The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear another pro-life case Thursday involving Indiana and an abortion business’s attempts to open a new facility in South Bend.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked the high court to hear the case after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals forced the state to allow Whole Woman’s Health to open last year, ABC 57 News reports.
Hill argued that the federal order allowing the abortion facility to operate without a license was unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court declined to hear his petition. The decision means the abortion facility can continue to abort unborn babies while its lawsuit against the state moves forward in court.
“We are very disappointed in the court’s denial of Indiana’s licensing appeal …” Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter said. “We are very thankful for the relentless effort Attorney General Curtis Hill has given to defending Indiana’s pro-life laws in the courts.”
Indiana authorities and the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance have been battling over the abortion group’s license for three years. The alliance is closely linked with a Texas-based abortion chain that has amassed dozens of health and safety violations at its other abortion facilities.
The Indiana State Department of Health denied the abortion facility a license after it said Whole Woman’s Health provided inaccurate information on its license application. The abortion chain appealed, arguing that the state abortion clinic regulations are unnecessarily burdensome and unconstitutional.
Because arguments in the lawsuit are not scheduled until August, the abortion group also asked a court to grant it a temporary, “emergency” order to open without a license, the South Bend Tribune reported previously. A federal judge did so in May 2019, and the abortion facility began aborting unborn babies last summer in South Bend.
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Hill criticized the judge for putting abortions ahead of women’s health.
“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 after the 2019 ruling. “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.”
He said states require licenses for medical facilities to protect patients.
“Criminal and civil penalties can only punish violations of the law after they occur,” Hill said. “Licensing makes violations less likely to happen in the first place. … Requiring abortion clinics to be licensed facilities is entirely reasonable and constitutional.”
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. The abortion chain also failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment at many of its Texas facilities, according to state inspection reports. 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 Indiana 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.”
Tens of thousands of pro-life advocates and lawmakers have sent the strong message that they do not want another abortion business in their state. U.S. Congresswoman Jacki Walorski, of Indiana, sent a letter to the state department to express her concerns in 2017 soon after learning the news.
“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.”
In 2017, the abortion group applied for a license to open a new facility at 3511 Lincoln Way W., an old chiropractic clinic. It aborts unborn babies in the first trimester.
South Bend, the home of Notre Dame University, did not have an abortion facility for about four years. In 2015, former abortionist Ulrich Klopfer was forced to close in the city after being charged with 1,833 abortion violations, including failures to report rapes of young teenage girls to authorities. After Klopfer died in 2019, authorities found the bodies of 2,411 aborted babies on his personal property.