Whole Woman’s Health Alliance just became Indiana’s first abortion facility to close following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision last summer.
Since opening its doors in 2019, Whole Women’s Health Alliance (WWHA) in South Bend, Indiana, executed more than 1,100 abortions. The facility still plans to refer callers to other abortion providers and to help pay and coordinate travel for out-of-state abortions but announced on Monday that it will permanently cease personally ending unborn lives immediately due to “politically driven and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions.”
“Whole Woman’s Health has ended the lives of 1000+ preborn [H]oosiers and victimized
thousands of women since opening in 2019,” Voices for Life Executive Director Melanie Garcia
Lyon said in a statement. “This is a victory for human rights in our community.”
Lyon, who is also the Sidewalk Advocates for Life leader for the South Bend chapter, told The Federalist that the closure feels “really surreal” given all of the time her organization spent praying for it to shutter its doors and offering life-affirming resources to pregnant women outside of the facility.
“We’ve been at the facility since it opened in 2019. I was there the first day it opened in June. And we’ve had a very consistent presence at the facility whenever it’s been open we’ve had volunteers there,” she said.
Shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and the state’s Republican legislators acted swiftly to protect babies in utero except in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies, or when the mother’s life was at risk.
The pro-life law, which was supposed to take effect in September 2022, would have effectively shut down all seven of the state’s functioning abortion facilities. Instead, it was held up in courts by pro-abortion activists and organizations, including WWHA, which sent the state back to its 20-week gestation abortion limit. Despite this delay, abortions in Indiana still dropped significantly.
Nearly a year into the legal hubbub, the pro-life law is still under review by state courts, but the tide seems to be turning in favor of those protecting life in the womb.
Not only did WWHA shut down and rescind itself from the pro-abortion challenge against the state’s life-forward legislation, but rogue abortionists are also facing punishment from the state for violating state privacy laws.
In November 2022, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed an administrative action against Indiana abortionist Dr. Caitlin Bernard for failing to “uphold legal and Hippocratic responsibilities by exploiting a 10-year-old little girl’s traumatic medical story to the press for her own interests” and “immediately report the abuse and rape of a child to Indiana authorities.”
“Dr. Bernard violated the law, her patient’s trust and the standards for the medical profession when she disclosed her patient’s abuse, medical issues, and medical treatment to a reporter at an abortion rights rally to further her political agenda,” Rokita said in a statement.
The Indiana Medical Licensing Board (MLB) agreed with Rokita last month that Bernard violated state privacy laws when she disclosed the story to the Star but did not act on Rokita’s reporting failure allegations.
“Like we have said for a year, this case was about patient privacy and the trust between the doctor and patient that was broken. What if it was your child or your parent or your sibling who was going through a sensitive medical crisis, and the doctor, who you thought was on your side, ran to the press for political reasons? It’s not right, and the facts we presented today made that clear. We appreciate the Medical Licensing Board’s extraordinary time and consideration. My team did a great job getting the [t]ruth out. Caitlin Bernard was found liable for violating state and federal patient privacy law on three separate counts,” the AG’s office said in a statement after the decision.
Bernard was fined $3,000 for her malfeasance, but the MLB did not immediately say whether it would suspend her license. A source in Rokita’s office told The Federalist that the MLB has yet to issue a final order detailing “disciplinary proceedings.” The MLB still has a majority of its 90 days to issue that final order, and Bernard will have 30 days to respond.
The last time the MLB seriously punished a doctor for abortion violations came in 2016 when it stripped Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, a mass abortionist, of his license for violating several state care and reporting requirements. After Klopfer’s passing in 2019, authorities uncovered a gruesome collection of more than 2,000 fetal remains in his home.