A Texas-based abortion chain notorious for failed health and safety inspections is trying to convince an Indiana community that it needs abortions.
The South Bend Tribune reports the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance recently bought billboards, radio spots and online ads around South Bend to push its plan to open an abortion business there.
In January, state health officials denied a license to the abortion chain, because it “failed to meet the requirement that the Applicant is of reputable and responsible character” and “provided inaccurate statements and information.”
The abortion group appealed on Jan. 22, but an appeal hearing has not been scheduled yet, the AP reports.
In the mean time, the abortion group is trying to persuade the community to accept its abortion business plan.
“Women in South Bend need abortion care without shame or stigma,” reads one of its billboards on Indiana 23 near the University of Notre Dame.
Fatimah Gifford, a spokesperson for the abortion group, said they hope to educate the community about the “quality abortion care” that they plan to provide. They want to do chemical abortions up to 10 weeks of pregnancy in Indiana.
“Women and families everywhere need access to abortion care without shame and stigma and this campaign highlights these positive messages about who we are,” Gifford said. “We will take a bold stance to advocate and educate the South Bend community on what abortion stigma and restrictions do to women.”
But the record of Whole Woman’s Health is anything but “quality.”
It has racked up dozens of health and safety violations at its Texas facilities. Health inspection reports show numerous problems with sterilizing and disinfecting instruments that were used from woman to woman. The abortion chain also failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment at many of its Texas facilities, according to the state inspection reports. State inspectors also found rusty spots on suction machines that had the “likelihood to cause infection” and other issues that put patients in jeopardy.
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Here’s more from the Tribune:
Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, suspects a misunderstanding caused the health department to reject the application for the clinic. Though she is optimistic the appeal will be successful, she hopes the process won’t take long to resolve.
“If you ask me what I think is reasonable, it would have been to get a license when we applied for it,” Hagstrom Miller said.
“What motivated us is the multiple denials we’ve experienced with not just the license, but with how challenging it was to get the (building) lease and our contractors, and the harassment we got from the media and anti-abortion folks,” she said. “We want to shift the shame and stigma around abortion. … We feel that a culture shift can be done really well through education in the community.”
The South Bend community is sending back a strong message that it does not want an abortion facility there.
WSBT reports many people have pro-life signs in their yards opposing the abortion business.
“What we are embracing is the philosophy of love them both – the mother and the child. We embrace non-violent solutions to crisis pregnancies,” said Kate Adams, a resident of South Bend.
Saint Joseph County Right to Life has been a local leader in the effort, distributing petitions, yard signs and information about the abortion chain’s plans to open in the community.
In the past few months, Indiana Right to Life also generated more than 36,000 emails from concerned citizens who oppose the abortion business.
Female lawmakers also have been advocating against the new abortion facility. U.S. Congresswoman Jacki Walorski, a Republican from Indiana, sent a letter to the state department in October to express her concerns.
“Indiana and its leaders have worked hard to make meaningful strides to combat the rate of abortions within the state,” Walorski wrote. “These crucial gains in protecting the sanctity of life would be undermined should the application receive the state’s approval.”
South Bend, the home of Notre Dame University, has not had an abortion facility since 2015 when abortionist Ulrich Klopfer was forced to close. He faced 1,833 alleged abortion violations, including failures to report rapes of teen girls to authorities.