Apparently acting under the mistaken belief that state law regulates medication abortions, Indiana Right to Life asked the state’s attorney general on Monday to investigate a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette, accusing them of carrying out more than 100 illegal abortions.
Indiana’s Department of Health licenses and inspects facilities where surgical abortions are carried out, but the Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette does not carry such a license. Despite this fact, the state agency recently published a report which claims 114 abortions were carried out at the Lafayette clinic from 2010-2011.
What that report failed to note are the types of abortions performed, leading Indiana Right to Life to declare: “Abortions are occurring at Planned Parenthood in Lafayette, Ind., despite the fact that the facility is not inspected or licensed as required of other Indiana abortion clinics by law.”
However, Planned Parenthood in Lafayette does not carry out surgical abortions. They dispense prescription medication known as RU-486, which induces a miscarriage up to 48 hours later. A follow-up pill, prostaglandin, is usually taken afterward to complete the process. Indiana clinics that enable women to obtain an abortion through medication are not required to undergo a state inspection or carry an abortion license.
“Planned Parenthood may believe they are doing young women a service by performing abortions near Purdue University, but it’s appalling that they have skirted the state law requiring abortion clinics to be licensed and inspected,” Cera McCarragher, an anti-abortion activist at Purdue University, said in a media advisory. “How can my peers know that this facility meets even the basic health standards if it has never been licensed or inspected?”
The group’s president, Mike Fichter, added: “Our request stems from concern that women’s health and safety may be in jeopardy due to the fact that these abortions are occurring in a facility that is not inspected or licensed as other abortion clinics are required to do by law.”
“The Lafayette health center meets all requirements of facilities that provide medication abortion,” Planned Parenthood of Indiana replied in prepared text. “Indiana law addresses surgical abortion facilities only, so the Lafayette facility is not covered under that law.”
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office did not immediately respond to the group’s inquiry.
This video is from WLFI.com, broadcast Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.