Statement on Merrillville Planned Parenthood Resuming Abortions

August 1, 2017

MERRILLVILLE, IND. – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO, Mike Fichter, issued the following statement upon learning the Merrillville Planned Parenthood facility is resuming abortions after complying with Indiana’s hospital admitting privilege law by finding a local doctor willing to serve as back-up in case of medical emergencies:

“We are disappointed to learn a doctor in the Merrillville area is willing to prop up Planned Parenthood’s abortion business by serving as a state-required back-up physician with admitting privileges. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky’s annual reports show all procedure categories are declining except abortion, so we’re not surprised Planned Parenthood would quickly find a back-up doctor to protect its lucrative abortion business. In 2016, Merrillville’s Planned Parenthood was the second busiest abortion facility in the state, doing 1,278 abortions.

“Indiana Right to Life is pleased the Indiana State Department of Health made sure the state’s admitting privilege law was being followed, and we expect them to continue doing so at Indiana’s six licensed abortion facilities. Hospital admitting privilege laws exist to ensure a woman facing a medical crisis is aided in the most expedient manner possible. Indiana Right to Life will continue to advocate for life-saving laws. We will also remain vigilant to ensure state laws are being followed by every member of the abortion industry.”

The Indiana State Department of Health is prohibited from releasing the back-up doctor’s name by state law.

Learn about Merrillville Planned Parenthood’s suspension of abortions in Indiana Right to Life’s Jul. 24 press release: www.irtl.org/2017/07/admitting-privilege-law-forces-merrillville-planned-parenthood-to-suspend-abortions.

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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Admitting Privilege Law Forces Merrillville Planned Parenthood to Suspend Abortions

July 24, 2017

Indiana Law Requires Abortion Doctors to Have Admitting Privileges or a Relationship with a Doctor Who Does

MERRILLVILLE, IND. – The Planned Parenthood facility in Merrillville, Ind. has been forced to suspend abortion procedures after losing its back-up doctor with admitting privileges as required by Indiana law.

Abortion doctors must maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital or have a relationship with a local doctor who can admit patients to a hospital in the same county or a surrounding county to the abortion facility. Admitting privilege laws give continuity of care for a patient in the case of a medical emergency.

In a letter dated Jul. 18, the Indiana Department of Health (ISDH) informed the Merrillville Planned Parenthood that it is prohibited from doing abortions until it finds a new back-up doctor and the appropriate paperwork is filed with the ISDH to certify the relationship between the local doctor and the abortion facility.

Indiana Right to Life is not aware of why the previous back-up doctor for Merrillville Planned Parenthood terminated his or her relationship with the facility.

“We’re pleased to see Indiana’s admitting privilege law being followed and enforced,” stated Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Admitting privilege laws are health and safety measures. In case of an emergency, admitting privileges ensure a woman is aided in the most expedient manner possible. Admitting privileges can make a life or death difference when minutes matter.

“One of Merrillville’s abortion doctors is Mandy Gittler. One only has to look back at Gittler’s record as recently as 2012 to see how quickly emergencies can arise during abortion procedures. In July 2012, Gittler did an abortion on a 24-year-old woman, Tonya Reaves, at a Chicago Planned Parenthood. According to court documents and news reports, Gittler sent Reaves to the hospital following her abortion, where the young woman was later pronounced dead in the operating room. An autopsy by the local medical examiner determined Reaves’ death was due to a perforated uterus.

“We urge any woman considering abortion in Northwest Indiana to contact one of the area’s many pregnancy resource centers. Many of these centers offer free support, including ultrasound services. We believe as long as Planned Parenthood in Merrillville is prohibited from doing abortions, more local women will choose life for their unborn children.”

 

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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Substantial Indiana Abortion Rate Drop Makes for Eight Consecutive Years of Drops

July 6, 2017

Despite 8.5 Percent Statewide Abortion Rate Drop, Planned Parenthood Aborted More Children in 2016 than 2015

INDIANAPOLIS – New data from the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) annual abortion report shows that Indiana’s 2016 abortion rate dropped 8.5 percent from 2015. In 2016, there were 7,277 abortions, compared to 7,957 abortions in 2015. Indiana’s abortion rate has declined for eight consecutive years.

An analysis of the report by Indiana Right to Life found:

  • Planned Parenthood continues to increase its abortion numbers and its market share of Indiana’s abortion industry. While the abortion rate declined nationally and in Indiana, Planned Parenthood did 1.3 percent more abortions in 2016 than in 2015. Planned Parenthood did 73 percent of all 2016 abortions in Indiana. Planned Parenthood in Bloomington increased its abortions in 2016 by 23.6 percent, compared with 2015 abortion numbers at the same facility.
  • Chemical abortions procedures, a drug combination of Mifepristone and Misoprostol, decreased in 2016 from 2015. In 2016, chemical abortions accounted for 26 percent of abortion procedures, or 1,919 abortions. The most common procedure type in 2016 was suction curettage at 5,327 procedures, or 73 percent.
  • 2016 was the first year since 1978 that Women’s Pavilion in St. Joseph County did no abortions. Women’s Pavilion’s longtime abortion operator, Ulrich Klopfer, suspended abortions in 2015 following violations and had his medical license indefinitely suspended in 2016.
  • The abortion rate in Indiana has dropped for eight consecutive years. Abortions have dropped more than 33 percent since 2008; there were 3,642 fewer abortions in 2016 than in 2008. Indiana’s all-time high number of abortions was 16,505 in 1980.

