An Indiana State Department of Health panel issued an order Tuesday explaining why it denied a license to an abortion facility that wants to open in South Bend.
The panel members said they agreed with the state that the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance was not open and honest in its application, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Panel members voted 2-1 on Nov. 28 to deny the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) a license to open a new abortion facility. This decision overturned an Indiana judge’s “recommended order” to give the license to the group in September.
Panel member Richard Martin, D.D.S. and Chairperson Brian K. Lowe, an administrative law judge, were the two members who voted against the license, according to the report. Executive Board member Joanne Martin was the dissenting vote.
The WWHA is a Texas-based organization that prides itself on providing “reproductive care,” namely abortion and “advocacy to eradicate abortion stigma,” according to the organization’s website. The planned abortion clinic would offer medication-induced abortions up to ten weeks of pregnancy.
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The panel argued that WWHA, which was founded by abortion activist Amy Hagstrom Miller, is affiliated with her for-profit abortion clinics and management company, which have similar names. The panel then argued that records for those entities should have been included in the application.
Furthermore, the records were requested after the department received feedback from state legislators about potential health and safety issues the clinic could have. The Whole Woman’s Health Alliance clinics in Texas have a history of violating safety laws on multiple occasions.
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.
WWHA’s management company, Whole Woman’s Health, was the group involved in the 2016 Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that struck down part of a Texas abortion clinic regulations law.
The abortion group has up to 30 days to appeal the panel’s order.