ICYMI: Swayze Liebel: State right to deny proposed abortion clinic

March 30, 2018

In Case You Missed It

Sue Swayze Liebel writing in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Sue Swayze Liebel

State right to deny proposed abortion clinic

Stigma is on industry for its failure to maintain standards

It’s convenient that State Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, could use the abortion industry’s talking point about “shaming and stigmatizing women” in her argument against Indiana’s new abortion reporting law.

“Shame” and “stigma” are the exact words used in a South Bend advertising campaign by abortion chain Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. This Texas-based abortion chain is trying to open a new location in South Bend.

The reality is, the abortion industry itself spreads stigma when its facilities fail basic health and safety inspections. WWHA is no exception.

In January, the Indiana State Department of Health denied WWHA’s request for an abortion license. The denial letter stated: “Based upon the Department’s review, the Commissioner finds WWHA failed to meet the requirement that the Applicant is of reputable and responsible character and the supporting documentation provided inaccurate statements and information.”

How might WWHA not be of “reputable and responsible character?” Inspection reports show serious health and safety deficiencies at WWHA. Among the concerns: failure to “meet the standards of a safe and sanitary environment,” improper training of staff concerning the sterilization of surgical equipment, expired medical supplies and poor maintenance of medical equipment.

Shouldn’t an abortion chain that claims to be committed to compassionate care for women operate at the highest levels of medical care? No woman wants to walk into a facility where equipment isn’t sterile and where medical supplies are expired.

Indiana’s new law, Senate Enrolled Act 340, acts to protect Hoosier women from rogue abortion facilities. It tightens the process for abortion licensing in Indiana by requiring that applicants disclose whether they have run an abortion facility that was closed due to health and safety concerns. Through disclosure, we’ll find out whether the operator or staffers are felons. We’ll also learn whether they ever worked at a facility owned or operated by the applicant that closed because of administrative or legal action.

Abortion facilities aren’t subject to the same oversight as other medical facilities. They aren’t part of a major hospital system. They don’t require certification by a medical licensing group. They aren’t part of the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. They are freestanding businesses. The only oversight they receive is from the state where they are located.

State oversight is what caused the closure of South Bend’s former abortion facility in 2015. Ulrich Klopfer, who ran abortion facilities in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne for decades, had a terrible track record of keeping his facilities clean, hiring qualified staff and maintaining his patients’ medical records. He failed to report abortions on 13-year-old girls. Most of us can agree he was a stain on our state.

Are WWHA’s health and safety violations all that different from Klopfer’s infractions? Hoosier women deserve better than an abortion chain that fails to operate at basic health and safety standards.

The abortion industry has shown through numerous examples that it’s unwilling to take responsibility and bring its facilities up to high medical standards. Indiana’s new law will bring greater transparency to an industry that would rather operate in secret. Only through open and honest conversations about the industry’s poor track record of providing high-quality care can we address stigma.

Sue Swayze Liebel is vice president of public affairs for Indiana Right to Life.

 

Christy Stutzman Endorsed by Indiana Right to Life PAC

March 28, 2018

Christy Stutzman accepts IRTL PAC’s endorsement

GOSHEN, Ind. – The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed Christy Stutzman for State Representative for Indiana House District 49. At a press conference announcing the endorsement, Mike Fichter, Chairman of the Indiana Right to Life PAC, offered the following remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee is pleased to announce its endorsement today of Christy Stutzman for State Representative in House District 49.

“Christy is a proven, passionate voice for unborn children and their moms.  Her service as a volunteer on the Indiana Right to Life board of directors is just one of the many ways in which she has volunteered her time and talents to support pro-life work here in Indiana.  When there is work to be done, Christy is always willing to roll up her sleeves to help.

“Christy understands how the policy arena works and is experienced in all of the skills needed to be an effective pro-life legislator on day one at the Statehouse. We know that she will play a critical role in keeping pro-life legislation as a priority in Indianapolis, and that she understands how critically important it is to keep the pro-life momentum going forward in our state.

“In 2016 alone, there were 3,642 fewer babies killed by abortion compared to 2008. Indiana Right to Life is committed to seeing that number drop to zero, and we know Christy Stutzman shares that same commitment.

“We look forward to working with Christy Stutzman to end abortion in Indiana and are pleased to extend our endorsement to Christy for State Representative in House District 49.”

The Indiana Right to Life PAC makes its endorsements based on its focused mission of protecting the right to life, especially of the unborn. Factors considered when making endorsements include incumbency, voting records on abortion-related issues in the legislature and survey responses.

Indiana Right to Life PAC works to elect pro-life candidates to public office for the purpose of enacting public policy that protects the right to life of all persons, including the unborn. Indiana Right to Life PAC believes that the issue of life is paramount to all other issues because without the right to life, all other freedoms are without meaning.

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Ben Smaltz Endorsed by Indiana Right to Life PAC

March 28, 2018

Rep. Smaltz accepting IRTL PAC’s endorsement

FORT WAYNE, IND. – The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed Ind. House Rep. Ben Smaltz (District 52) in his reelection bid. At a press conference announcing the endorsement, Mike Fichter, Chairman of the Indiana Right to Life PAC, offered the following remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee is pleased to announce its endorsement today of Ben Smaltz for State Representative in House District 52 .

“During his time as state representative, Ben Smaltz has compiled a 100 percent pro-life voting record, supporting some of most leading edge pro-life legislation in the nation. This record includes support for the historic Dignity for the Unborn Act, passed in 2016, that includes civil rights protections for unborn children based on race, gender, national origin, disability or Down syndrome.

