An Iowa native who was active in getting Kansas to pass a law that bans abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy is in Iowa, urging lawmakers here to do the same thing. Cheryl Sullenger, a Marshalltown native, lives in Wichita, Kansas, where late-term abortion doctor George Tiller worked until he was shot to death.
“The last thing you want to be known as is the late-term abortion capitol of the country,” Sullenger says. “We experienced that in Kansas and, frankly, it traumatized the community.” Sullenger says Council Bluffs could become the next Wichita, as a late-term abortion doctor from Nebraska, LeRoy Carhart, hopes to open an abortion clinic in Council Bluffs.
A Nebraska law which took effect in mid-October prevents Carhart from performing abortions in his Bellevue, Nebraska, clinic after the 20th week of a pregnancy. Carhart has said he hopes to open a clinic in Council Bluffs, and the Iowa House has passed a bill that would set up a late-term abortion ban in Iowa.
The bill has stalled in a Senate committee. Sullenger, who is senior policy advisor for the anti-abortion group “Operation Rescue”, is urging senators to act.
“You guys have an opportunity to close that down before it gets here and once things like this get started in a state, it’s very difficult to get them out,” Sullenger says. “But you guys have an opportunity to nip this in the bud and protect women and their viable babies from exploitation.”
Carhart’s website says a “South West Iowa” abortion clinic will be “available soon.” It shows the charge for an abortion performed after the 24th week of a pregnancy would be about $3,000.