Ulrich Klopfer who faces charges that he delayed reporting an abortion on a 13-year-old girl in South Bend, Indiana, in January 2013 and has been prevented from doing abortions as a result, faces a hearing in December and again in January.
Indiana law requires reports on abortions provided to girls younger than 14 to be submitted within three days. Klopfer submitted the report six months after the abortion, according to state records. Klopfer potentially faces a fine of $1,000 and 180 days in jail if convicted of the Class B misdemeanor.
Here’s what’s in store for the abortion practitioner:
Klopfer’s misdemeanor hearing in St. Joseph County was continued to Dec. 1 on Wednesday morning.
According to state statute, doctors performing abortions on girls younger than age 14 must report the procedure to the Indiana State Department of Health and the Department of Child Services within three days. In this particular case, Klopfer didn’t report the abortion for nearly six months.
Klopfer is also charged with the same misdemeanor in Lake County. That trial is set for Jan. 26, 2015.
On Sept. 17, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed complaints with the Indiana Medical Licensing Board against Klopfer and three other doctors who perform abortions in Indiana and asked for a hearing to be scheduled. The complaints centered on errors and omissions on terminated pregnancy reports, among other issues.
According to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board spokesman Nick Goodwin, the hearing is set for Dec. 4 in Indianapolis, but could change.
Indiana Right to Life and Lake County Right to Life obtained documentation from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) that informs Dr. Ulrich Klopfer that he cannot perform abortions because he failed to submit admitting privilege documentation as required by the new law. In a letter dated June 27 from Randall Snyder, PT, MBA of the ISDH to Klopfer of Gary’s Friendship Family Planning facility, Klopfer is told:
“This letter is to inform the above referenced clinic that it has not submitted admitting privilege documentation or agreements with the request for license renewal. While the requirement does not prevent the clinic from becoming licensed, no procedures may be performed in the clinic after June 30, 2014 until the clinic has a valid admitting privileges document or agreement per IC 16-34-2-4.5 for each physician performing procedures and the documents are/have been submitted to the Indiana State Department of Health…”
The letter also informs Klopfer of punishment if he fails to comply: “Any physician performing procedures in the clinic without the required documentation and submission to the Indiana State Department of Health is subject to the criminal actions per statute.”
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“We commend the Indiana State Department of Health for ensuring that the law is being followed,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Admitting privilege laws protect women if they experience complications after an abortion. If a woman has an emergency arise after an abortion, she can expect streamlined care when admitting privilege laws are being followed and there is a back-up physician in place.”
Fichter told LifeNews: “It is likely that Dr. Klopfer did not have legally-required admitting privileges through a back-up physician under the old law that required admitting privileges but never required proof of compliance. We’re thankful that no women, that we’re aware of, suffered a serious emergency or death while Dr. Klopfer was allegedly not complying with the law. Since Dr. Klopfer resides in Illinois, it is especially important that a physician be available to provide care should an emergency arise after an abortion.”
According to Indiana Right to Life, which emailed LifeNews.com today, the state law affecting Klopfer was included in Senate Bill 292 by Senators John Waterman (District 39) and Jim Banks (District 17) during the 2014 Indiana General Assembly session. On March 25, Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill into law. The law took effect July 1. Prior to the law’s enactment, Indiana abortion doctors were supposed to have admitting privileges, but the earlier-passed law did not require them to prove that they had privileges themselves or maintained a relationship with a back-up physician.
In addition to the Family Friendship Planning facility in Gary, Ind., Klopfer also runs abortion facilities in Fort Wayne and South Bend, Ind. Klopfer has not been able to perform abortions at his Fort Wayne location since Dec. 31, 2013 when he lost his back-up physician as required by a county ordinance. The ISDH indicates that Klopfer can continue abortions in South Bend, Ind. because he has submitted verified admitting privilege documentation for that location.
View the letter from the ISDH to Klopfer here.