SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After operating for less than 4 years, South Bend’s abortion clinic Whole Woman’s Health announced it will shut down for good earlier this week. Citing the hard work of the pro-life movement and state lawmakers, South Bend’s only abortion mill will cease all operations later this year.
“Whole Woman’s Health Alliance announced in a statement they are closing
their South Bend abortion facility. It is the first abortion clinic to close in Indiana post-Dobbs decision.” Voices for Life, a pro-life non-profit organization based in South Bend stated in a press release.
“Whole Woman’s Health has ended the lives of thousands of preborn hoosiers and victimized thousands of women since opening in 2019,” Voices for Life Executive Director Melanie Garcia Lyon said. “This is a victory for human rights in our community. It’s closure, while abortion is still legal in our State, is a testament to the power of prayer and the
consistent presence of South Bend’s Sidewalk Advocates for Life team. I am so proud of my
team which shared life-affirming resources with patients whenever the facility was open.”
“Voices for Life will continue educational and outreach efforts through sidewalk advocacy and door-to-door outreach to ensure every Hoosier woman receives the support she needs to choose life.” The press release continued.
Since the beginning, the abortion clinic has been mired in controversy.
Just last year, the abortion clinic was planning an expansion. The clinic has only been allowed to provide chemical abortions on babies up to 10-weeks old. The expansion would have allowed the clinic to perform surgical abortions into the 2nd trimester. The expansion plans were aided by Governor Eric Holcomb.
WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH TIMELINE:
In 2018, the State of Indiana refused to issue a license for the pill-only clinic due to issues with the organization, which operates in multiple other states.
After a subsequent lawsuit filed by WWH, a federal judge ordered the state issue the clinic a provisional license as the litigation proceeds.
In December of 2021, 50 state lawmakers reached out to Governor Holcomb with major concerns about the clinic’s operations. RNM had uncovered multiple reports of illegal abortions being performed. The Indiana Department of Health had refused to release public information on how the clinic is running. And, the IDOH had not been performing standard inspections of the facility.
In response to the December 2021 letter from dozens of lawmakers, Holcomb announced he directed the Indiana Department of Health to issue the clinic a full-license. He initially claimed he was advised to do so at the direction of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. However, Attorney General Todd Rokita denied those claims in a later letter in which he slammed the governor for his decision.
WWH nearly immediately applied for a new license to expand its services into surgical abortions.
In February, the Indiana Department of Health denied WWH’s request for the new license to provide surgical abortions. The state initially claimed the clinic failed a survey of its facility. However, a letter from Indiana’s Health Commissioner also stated the license was rejected due to reporting issues at the clinic.
On April 22nd, the IDOH granted WWH a provisional license to perform surgical abortions following a new survey of the facility. That provisional license is valid for up to 90 days.
A spokesperson for the IDOH sent REAL News Michiana an email containing several false statements regarding the issuance of the license. The email falsely states the clinic was given a license to operate as a pill-only clinic “as part of” the 2018 lawsuit. The spokesperson then ignores the fact that the surgical license was initially denied.
Indiana has separate licensure rules for medication-induced abortion clinics and surgical abortion clinics. Under a court ruling, IDOH was required to either treat the clinic as if it was provisionally licensed or issue a license for medication-induced abortions. IDOH treated Whole Woman’s Health as provisionally licensed for medication-induced abortions and has since, as part of the lawsuit, issued a license to perform medication-induced abortions. Whole Woman’s Health subsequently applied for a surgical abortion license. Following a pre-occupancy survey, the facility was issued a provisional license to perform surgical procedures on April 22. The provisional license is effective for 90 days. Before it expires, the Indiana Department of Health will conduct a full state licensure survey.
RNM sent the IDOH a follow-up asking the following questions. We never received a response:
Thank you for the response. However, in a letter to State Rep. Jake Teshka from the head of the Indiana DOH, it was stated that the license was denied due to an audit of Terminated Pregnancy Reports that showed some concern. I am actually in possession of two reports that show surgical abortions were performed prior to the new license — one which shows a maternal death. Can you please explain what is going on with these conflicting accounts?
Whole Woman’s Health announced it will cease all operations.
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