NewsPublic Affairs / November 28, 2018

South Bend Abortion Clinic Barred From License By State Panel

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
South Bend Abortion Clinic Barred From License By State Panel

A South Bend abortion clinic is still barred from opening after an Indiana State Department of Health panel reversed an administrative judge’s earlier ruling.

Whole Woman’s Health Alliance applied for a license more than a year ago. The state denied that application. It said the Alliance didn’t provide necessary information about its other clinics around the country.

But the Alliance argued before an administrative judge in August those other clinics aren’t affiliated with the Alliance. And the judge agreed, overturning the state’s denial.

A three-person appeals panel at the Department of Health reversed that decision Wednesday in a 2-1 vote. 

The panel is made up of State Department of Health administrative law judge Brian Lowe and two department executive board members, Joanne Martin (an appointee of Gov. Eric Holcomb) and Richard Martin (an appointee of former Gov. Mike Pence).

The panel members wouldn't say how they voted and didn't provide an explanation for the decision. All that information will be made public in the coming days, when the panel releases its official order.

Whole Woman's Health Alliance Midwest advocacy director Sharon Lau says the panel’s ruling is part of an overall attack by the state on women’s health care.

“We’re not going to give up and we will be pursuing all of our legal options to continue moving forward to provide that health care,” Lau says.

The next step would be an appeal – within 30 days – for judicial review in a Marion County court.

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