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Seventh Circuit hears arguments on Indiana’s historic Dignity for the Unborn Act

February 19, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Seventh Circuit last week heard arguments to determine if Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses will continue to be able to abort unborn children for the sole reason of the child’s sex, race, national origin, potential disability or Down syndrome, and whether Indiana abortion providers will be permitted to treat the remains of unborn children as common medical waste.

Major provisions of the historic Dignity for the Unborn Act, also known as HEA 1337, were blocked in

late 2017 by Judge Tonya Walton Pratt, an appointee of President Obama.

“The issue is whether unborn children can be discriminated against by targeting them for abortion based on a variety of factors including Down syndrome or the color of their skin,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Indiana took historic action in extending the same civil rights protections we recognize for persons who are born to children who are in the womb.  It is tragic and chilling to hear the ACLU and Planned Parenthood deny these civil rights by defending the unrestricted targeting of unborn children for death.”
“The civilized world was appalled last year when it was reported that nearly 100 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland,” notes Fichter.  “Yet this is exactly the type of targeting that abortion businesses in Indiana are defending.  We hope and pray the Seventh Circuit will uphold Indiana’s historic protections for unborn children.”
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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.

Texas-based abortion business files appeal in South Bend license denial

January 27, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life has learned the Texas- based abortion group known has Whole

Women’s Health Association (WWHA) has filed an appeal to the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) denial of licensing.  WWHA is seeking the license to open an abortion business in South Bend.  The appeal will now be considered by an administrative judge.

The Department’s denial letter states: “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.”

“We are confident the state is well within its right to deny a license to this abortion business,” states Indiana Right to Life President and Mike Fichter.  “We will continue to ramp up community opposition to abortions in South Bend and pray the appeal is denied and the license application is permanently rejected.”

In the denial letter provided to WWHA by the state, it is noted that a person may not provide abortions unless holding a license issued by the state.

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Banks, Walorski praise ISDH denial of license to proposed South Bend abortion business

January 11, 2018

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jim Banks and Rep. Jackie Walorski both issued statements yesterday praising the Indiana State Department of Health’s denial of an operating license for Whole Women’s Health Association to operate an abortion business in South Bend.

Rep. Banks’ statement:

“The sanctity of innocent human life, beginning at the moment of conception, is precious and must be protected. Life is a constitutionally-guaranteed inalienable right, and it extends to the lives of our nation’s unborn. The Indiana State Department of Health’s decision ensures only safe, quality health clinics receive licenses and protects Hoosier families, particularly women and unborn babies.”

Rep. Walorski’s statement:

“Every human life is precious and deserves our protection. The Indiana State Department of Health made the right decision to defend the sanctity of life and protect women’s health by rejecting this application.”

In October, Walorski sent a letter to the State Health Commissioner urging the ISDH to deny the application. The letter is available here.

State denies license to proposed South Bend abortion business

January 10, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life has learned through a public information records request that the Indiana State Department of Health has denied a state license to Whole Women’s Health Alliance (WWHA) to operate a new abortion facility in South Bend.

The Department’s denial letter states: “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.”
“This is great news for women, unborn children and the South Bend community,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “We applaud the state for its due diligence in this matter and thank the thousands of Hoosiers who made their voices heard. We will remain vigilant in this matter should an appeal to the license denial be attempted.”

Fichter notes that Indiana Right to Life generated over 36,000 e-mails from concerned citizens since the application for a proposed South Bend abortion facility first surfaced in October.

In the denial letter provided to WWHA by the state, it is noted that a person may not provide abortions unless holding a license issued by the state.

Download the ISDH denial letter

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Federal judge sides mainly with Indiana University, strikes key provisions of fetal trafficking law

January 2, 2018

U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson mainly sided with Indiana University last week in striking down key fetal trafficking provisions of Indiana’s Dignity for the Unborn Act.  The ruling means Indiana is blocked from enforcing much of the law aimed at prohibiting the trafficking of parts from aborted babies in Indiana.

“We are gravely disappointed with this ruling,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.  “The purpose of the law is to prevent the trafficking of aborted baby parts in our state.  Most of the safeguards in the law are now gutted due to Indiana University’s penchant for using the parts of aborted babies for experimental purposes.”

Indiana University sued to block the law due to its provision that prohibits the “acquisition, receipt, sale and transfer” of aborted fetal tissue.  In its pleadings, IU acknowledged it obtains tissue from organs such as brains, livers and kidneys for experiments, but argued the law’s definition of fetal tissue is too “vague” when defining it as, “tissue, organs, or any part of an aborted fetus.”   IU also argued that the definition of what it means to “transfer” aborted tissue is too “vague”.

Indiana University’s objections were more straightforward when it declared the statute, “builds a wall around Indiana and prohibits tissue from an aborted fetus from entering or exiting the state.”

“The language and intent of the law is clear,” says Fichter.  “Yet due to courtroom wrangling over what a word like ‘transfer’ means, Indiana’s protections against body parts trafficking is now compromised.”

While undercutting much of the law’s effectiveness, Magnus-Stinson’s ruling does let stand key provisions including the prohibition of selling aborted tissue or organs and the prohibition on altering the timing or type of abortion for the purpose of obtaining parts from aborted babies.

In a setback for Indiana University, Magnus-Stinson rejected IU’s claim that the state law was unconstitutional because it allegedly violates IU’s right to academic freedom, noting the First Amendment does not prevent states “from enacting statutes prohibiting conduct in which the University would like to engage, and then teach about.”

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