July 25, 2017

Admitting Privilege Anti-Abortion Law Closes Northwest Clinic

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Lakeshore Public Media

Lakeshore Public Media

A Planned Parenthood clinic in northwest Indiana has halted abortions because of a state law that involves doctors’ admitting privileges marking the first time the state has used the law to stop services.

In a letter earlier this month the Indiana State Department of Health told the Merrillville Planned Parenthood to stop performing abortions because a doctor with admitting privileges had ended their relationship with the clinic.

State law requires all abortion clinics to have an agreement with at least one doctor who has admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Indiana’s physician admitting law went into effect two years ago and Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter says it provides continuity of care.

“We’re really pleased that the state is taking this health and safety law seriously,” Fichter says.

The halt at Merrillville clinic in northwest Indiana means Hoosier women only have access to abortion services at five clinics in three counties. There are nine centers in the Chicago area that provide abortions.

Planned Parenthood has called the law restrictive because it makes it more difficult to hire doctors. In a statement, president and CEO Christie Gillespie says the organization is confident it will once again provide abortion care at the Merrillville center soon.

The location is still open and providing family planning and pre-lab services.

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