Local abortion clinic staying open to support women despite Indiana’s near-total abortion ban

NOW: Local abortion clinic staying open to support women despite Indiana’s near-total abortion ban

NEXT:

SOUTH BEND, Ind., --- Despite Indiana’s near total abortion ban passed during a special session last month that includes narrow exceptions, 95% percent of all abortions statewide could end as of Thursday. This is why Whole Woman’s Health, a South Bend abortion clinic, said they reversed course and are now staying to support women.

“We want to be crystal clear about one thing. We’re not closing and Whole Health Alliance is not leaving Indiana,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, the President & CEO of Whole Woman’s Health.

Indiana’s new abortion law, set to go into effect September 15,makes the state the first in the country to approve new abortion restrictions since Roe V. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court on June 24.

The new law blocks abortion clinics like Whole Woman’s Health from providing any abortion care, leaving it solely up to hospitals or outpatient surgical centers owned by hospitals.

The law also only allows abortions in cases of rape and incest before 10 weeks if they’re medically necessary to save the mother’s life or if the fetus is diagnosed with a fatal birth defect.

Changes Whole Woman's Health believe will be detrimental to Hoosier women.

“I, we have seen firsthand the desperation and destruction that results when rights or access are taken away,” said Dr. Meera Shah, Medical Director at the clinic. “As always these harms will fall hardest on people of color, immigrants, the economically disadvantaged and other marginalized communities.”

But local Pro-Life organization Right to Life of Michiana said despite the clinic staying open, they're hopeful about the new law and what it means for the community.

“Whole Women’s Health is now fighting to assist women elsewhere. We believe women can get all the help they need right here in our community without turning to abortion,” explained Antonio Marchi, the Executive Director of Right to Life Michiana. “Although SEA 1 is not an abortion ban we are encouraged by the thought it could eliminate up to 95% of abortions in our state.”

Although Whole Woman’s Health will no longer be allowed to perform their typical abortion services, they said they’ll continue to provide care for women in any way they legally can.

“We will continue to provide patients with counseling on a full range of options available to them. And our Wayfinder program can help people who need abortion care to any of our four other clinics and we can help people access abortion with pills by mail in several states including Illinois.”

“Our message to Governor Holcomb and the legislators who enacted this disastrous law, the fight is far from over and you will not prevail,” added Hagstrom Miller.

Any medical provider who performs an illegal abortion could lose their medical license.

Right to Life of Michiana will be holding an all-day prayer vigil next Thursday from 9-3 pm.

Information about the new abortion law can be found here.

Information about Right to Life of Michiana can be found here.

Information on Whole Woman’s Health can be found here.

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