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St. Joe County Health Department releases pro-abortion literature in effort to lobby at state level

WRITTEN BY RNM STAFF

St. Joseph County Board of Health
2020 Board of Health Members Back – Ilana Kirsch, MD; Jason Marker, MD; John Linn; Michelle Migliore, DO; Attorney J. David Keckley Front – Emily Dean; Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, PhD, MPH; Amy Murray, MSN, RNC

The St. Joseph County Health Department drew intense backlash for a press release issued last week, in which it openly advocates for abortion access in the name of “maternal health.” The release included a call to Indiana legislators to limit abortion restrictions in upcoming legislative action expected to be taken by Indiana legislators during the special session.  

“The St. Joseph County Department of Health believes that women, their partners and families, and medical professionals must maintain the authority to make the judgment surrounding the need for termination of a pregnancy under exceptional circumstances to protect the lives of women,” the press release states. “We have contacted the elected officials who represent St. Joseph County at the Indiana Statehouse to share this view.”

Despite representing all of St Joe County, and the Department’s board being comprised of nine members appointed by both parties, the press release did not receive any formal approval prior to release or adoption at the most recent Board meeting.

In response, concerned taxpayers have taken to social media and direct communication to the St. Joseph County Commissioners to express extreme frustration at the use of taxpayer dollars to support a pro-abortion agenda.

The backlash included statements made by a former St. Joseph County councilman, Jamie O’Brien, in which chided the health department: “Abortion kills babies – total opposite of health.,” O’Brien said, at a recent gathering of the Board of County Commissioners.

Pro-life groups also strongly criticized the press release, noting the Board of County Commissioners  — the County’s executive branch – can exercise discretionary control to ensure the health department is carrying out its functions.

The St. Joseph County Board of Health recently came under fire for spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a consultant for “birth equity” seminars and a long-term survey. That doctor/consultant, who is a huge advocate for abortion, has an extremely checkered past for malpractice and has had her medical license suspended multiple times.

To reach out to your County Commissioners, e-mail Derek Dieter (ddieter@sjcindiana.com) , Andy Kostielney (akostielney@sjcindiana.com) , and Deb Fleming (dfleming@sjcindiana.com).

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