Dr. LeRoy Carhart, the sole plaintiff in Stenberg vs. Carhart, the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recent 3-4 decision, is facing possible eviction by three abortion opponents who recently purchased his clinic building in Bellevue, Nebraska. The buyers purchased the property for $325,000 in spring of 2000 and used a clause in Carhart’s lease to request that he move out in six months. Although the three abortion opponents maintain that the building is a worthwhile real estate investment, they also acknowledge that their decision to purchase the property is in part based on their anti-abortion views and the clinic’s close proximity to St. Mary Catholic School. Two of the buyers belong to the St. Mary parish.
Landlord-tenant disputes remain a common method for abortion opponents to continue their campaign to put abortion providers out of business. A number of similar disputes have emerged around the country in recent years where abortion opponents have attempted to evict, or refused to renew leases for abortion clinics or referral agencies working out of their buildings. The problem has become enough of a concern that the National Abortion Federation publishes a handbook that advises abortion doctors on leasing office space for their clinics. Dr. Carhart has been fighting his attempted eviction in Sarpy County District Court.