Indiana Attorney General asks U.S. Supreme Court to review ruling on South Bend abortion clinic

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INDIANAPOLIS (WEHT) – Attorney General Curtis Hill filed documents this week with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to affirm Indiana’s authority to enforce its own licensing requirements for abortion clinics. Such a decision would reverse a ruling by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which recently forced Indiana to allow the operation of a South Bend abortion clinic initially denied a license by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).

The ISDH found that Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, which is based in Texas, failed to provide requested documentation about the safety record of its affiliated clinics in other states.

Among many other red flags initially raised in Whole Woman’s Health’s license application was its plan to employ as clinic administrator an individual who had also been the clinic administrator for the notorious Dr. Ulrich Klopfer. This late physician’s license had been suspended for failure to report sexual abuse of minors on whom he had performed abortions, and he subsequently has been found to have been hoarding thousands of aborted fetal remains in his garage and automobiles.

In South Bend, Whole Woman’s Health now operates a clinic that provides chemical abortions. Patients are given one type of medication that kills the fetus followed by another medication that induces the woman to expel the deceased fetus.

After initially being denied a license, Whole Woman’s Health asserted that it should be allowed to operate a clinic based on the constitutional rights of hypothetical future patients, an argument ultimately accepted by the appeals court. But the very basis of Indiana’s licensure requirements is to protect such patients, Attorney General Hill noted.

“Only women seeking abortions, not abortion providers, have specially protected abortion-related rights under the Fourteenth Amendment,” Attorney General Hill said. “And in this case, a would-be abortion clinic seeks to avoid state licensing standards designed to protect patients from incompetent and unscrupulous providers.”

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(This story was originally published on December 10, 2019)

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