The Planned Parenthood facility in Merrillville, Ind. has been forced to suspend abortion procedures after losing its back-up doctor with admitting privileges as required by Indiana law.
Abortion doctors must maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital or have a relationship with a local doctor who can admit patients to a hospital in the same county or a surrounding county to the abortion facility. Admitting privilege laws give continuity of care for a patient in the case of a medical emergency.
In a letter dated Jul. 18, the Indiana Department of Health (ISDH) informed the Merrillville Planned Parenthood that it is prohibited from doing abortions until it finds a new back-up doctor and the appropriate paperwork is filed with the ISDH to certify the relationship between the local doctor and the abortion facility.
Indiana Right to Life is not aware of why the previous back-up doctor for Merrillville Planned Parenthood terminated his or her relationship with the facility.
“We’re pleased to see Indiana’s admitting privilege law being followed and enforced,” stated Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Admitting privilege laws are health and safety measures. In case of an emergency, admitting privileges ensure a woman is aided in the most expedient manner possible. Admitting privileges can make a life or death difference when minutes matter.
“One of Merrillville’s abortion doctors is Mandy Gittler. One only has to look back at Gittler’s record as recently as 2012 to see how quickly emergencies can arise during abortion procedures. In July 2012, Gittler did an abortion on a 24-year-old woman, Tonya Reaves, at a Chicago Planned Parenthood. According to court documents and news reports, Gittler sent Reaves to the hospital following her abortion, where the young woman was later pronounced dead in the operating room. An autopsy by the local medical examiner determined Reaves’ death was due to a perforated uterus.
“We urge any woman considering abortion in Northwest Indiana to contact one of the area’s many pregnancy resource centers. Many of these centers offer free support, including ultrasound services. We believe as long as Planned Parenthood in Merrillville is prohibited from doing abortions, more local women will choose life for their unborn children.”