United States Supreme Court remands Indiana ultrasound, parental notification appeals to Seventh Circuit; cert denied in South Bend abortion clinic licensing appeal

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The United States Supreme Court today took action on three Indiana appeals over abortion-related cases.

In two separate Indiana appeals, the Court granted a writ of certiorari. The judgments in these two cases are vacated and both remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for further consideration in light of the June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo decision issued Monday.

One of the cases involves Indiana law requiring the notification of parents when a minor daughter seeks a judicial bypass to have an abortion. This law is blocked by the Seventh Circuit.

The second case, involves Indiana law requiring that women seeking abortions be given the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn baby at least 18 hours prior to an abortion. This law is also blocked by the Seventh Circuit.

In a third appeal, the Court denied cert in a case involving the licensing of the Whole Women’s Health Association abortion clinic in South Bend. The denial of cert means the South Bend abortion clinic can continue to operate as its suit against multiple Indiana pro-life laws goes forward in the courts. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill argued a federal judge’s order allowing the clinic to operate without a state license is unconstitutional.

“We are very disappointed in the Court’s denial of Indiana’s licensing appeal, but are cautiously optimistic that the ultrasound and parental notification appeals will find success in the Seventh Circuit”, states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “We are very thankful for the relentless effort Attorney General Curtis Hill has given to defending Indiana’s pro-life laws in the courts.”

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Four hundred fewer children aborted in Indiana in 2019 according to new Indiana Department of Health report

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Four hundred fewer children were aborted in Indiana in 2019 compared to 2018, according to the Indiana Terminated Pregnancy Report 2019 released yesterday by the Indiana State Department of Health. The report shows 7,637 abortions in 2019, a 5% decrease from the 8,037 abortions reported in 2018. The drop in abortions ends a two-year period of increases in Indiana and is the lowest total abortions reported in Indiana since 2016.
The new report shows chemical abortions continue to rise in Indiana, with 44% of abortions now being reported as “medical” (41% in 2018) with 56% being reported as surgical (59% in 2018). The report also reveals the continuation of a disproportionately high percentage of abortions on Black/African-American women, comprising just under 32% of abortions in Indiana, while dropping slightly among Latino/Hispanic women.
Planned Parenthood remains by far the largest abortion business in Indiana with 57% of abortions. Whole Women’s Health, allowed to open in South Bend without a license through the order of a federal judge in 2019, reported 138 abortions. Marion County reported the most abortions at 5,669 followed by Lake County at 994 abortions and Monroe County at 816 abortions.  Tippecanoe County showed a large drop in abortions from 196 in 2018 to 20 in 2019, likely due to the lack of an abortion doctor working in that county for most of 2019.
Eskenazi Hospital reported 34 abortions, while Indiana University Health Methodist reported 17 abortions and Indiana University Health North Hospital reported 1 abortion.
Non-Indiana resident abortions dropped by 156 in 2019.
“While we cannot specifically point to any one reason why abortion numbers dropped overall in 2019, we are encouraged in knowing that 400 fewer children were aborted in Indiana last year. That’s the equivalent of an entire graduating class in many Indiana high schools,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. ““Yet our hearts are still broken knowing that 7,637 children were denied the right to be born, and an untold number of women now bear the physical, emotional and spiritual burdens of those abortion decisions. Meanwhile, abortion businesses in Indiana continue to enjoy a multi million-dollar revenue stream at the expense of innocent babies. The lives of all unborn children matter. We will continue to work for the day when not a single abortion is done in our state.”
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Bill underscores the humanity of each aborted baby, requires abortion clinics to fully inform women considering drug-induced abortions

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Right to Life applauds today’s passage of Senate Bill 299 by the Indiana House as a critical step in underscoring the humanity of each aborted baby while detailing what abortion clinics must tell women considering abortion about Indiana’s humane final disposition law.  The bill passed by a vote of 78-13. The bill will now move to Governor Eric Holcomb for his consideration.
A key component of the bill is a requirement that abortion clinics must inform pregnant women considering abortion-inducing drugs that, following the abortion, there will be the expulsion of an aborted baby. Abortion clinics must also allow women to return aborted babies for humane disposition by interment or cremation.
The bill also requires that abortion clinics maintain a log for each aborted baby. This log must include the date of the abortion, whether the abortion was surgical or induced by an abortion inducing drug, and whether a funeral director will be retrieving the aborted baby. In the event of a chemically induced abortion, the log must identify whether the pregnant woman will cremate or inter the aborted baby, or whether she will return the aborted baby to the abortion facility for cremation or interment.
The bill also requires that any contracts between abortion clinics and crematoriums or funeral homes must be made available for review by the state, and that copies of any burial transit permits must be kept in a permanent file. In addition, any entity receiving aborted babies for interment or cremation must confirm that the total number of aborted babies match the information contained in the burial transit and accompanying log. This section in particular will help prevent any Klopfer-like situations from ever happening again in Indiana.
“The fact that this bill addresses the humane final disposition of aborted babies underscores the humanity of each one of them,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “Indiana’s current humane final disposition law, as upheld by the Supreme Court, contains grey areas we believe abortion clinics use to keep women in the dark, especially when it comes to drug-induced abortions. This bill addresses these areas and makes sure women get all the facts, including the reality that a drug-induced abortion will result in an aborted baby. We will continue working for a day when no child is aborted in Indiana. Until that day comes, this bill will make sure these children are never again treated like common medical waste in our state.”
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2,411 Aborted Babies To Receive Humane Final Burial On Wednesday in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, IN – The Indiana Office of Attorney General announced today that the 2,411 aborted babies discovered on the property of late abortionist Dr. Ulrich Klopfer will be memorialized at a burial service this Wednesday, February 12, at Southlawn Cemetery in South Bend.  The service will commence at 1 p.m. EST.  Attorney General Curtis Hill will offer remarks on behalf of the State of Indiana.