“The pro-life policies set forth by then-Gov. Mike Pence and pro-life leaders in the General Assembly made a life over death difference for Hoosier women and children in 2016,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Indiana’s informed consent laws, including a 2016 private counseling provision in the Dignity for the Unborn law, are giving women accurate information about human development and abortion risks, and resources available for parenting and adoption. Real Alternatives, Indiana’s pregnancy and parenting support services program established by then-Gov. Pence, is empowering women to choose life.

“We project abortion numbers would have dropped even further if the ban on abortions because of the child’s gender, race or disability in the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn law had taken effect. Even though Planned Parenthood has temporarily blocked that ban in the courts, we believe the public discussion on civil rights protections has shown the humanity of the unborn and led women to choose life. Former Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill have aggressively fought the court challenges by Planned Parenthood and we predict Indiana’s common-sense abortion laws will eventually be allowed to stand.

“The closure of Women’s Pavilion in South Bend, Ind. helped to bring Indiana’s abortion numbers down. That closure was the direct result of state officials enforcing health and safety regulations on the books and watchdogs ensuring women’s health was not compromised by an abortion doctor more concerned with profit than safety. Indiana Right to Life will continue to ensure all abortion facilities and doctors are following Indiana’s abortion laws.

“The 2016 abortion data also confirms that Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky remains focused on abortion. The abortion rate has dropped nationally and in Indiana, yet Planned Parenthood has found a way to convince more women to end their pregnancies in 2016 than in 2015. All procedures at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky have drastically dropped over the last decade, except abortions, which continue to rise.

“Indiana Right to Life remains committed to our mission to end abortion. Last year 7,277 women in Indiana turned to abortion. That is 7,277 too many. We will continue to promote life through education and positive alternatives to abortions so that every child is given a birthday.”

The ISDH report is available here.

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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Indiana Abortions Dropped 17 Percent Under Mike Pence

July 6, 2017

Fichter: The pro-life policies championed by Mike Pence while governor made a life over death difference for Hoosier women and children

INDIANAPOLIS – New Indiana abortion data shows the Indiana abortion rate dropped 17 percent while U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana. In 2012, the year prior to Pence taking office, there were 8,808 abortions in Indiana. In 2016, Pence’s last year in office, there were 7,277 abortions.

Indiana Right to Life credits Pence’s pro-life stance with the substantial drop in the state abortion rate. The organization’s President and CEO, Mike Fichter, said:

“The pro-life policies championed by Mike Pence while governor made a life over death difference for Hoosier women and children. Pence held abortion businesses accountable. Those caught breaking the law faced consequences and there are four fewer abortion clinics in Indiana today than when Pence became governor.

“Hoosiers could always count on Pence to promote pro-life legislation and enact pro-life policies. We believe increased informed consent laws and the Real Alternatives program empowered women to choose life during Pence’s term in office. Pence frequently said ‘life is winning in Indiana’ and the substantial drop in the abortion rate shows it. Now as Vice President, we’re thrilled Pence is able to ensure life is also winning in America.”

While governor, Pence signed into law numerous pro-life bills and enacted pro-life initiatives. Among them:

  • Increased informed consent measures for women seeking abortions, including providing full color photos of fetal development and ensuring women seeking abortions are entitled to private counseling instead counseling in a group.
  • Funded Real Alternatives, a pregnancy and parenting support services program, to serve Hoosier women.
  • Required doctors to document their admitting privileges with the State Department of Health and established health and safety standards at chemical abortion facilities.
  • Signed into law the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn law that protected children from abortion on the basis of their sex, race, national origin or a potential disability, like Down syndrome. Even though this ban is tied up in the courts by Planned Parenthood, the law started a statewide conversation about the humanity of the unborn.
  • Promoted adoption through the annual Governor’s Adoption Fair and an adoption tax credit for parents.

Learn more about Pence’s pro-life record while governor here.

Find more information about Indiana’s newly-released 2016 abortion data here.

Then-Gov. Pence with IRTL President and CEO Mike Fichter

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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Planned Parenthood Finds Another Judge Willing to Legislate Abortion from Bench

June 29, 2017

Judge Sarah Evans Barker Issues Injunction Against Portions of SEA 404  

INDIANAPOLIS – Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued a preliminary injunction yesterday against portions of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 404 in a case brought by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. SEA 404 is a new parental rights law designed to give parents more rights if their minor daughter seeks an abortion. Portions of SEA 404 not blocked by Barker take effect Jul. 1.

“Indiana’s new parental rights law was passed by a majority of our duly elected state legislators and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Hoosiers are tired of seeing activist judges legislate abortion from the bench. Planned Parenthood runs straight to the courts anytime they find a law they don’t like. Planned Parenthood is not winning in the court of public opinion and their clients are leaving them in droves, but they can always count on the judicial branch to hand them a victory.

“We urge the state to continue to defend SEA 404.”

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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