Dr. Carhart Testifies

By: Holly Wagner
By: Holly Wagner

A Bellevue Doctor challenging a federal ban on partial-birth abortions says he won't risk jail time. Instead he'll find ways around the ban.

Thursday, Dr. LeRoy Carhart testified in Federal Court on whether a partial-birth abortion ban passed by Congress last year is legal.

Lincoln is one of three cities where challenges against the ban are being heard.

Dr. Carhart's testimony somewhat mirrors testimony earlier in the week from the other doctors. He says the language in the partial-birth abortion ban is not clear. He says it could outlaw nearly all abortion procedures.

Dr. Carhart says under the wording of the ban, only one abortion procedure he performs would be legal, one he only performs at 18 weeks or more. Dr. Carhart wouldn't answer any of our questions about the trial. He did give this statement:

"I won this case four years ago in the Supreme Court. Today we're back again trying to defend my patients, to keep the government from coming between me and my patients, and allowing me to practice the safest medicine possible for my patients," says Dr. Carhart.

The defense team asked Dr. Carhart if he believes the state and national lawmakers should have any role in this decision. He said no. His explanation was that doctors go to medical school to decide what's best and safest for patients. Politicians go to college.

The plaintiffs rested their case Thursday. The defense will begin calling witnesses Monday.


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