“This is a heartbreaking reminder that the world lost something of enormous value when these little lives were cut short by abortion,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.  “We pray that the dignified and humane burial of these children is not the end of their story, but will serve as a constant reminder why we must always speak up when the God-given value of human life is denied.”

Indiana law, recently upheld by the United States Supreme Court, requires the humane burial or cremation of babies aborted in Indiana.  Prior to enforcement of the 2016 law, aborted babies in Indiana, as in most states today, were discarded as common medical waste.

“We are grateful but saddened for this opportunity to mourn for the lives lost and the families broken by the violence of abortion. This is a tangible reminder of the inhumanity and horror of the abortion industry. Abortion is the ultimate form of dehumanization; it poisons, dismembers, and kills the most innocent among us,” states Right to Life of Michiana Executive Director Jackie Appleman. “We are burying 2,411 human remains; we are not burying 2,411 ‘missed periods’, ‘pregnancy tissue’, or ‘uterine contents’.”

For those unable to attend on Wednesday, Right to Life Michiana, Right to Life Northeast Indiana, and Lake County Right to Life will host a memorial service at Southlawn Cemetery on Sunday, February 23rd at 3:00 pm..

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Statement on breaking reports of over 2,000 fetal remains found on personal property of deceased Indiana abortion doctor

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter issued this statement tonight following news reports that over 2,000 preserved fetal remains were reportedly found on the property of a recently deceased doctor who did abortions in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne.

“We are horrified by the reports of over 2,000 fetal remains being found on the property of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, a man who operated abortion facilities in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne.  These sickening reports underscore why the abortion industry must be held to the highest scrutiny. We are calling on Indiana authorities to join in the investigation to determine if these fetal remains have any connection to abortion operations, or personnel, in Indiana.”
Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

Right to Life Groups to Host Rally Protesting Unlicensed Abortion Business

South Bend, IN- On Saturday, June 15 at 1:00 PM, St. Joseph County Right to Life, with several state and national partners, will host the “Rally for Life” in response to Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling allowing an unlicensed abortion business to operate in South Bend. The rally takes place at St. John the Baptist Catholic School soccer field. Event details can be found at https://www.prolifemichiana.org/june-15th-rally.
The rally will feature national speakers Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists, Eric Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League, Mark Harrington of Created Equal, Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation, and Lily Hutkowski of Students for Life.

“Judge Evans Barker’s ruling undermines state authority and threatens Hoosier moms and families,” St. Joseph County Right to Life Executive Director Jackie Appleman said. “We’re calling on people of good sense around the state to join us in standing against this abuse to human rights and states’ rights.”

“Join us on June 15 to stand up for women and babies in South Bend,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Judge Evans Barker’s decision to side with abortion operators will put Hoosier women at risk and lead to the deaths of hundreds of unborn children. If abortions begin without the operators having a license, Hoosiers will have no way to know if the business is complying with health and safety rules or not.”

On May 31, Evans Barker of of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana issued an injunction in favor of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA). Her decision will allow WWHA to dispense abortion drugs without any oversight to ensure health and safety rules are being met. Learn more at www.irtl.org/judge-sides-with-south-bend-abortion-operators-puts-women-at-risk.

St. Joseph County Right to Life, Inc. is dedicated to the social welfare by promoting life through outreach, education and advocacy. It is the oldest, continuously active pro-life organization in St. Joseph County, and is the central organization representing pro-life interests. Its goal is to protect all human life – from fertilization to natural death.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Hill Appeals Federal Judge’s Ruling on South Bend Abortion Facility

ag curtis hill
INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed an appeal to federal judge Sarah Evans Barker’s May 31 ruling that allows Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) to begin doing abortions in South Bend.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Attorney General Hill for defending the unborn and their mothers,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “If WWHA starts doing abortions without a license, women will be at risk in South Bend. We’re grateful to Attorney General Hill for standing up to this activist court ruling.”

Hill stated, “Criminal and civil penalties can only punish violations of the law after they occur. Licensing makes violations less likely to happen in the first place. This is precisely why states have licensed the legal and medical professions since the mid-19th century. Requiring abortion clinics to be licensed facilities is entirely reasonable and constitutional. For that matter, it’s the very least we should do to protect the health of women and unborn children.”

Read Indiana Right to Life’s statement on Evan Barker’s May 31 ruling.  

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

Judge Sides with South Bend Abortion Operators, Puts Women at Risk

tiny baby in hand
INDIANAPOLIS –  On May 31, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) won an injunction from a federal judge allowing it to begin doing abortions in South Bend without a state license. Indiana Right to Life urges the state to appeal the injunction.

“Judge Barker’s decision to side with the abortion operators will put Hoosier women at risk and lead to the deaths of hundreds of unborn children,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “We expect WWHA will now open without an abortion license, meaning Hoosiers have no way to know if they are complying with health and safety rules or not. Judge Barker’s decision is another example of a court trampling states’ rights when it comes to any measure that protects life. “

On Apr. 22, Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana heard arguments from the Texas-based abortion chain, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance.

In a letter, the state of Indiana’s initial denial of an abortion license for WWHA said, “Based upon the Department’s review, the Commissioner finds WWHA failed to meet the requirement that the Applicant is of reputable and responsible character and the supporting documentation provided inaccurate statements and information.”
 

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.
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