Indiana will not renew license of South Bend abortion facility whose doctor did not report statutory rape on time
SOUTH BEND, IN, July 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Indiana has decided not to renew a controversial South Bend abortion facility’s license after allegations of substandard medical practices and the failure to report statutory rape in accordance with state law.
Abortion provider Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer and the Women’s Pavilion appealed the denial last month and have a hearing scheduled before an administrative law judge in November.
Klopfer is himself under review by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board after being investigated by the Indiana Attorney General's office. The move was triggered by thousands of complaints from state and local pro-life advocates, who say they discovered irregularities after combing through public health documents.
The board denied the abortionist's motion for summary judgment last month, which means it will hear evidence pertaining to his alleged violations.
A decision on whether Klopfer gets to keep his medical license is likely by the end of the year.
Should the November appeal for the Women’s Pavilion license renewal fail, it will be the third of Klopfer’s abortion facilities to be closed in northern Indiana. Klopfer’s Fort Wayne abortion facility closed in December 2013, and his Gary facility closed this May.
The Women’s Pavilion will be able to continue operating in South Bend until the November hearing, an Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) spokesman said.
The ISDH cited a "history of non-compliance, ongoing non-compliance, untimely and unacceptable plans of correction and pending license revocation" in a June 26 letter to Klopfer informing him of the denial after a recommendation from the state’s Abortion Licensing Program.
The letter mentioned a June 3 inspection, when examiners discovered evidence of chemical abortions taking place without an 18-hour waiting period, a violation of state law.
"The program believes these deficiencies provide further evidence of the clinic's inability to comply with and follow existing state law and that such behavior is an intentional and willful act," it stated, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Indiana pro-life advocates praised the state’s decision to deny renewal of the abortion facility’s license.
"We are pleased the Indiana State Department of Health denied a renewed license for Dr. Klopfer's South Bend facility,” Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter said. “We regret that women's health and safety will be on the line until November when a judge determines the fate of Dr. Klopfer's license, but we are optimistic that the judge will shut his facility down."
The ISDH had filed complaints with an administrative law judge to revoke the Women’s Pavilion abortion facility twice this year, in January and in June. A decision on those complaints is expected in November, as well.
Responding to the State’s June 29 complaint for revocation against the Women’s Pavilion, St. Joseph County Right to Life said the state’s action validated years of the pro-life group’s concerns. It had monitoring the abortion facility for decades and filed numerous complaints to both local and state during that time.
“The inordinate number of code violations for this facility is incredible, as has been the pattern year in and year out,” the group said. “After allowing his license to lapse in his resident state of Illinois in 1990, for more than 25 years Dr. Klopfer has gotten away with maintaining substandard clinic conditions and not adhering to a normative standard of medical care that is customary in St. Joseph County. This translates to a clear danger for women who are seeking abortions in South Bend.”