“In the 2018 session, Ben played a critical role in the passage of SEA 340, just signed by Governor Holcomb, that requires the reporting of abortion complications that injure women, and requires the reporting of women who are being trafficked or coerced into abortions. SEA 340 also tightens the process for abortion businesses trying to come to Indiana by requiring that they disclose if any principals have been convicted of a felony, or whether any related businesses have been closed due to health violations. Finally, SEA 340 allows for the expansion of Safe Haven Baby Boxes at fire stations across Indiana to help save the lives of babies who might otherwise be at risk of abandonment.

“Most importantly, because of the legislation Ben Smaltz has supported over the years, the number of children killed by abortion in Indiana has dropped for eight straight years. In 2016 alone, there were 3,642 fewer babies killed by abortion compared to 2008. Indiana Right to Life is committed to seeing that number drop to zero, and we know Ben Smaltz shares that commitment.

“We look forward to working with Ben Smaltz to end abortion in Indiana and are pleased to extend our endorsement to Ben for state representative in House District 52.”

The Indiana Right to Life PAC makes its endorsements based on its focused mission of protecting the right to life, especially of the unborn. Factors considered when making endorsements include incumbency, voting records on abortion-related issues in the legislature and survey responses.

Indiana Right to Life PAC works to elect pro-life candidates to public office for the purpose of enacting public policy that protects the right to life of all persons, including the unborn. Indiana Right to Life PAC believes that the issue of life is paramount to all other issues because without the right to life, all other freedoms are without meaning.

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Holcomb Signs Historic Bill Allowing Additional Murder Charges if Murder Victim Is Pregnant

March 26, 2018

SEA 203 rightfully recognizes an unborn child’s humanity 

INDIANAPOLIS – Over the weekend, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed historic legislation that allows additional murder charges if a murder victim is pregnant. Senate Enrolled Act 203 permits charges of murder, manslaughter and feticide against any person killing an unborn child, at any stage of development, during the commission of a felony. Additionally, should those charges not succeed in a criminal case, it maintains the judge’s ability to add additional sentencing of six to 20 years.

Sen. Aaron Freeman (District 32) authored the bill after hearing from a woman in his district whose pregnant daughter and grandchild were killed in a homicide. Freeman said, “If someone kills a pregnant woman, they should not only be tried for her death, but also the death of the fetus.””We applaud Gov. Holcomb for signing this groundbreaking legislation that recognizes an unborn child’s humanity,” said Sue Swayze Liebel, Indiana Right to Life Vice President of Public Affairs. “This law will deliver justice to the families grieving the loss of two lives when a pregnant woman is tragically murdered.”

Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life offered the following statement when the SEA 203 became eligible for Holcomb’s signature: “Indiana Right to Life applauds the passage of SB 203 as a powerful step forward in recognizing and protecting the full humanity of unborn children at any stage of development. The recognition of the worth of a child killed during a felony further places Roe v. Wade on a collision course with law and history. We are committed to doubling down on efforts to bring about a majority on the Supreme Court that will strictly interpret the constitution, dismantle Roe, and provide full protection for all unborn children, including those who are targeted for abortion.”

SEA 203 passed the Indiana House on Feb. 27 by a vote of 96-3. It passed the Indiana Senate on Feb. 1 by a vote of 42-6.

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.
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Holcomb Signs Law Requiring Abortion Complications Be Reported

March 26, 2018

The Law Also Tightens the Abortion Facility Licensing Process and Expands the Use of Safe Haven Baby Boxes

Gov. Eric Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 340 into law. SEA 340 deals with reporting requirements when women are injured by an abortion, abortion facility licensing requirements that create stronger health and safety standards and the expansion of safe haven baby boxes.

SEA 340 requires that physicians, hospitals and abortion facilities report when a woman is injured by an abortion. Complications required to be reported include: uterine perforation, cervical perforation, infection, hemorrhaging, respiratory arrest, shock, or incidents in which parts of an aborted baby are left within the woman. The law also enhances reporting requirements when a woman gets an abortion by tracking whether she was seeking the abortion as a result of abuse, coercion, harassment or trafficking.

The new law tightens the process for abortion facility licensing by requiring that applicants disclose whether it has operated an abortion facility that was closed due to health and safety concerns, whether a principal or staff members have been convicted of a felony, and whether a principal or staff member were ever employed by a facility owned or operated by the applicant that closed as a result of administrative or legal action.

The law also expands the use of safe haven baby boxes. Under the law, baby boxes can be installed at Indiana fire departments, including volunteer fire departments, that are staffed around-the-clock by an emergency medical services provider.

Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life issued the following statement upon Holcomb’s signing SEA 340 into law:

“This important pro-life law ensures abortion complications don’t get swept under the rug. Hoosier women deserve better. We don’t want to see anyone injured by the abortion industry. The law also recognizes that abortions are too often the result of coercion, abuse and trafficking, and it starts the process to correct those injustices.

“We believe abortion facilities must be held to the highest accountability by our lawmakers. SEA 340 attempts to make the licensing process more transparent so that community members know what type of business is trying to do abortions in their town. Hoosiers have no patience for abortion operators targeting their communities and prioritizing profits over women.

“Finally, this new law expands the life-saving Safe Haven law. We never want a mother to feel so desperate that giving up her newborn seems like her only option, but a surrender at a Safe Haven site is a far better alternative to illegal abandonment. Baby boxes give babies a future.

“We commend Gov. Holcomb for protecting Hoosier women and the unborn. His signature increases Indiana’s reputation as a pro-life state. We will continue to work with lawmakers to advance the cause of life in Indiana.”

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.

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