An unlicensed abortion clinic is now operating in South Bend, Indiana, with the approval of pro-abortion presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
The Chicago Tribune reports Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend began doing abortions on June 27 after a federal judge gave it permission to open without a license.
The state and the Whole Woman’s Health have been battling over the license for almost two years. The South Bend facility is closely linked with a Texas-based abortion chain that has amassed dozens of health and safety violations at its other abortion clinics.
Indiana health officials denied the group a license in 2017, saying it was not of “reputable and responsible character” and did not disclose information about additional abortion clinics. However, the abortion group sued, and a federal judge ruled in May that it may open without a license.
Since June 27, the facility has been aborting unborn babies up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, averaging about 10 a week, according to the report.
Ignoring serious concerns about women’s safety, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend and a Democratic candidate for president, fully supports the unlicensed clinic.
Here’s more from the report:
The clinic’s tenuous survival has been championed by South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, whose national campaign includes a pro-reproductive rights platform.
“The mayor is deeply concerned by what he views as a new and extreme assault on Roe v. Wade in legislatures across the country,” said national press secretary Chris Meagher. “He believes that the truly radical idea in this debate and around abortion care is one of banning abortion outright. The South Bend clinic would be the only one for a radius of several counties. It is a restriction on a woman’s right if she is low-income, or doesn’t have a vehicle, and she has to visit multiple times, but the clinic is dozens of miles away.”
However, state health officials said they are “deeply” troubled by the potential dangers of an unlicensed abortion facility. A spokesman for Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill told the Tribune that they have not given up their efforts to enforce the regulations and protect women and babies.
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Hill previously accused the judge of putting abortion ahead of women’s safety.
“This federal judge seems to believe that every large city in the state is entitled to its own abortion clinic,” Hill said in a statement. “She further seems to think that state licensing requirements must give way whenever a clinic proposes to open in a city without one. The U.S. Supreme Court has never even remotely implied that such a rule exists.”
Buttigieg’s abortion advocacy does not end there. In 2018, he vetoed a zoning request from a local pregnancy resource center that provides free resources to mothers and babies in need.
The Women’s Care Center requested a re-zoning measure to open next door to the abortion facility. The city council approved the measure, but Buttigieg listened to the abortion facility instead and vetoed it.
Later, the pro-life pregnancy center acquired a different property across the street that did not require re-zoning. It opened on July 20, according to the report.
Now, abortion activists in South Bend are trying to thwart pro-lifers’ efforts to help mothers by drowning out sidewalk counselors with sound machines, the Tribune reports. Staff at Whole Woman’s Health said they also have trained more than 50 people to help block women from the sidewalk counselors.
Local pro-life volunteer Janet Hernandez is one of their targets. She stands in the heat and rain to offer women information and support.
“We’re not here to beat them up, we’re here to let them know they have a choice — but to help them make the right choice, the best choice,” she told the newspaper. “I know women who have had abortions who still think about their abortion babies. This is not your only choice.”
In 2018, 8,037 unborn babies were aborted in Indiana, up from 7,778 in 2017, according to state health department. With the new unlicensed abortion facility now in operation, those numbers may increase again next year.
In late 2017, pro-life advocates learned that the abortion chain planned to open a new abortion facility in South Bend. Whole Woman’s Health – which is very closely linked to Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (abortion activist Amy Hagstrom Miller runs both) – has a shoddy reputation, including dozens of health and safety violations at its Texas facilities.
Health inspection reports show numerous problems with sterilizing and disinfecting instruments that were used on multiple women. State inspectors also found rusty spots on suction machines that had the “likelihood to cause infection” and other issues that put women’s health in jeopardy.
These violations may have influenced Indiana state officials’ decision. According to the state Department of Health, “Based upon the Department’s review, the Commissioner finds WWHA failed to meet the requirement that the Applicant is of reputable and responsible character and the supporting documentation provided inaccurate statements and information.”