Dr. Carhart graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, PA in 1973. He completed his surgical residency at Hahnemann Hospital and its affiliates, and served as Chief Resident from 1977 to 1978 at Atlantic City Medical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Dr. Carhart retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 21 years in the United States Air Force, and now works full-time providing abortions, teaching other providers in the techniques of first and second trimester abortions, and acting as a consultant to abortion and family planning clinics throughout the United States.
Dr. Carhart has been performing vasectomies since 1971, and has performed over 3,500 vasectomies to date. In 1982, he established the first U.S. Air Force training program to teach vasectomy surgery to family practice residents at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Dr. Carhart has been performing abortions full-time since 1988 in Nebraska and other states, and was an associate physician with Dr. George R. Tiller from 1998 until Dr. Tiller's murder in May of 2009.
In June 1997, Dr. Carhart filed for a temporary restraining order to prevent the State of Nebraska from enforcing their "Partial Birth Abortion" law, as Dr. Carhart saw this law as unconstitutional. The District Court for the State of Nebraska agreed, and issued a "Permanent Injunction" to prevent the enforcement of this unconstitutional law. The State of Nebraska appealed, and lost a decision in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The State of Nebraska then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard on April 25, 2000, and on June 28, 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Nebraska law and also the laws in 31 other states were unconstitutional.
In 2005, Dr. Carhart challenged the federal "Partial Birth Abortion" ban. This challenge was also taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ban was upheld in a 5-to-4 decision, however, in the decision the court made changes to the ban to restrict its application to the D&E procedure and eliminated the cause for concern.
Dr. Carhart remains steadfast in his activism to reduce the need for abortions in the future while increasing the availability to needed abortions in the present.
For his conviction and dedication to the Pro-Choice movement, Dr. Carhart has received many awards: