When you cross The Line of Death onto clinic property, the protesters stare at you. They get on walkie talkies and relay information: Your car. What you look like. Any identifying detail.
"Take a look around you, sir," one woman shouts. "The place is a dump."
The parking lot at Dr. LeRoy Carhart's clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska, is crumbled. A giant sign reads "Abortion & Contraception Clinic of Nebraska." Paint peels off the sides of the building, once a motorcycle shop, a car dealership showroom and an electronics store.
Wooden stairs lead to the front door, where visitors must pass through a metal detector. The office is clean and efficient, a complete contrast to its exterior. The waiting room is lined with leather chairs. A vending machine offers M&Ms, Hershey's and condoms.
Carhart one of about 12 doctors who perform late-term abortions in the nation, sits at a desk piled with paperwork. Decked out in gray cowboy boots, a salmon-colored shirt and khakis, the 67-year-old stares across his windowless office at an unframed poster propped against a wall.
"George Tiller, August 8, 1941 - May 31, 2009," it says.
The poster is a reminder that this isn't an ordinary office. Abortions are performed here, a job that can endanger Carhart. "I'm willing to put my life on the line," he says.
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