Health department panel denies South Bend abortion clinic license
South Bend remains abortion-free
An appeals panel voted against the licensing of a potential South Bend abortion clinic on November 28th. The hearing took place after the license, sought by the nonprofit Whole Woman’s Health Alliance in August of 2017, was first rejected by the state health department. The nonprofit appealed, and administrative law judge Claire Deitchman made a recommendation in their favor.
The three-member panel then voted 2-1 against the clinic, however, reversing Deitchman’s ruling; though as the health department, as quoted in the South Bend Tribune noted, “this process is likely to continue”.
There is not, at present, any evident statement from the nonprofit regarding the decision, though on their blog the day before the decision, they stated that “the Alliance continues to fight political attacks against the quality care we know women need and deserve”.
Much of the evidence considered in the decision surrounded the lack of information disclosed by the organization about affiliate clinics. (Whole Woman’s Health Alliance currently operates two other clinics: one in Austin, and one in Charlottesville.)
Notre Dame Right to Life president Sadie Facile commented on the decision, saying: “Right To Life is grateful for the decision of the Indiana state health department in recognizing that abortion is not a healthcare service needed in this community. We will, however, continue to pray, serve, and advocate for pregnant women, especially those seeking an abortion, that they are to have the resources they need to carry out the pregnancy. We will also keep working to remind society that we are responsible for creating a world where abortion is unthinkable, because any needs a mother has would be met by the community around her with deep love and compassion.”
Facile also pointed to the Women’s Care Center in South Bend as an organization committed to helping expecting mothers, noting that this very Saturday, “[RTL & the Women’s Care Center] are having a baby shower for four moms in the area who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have one”. The WCC describes itself on it’s website as an organization which “provides free, confidential counseling, support and education to women facing unplanned pregnancies.”
The Women’s Care Center also has plans to open a new location in South Bend, across the street from the proposed site of the WWHA clinic.
Editor’s Note: Much of the information in this article was gathered from the South Bend Tribune’s reporting on the issue.