State denies application for South Bend abortion clinic

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A Texas-based nonprofit was denied an Indiana license to open a non-surgical abortion clinic in South Bend.

Whole Woman’s Health Alliance said Wednesday it would appeal the decision and disputed the state health commissioner’s claims that it failed to provide requested information to support its application.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, issued a statement saying the Indiana State Department of Health’s “denial of our application is very unfortunate, and we are disappointed by what seems to be a misunderstanding on their part.”

“For nearly 5 months, we have complied with every single request from the ISDH and have worked directly with them to ensure that we would soon be able to provide quality care to the women and families of South Bend,” Miller said.

Indiana Health Commissioner Kristina Box, in a letter dated Jan. 3, noted her agency had requested the nonprofit list all of the abortion and health facilities it operates but said it “failed to disclose, concealed, or omitted information.” The letter did not provide specifics.

Box wrote that the license was denied because the nonprofit “failed to meet the requirement that the applicant is of reputable and responsible character and the supporting documentation provided inaccurate statements or information.”

Box’s letter said the nonprofit had until Jan. 23 to appeal the decision.

Whole Women’s Health operates clinics in eight cities across the country, but the South Bend clinic would be its first in Indiana.

Indiana legislators in recent years have passed laws making it more difficult for clinics to perform abortions. A longtime clinic in South Bend closed after the state revoked Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s license in 2015. Another clinic in Gary closed that same year.

The nearest abortion providers to South Bend are currently in Merrillville and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Abortion opponent Indiana Right to Life issued a statement saying it generated over 36,000 emails against the license.

“We will remain vigilant in this matter should an appeal to the license denial be attempted,” said the group’s president and CEO, Mike Fichter.

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