clinic featured in today’s story, “Maryland abortion protest target takes fight to protesters,” has been a focal point of the abortion debate over the past few years.

Dr. LeRoy Carhartarrived there in late 2010. That year, Nebraska had banned abortions after 20 weeks. Carhart, who performs both early- and late-term abortions, still lives in Nebraska and travels to Maryland to work at the Germantown clinic.

Michael Martelli, director of the Maryland Coalition for Life, said Carhart’s arrival in Maryland was a “catalyst for the … rising up and unity” of many groups that oppose abortion.

In April 2011, the coalition opened the Pregnancy Choices center across from the clinic, he said. The clinic was the focus of the Summer of Mercy 2.0, a 7-day event last July and August.

It is still the site of regular protests, and a website called “Kick Carhart out of Maryland” gives abortion opponents directions to the building.

Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, said her organization has worked closely with police to ensure the situation does not escalate. “Law enforcement has been very effective in keeping the peace there,” she said.

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