Fort Wayne OKs Measure Requiring Abortion Practitioners to Notify Local Hospital

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fort Wayne OKs Measure Requiring Abortion Practitioners to Notify Local Hospital

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5
, 2010

Fort Wayne, IN ( — A county commission in Indiana has approved a landmark measure that could eventually be seen in other states that helps limit abortions. The three-member governing body in Allen County approved an ordinance cracking down on botched abortions that injure women.

Because so many women suffer from botched abortions that require immediate follow-up medical care, the Fort Wayne, Indiana county commission approved what it said is a needed ordinance.

It requires any abortion practitioners coming to Fort Wayne from out of town to inform a local hospital because they would not have proper admitting privileges to admit women who ware victimized.

Fort Wayne officials had hoped to pass an ordinance that would require any abortion practitioners operating in the county to have admitting privileges at a local hospital so they can admit patients who are victimized by failed abortions.

They backed down when the state legislature looked at a bill to require that, but when the measure failed they moved ahead with a more limited proposal.

With the Indiana legislature not acting on the legislation, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters move forward.

“It’s intended to enhance patient safety, and perhaps now the state will have to get involved,” he told the News-Sentinel newspaper previously.

Cathie Humbarger, executive director of the Allen County Right to Life Committee, told the paper her group supports the new measure.

“The best way to do this would be at the state level,” Humbarger said, “but if not, we’re thrilled it’s happening at the local level. That’s government at its finest.”

When the measure came up in August 2008, it came about because of problems with doctors having to take care of patients seen by out-of-state abortion practitioner George Klopfer at the Fort Wayne Women’s Health Organization.

He also does abortions in South Bend and Gary and physicians have had to care for patients who have been injured by the abortions and required hospitalizations.

Dr. Geoff Cly, a Fort Wayne gynecologist who has treated several of Klopfer’s patients after failed abortions, told the Fort Wayne newspaper at the time the bill is needed.

"I’m disappointed because patients are being harmed and the powers that be aren’t taking action to protect the women," Cly said. "How can we hold him accountable like the rest of surgeons? Admission privileges are one way. If anyone has any other ways, let me know."

The bill came after Vanderburgh County approved a local measure in 2008 making sure abortion practitioners there have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

In other states where the proposal has gained traction, it has resulted in shutting down abortion centers that can’t provide medical care for women in botched abortions.

Legislative attempts in 2007 and 2008 to enact statewide hospital admitting privileges requirements for doctors performing abortions were approved in the Indiana Senate with overwhelming numbers only to be defeated in the Indiana House by hostile committee assignments.

According to Americans United for Life, a national pro-life group that promotes state legislation, abortion practitioners in eleven states are required to maintain local hospital admitting privileges.

These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The Vanderburgh County ordinance is thought to be the first locally-passed ordinance addressing the issue.

Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life –

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