An abortion clinic outside Washington, D.C., is preparing to open its doors to women seeking abortions into the third trimester of pregnancy.
The co-owner identifies as a former Catholic.
Partners in Abortion Care, located next to the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park, will offer abortions up to 34 weeks of pregnancy — six weeks before birth — beginning this fall. Thirty-four weeks is considered roughly 10 weeks past the point of viability, when a baby can survive outside the womb.
“90% of Americans reject late-term abortion in the third trimester,” SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser responded in a press release. “At 34 weeks, unborn children are able to recognize familiar songs and stories and prefer looking toward faces. There is no question they are human.”
According to a Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll survey released in January, 83% of Americans want some kind of limit on abortion.
The clinic is preparing to function as an abortion hub of sorts for women traveling from southern states that are limiting abortion after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, NPR reported.
Maryland has lenient abortion laws. In July, the state began allowing non-physicians to perform abortions, on top of alloting $3.5 million per year for “abortion care” training in the state.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research organization, in Maryland an abortion may be performed at or after viability in cases where the mother’s life or health is endangered or where there is a fetal anomaly. Health, here, can be broadly defined to include factors such as mental health, according to AbortionFinder.org, an online database of abortion providers.
The clinic’s co-owners expect to treat approximately 10 people each week after opening, according to NPR, and will prioritize women seeking abortions after viability, according to The Diamondback, an independent student newspaper at UMD.
One of the co-owners, Dr. Diane Horvath, was raised Catholic. According to NPR, Horvath has worked in “abortion care” for 16 years as an OB-GYN.
NBC profiled Horvath — an outspoken supporter of abortion — on Aug. 31 as an abortion provider who grew up Catholic.
“The teaching on abortion was a little bit confusing because they talk a lot about abortion being wrong and immoral but also like loving your neighbor and being God’s hands in the world,” she told the network.
In a tweet last year, Horvath revealed that she was baptized, confirmed, and attended Catholic school for 13 years “with the resultant lifetime of guilt & shame to work through.”
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a grave evil.
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church reads. “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
To NPR, Horvath called abortion is “life-saving work.” And her clinic’s logo — birds flying into the air — is “symbolic of people being able to leave here and live their lives,” she added.
Also speaking with NPR, the other co-owner, nurse-midwife Morgan Nuzzo, called it a “sacred relationship” to be with someone during an abortion.
While they originally planned to open right after Labor Day, the clinic is facing delays on obtaining an updated application from Maryland for their health care facility license, NPR reported.
They say they have the money with a small-business loan, a foundation grant, and a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign.
“We are excited and ready to open the only women-owned and operated, all-trimester abortion clinic in the United States,” the GoFundMe page reads.
According to The Diamondback, UMD students also plan to hold fundraisers for the abortion clinic. The clinic also “hopes to maintain that community spirit with University of Maryland students once their clinic doors open.”
FiveThirtyEight previously reported that the clinic is located in a complex of offices down the street from a University of Maryland campus — with the parking lot entry across the street from a frat house.
SBA Pro-Life America responded to the news by highlighting that Horvath and Planned Parenthood were sued for malpractice in 2016 by a patient who allegedly suffered a perforated uterus, the destruction of her right ovary and fallopian tube, and other injuries.
Laura Bogely, the director of legislation for Maryland Right to Life, also condemned the abortion clinic.
“Maryland citizens will be disgusted when they realize they are funding the brutal killing of fully formed babies in this late-term abortion mill,” she told CNA in a statement. “The atrocities that will occur there have no semblance of health care and amount to state-sanctioned child sacrifice.”
Partners in Abortion Care did not respond with comment by time of publication.