Legal Woes Force Klopfer to Quit Doing Abortions at His Last Operating Abortion Business

November 4, 2015

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer

Klopfer Dropped His Appeal of the State’s Decision to Not Renew His Operating License in South Bend

A statement from Indiana Right to Life and St. Joseph County Right to Life:

Indianapolis – Longtime Indiana itinerant abortion doctor, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, will no longer be able to do abortions at his only remaining abortion facility, Women’s Pavilion in South Bend, Ind. The facility must cease doing abortions at close of business on Friday, Nov. 6. Klopfer dropped his appeal of the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) June decision to not renew his South Bend facility operating license. That decision came on the heels of two complaints by the ISDH to revoke his South Bend facility operating license. Klopfer was scheduled to appear before an administrative law judge starting today, in a hearing that could have taken up to three days.

The ISDH filed the first complaint to revoke Klopfer’s South Bend operating license in January. According to the complaint, the facility was charged with violating Indiana Code 16-21 and multiple health and safety rules. In June, the ISDH filed a second complaint to revoke Klopfer’s South Bend operating license, following a license complaint investigation of the facility by the ISDH. The June investigation revealed multiple additional deficiencies, including Klopfer’s failure to abide by Indiana’s 18-hour notification law that requires a woman to give her voluntary and informed consent and view the fetal ultrasound and hear the fetal heartbeat, at least 18 hours before an abortion. Indiana law allowed Klopfer to continue doing abortions while he appealed the ISDH’s decision to not renew his operating license.

Klopfer, an Illinois resident, operated abortion facilities for decades in Gary, Fort Wayne and South Bend. Klopfer lost his Fort Wayne back-up physician with admitting privileges, required by an Allen County ordinance and state code, in December 2013, rendering him unable to do abortions in Fort Wayne in 2014 and 2015. In June, Klopfer surrendered his operating license for his Gary facility. The surrender followed the release of an alarming report by the ISDH showing deplorable conditions and safety hazards at his Gary facility. Despite being barred from doing abortions in Fort Wayne, Klopfer continued to see patients there and referred them to South Bend for their abortion procedures.

Even though Klopfer does not have a licensed abortion facility in the state, he still has an active Indiana medical license. However, that could change on Dec. 3 when Klopfer appears before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. Klopfer faces an administrative licensing complaint by the Indiana Attorney General’s office of 1,833 alleged abortion-related violations. The Medical Licensing Board could strip Klopfer of his medical license or take other disciplinary action against him.

“Years of shoddy abortion practices have finally caught up with Dr. Klopfer,” said Cathie Humbarger, Indiana Right to Life’s Vice President of Policy Enforcement. “Klopfer compromised the health and safety of women who sought abortions from him in Gary, Fort Wayne and South Bend, and we’re relieved he is finally being shut down. Hoosier women deserve better. We extend our appreciation to the Pence administration and the ISDH for refusing to sweep Klopfer’s shady practices under the rug. It’s a good day for the health and safety of Hoosier women.”

Jeanette Burdell, Executive Director of St. Joseph County Right to Life, stated, “No other medical facility would be able to get away with the things Women’s Pavilion has been doing for years. Women’s lives are at risk when anesthesia is administered improperly, medication is expired, staff is under-trained and infection control is lacking, to name but a few of the facility’s problems. And when abortions on 13-year-old girls aren’t reported in a timely manner as required by law, children are in danger of sexual abuse.”

“We have been working for many years to call attention to the Women’s Pavilion’s disregard for the health and safety of women in St. Joseph County, and to ensure that Dr. Klopfer and his facility are held accountable for the substandard conditions and health code violations at the clinic,” said Tom Gill, President of St. Joseph County Right to Life. “We commend all of those individuals, organizations and institutions that have worked side-by-side to bring about this positive, life-affirming and health-endorsing outcome for our community.”

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

St. Joseph County Right to Life, Inc. is dedicated to the social welfare by promoting life through education and advocacy. It is the oldest, continuously active pro-life organization in St. Joseph County, and is the central organization representing pro-life interests. Its goal is to protect all innocent human life-the unborn, the infirm or handicapped, and the aged.

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