Indiana aims to revoke South Bend abortion clinic’s license

Video still image of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer taken during an abortion protest in Fort Wayne in August, 1994.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — State health officials are trying to revoke a South Bend abortion clinic’s license, citing recurring violations found during inspections of the clinic.

The South Bend Tribune reported ((http://bit.ly/1vjf7HD ) Wednesday that it had obtained a complaint filed Jan. 28 by the State Department of Health that seeks to revoke the Women’s Pavilion’s operating license.

That abortion clinic is the only one in South Bend and one of only three in northern Indiana.

Indiana’s complaint cites recent and recurring violations from inspections as evidence the clinic isn’t following state laws and “is detrimental to the welfare of clinic patients.”

An October inspection cited 27 regulations the clinic did not meet, including proof of staff certification, clinic procedures and disposal of expired medication. The report also details clinic shortcomings, including that 15 out of 30 patient files showed patients were not monitored by qualified personnel other than the doctor while under conscious sedation during an abortion procedure.

Indiana’s complaint states that in December the clinic’s administrators were contacted via mail, given their first notice of noncompliance, and asked to submit a plan of correction. By Jan. 5, they had not submitted an acceptable plan, and were sent a second notice of noncompliance, it indicates.

State health department spokesman Ken Severson said the state agency has received a corrective plan drafted by the clinic, but not one that could be accepted.

Clinic manager Liam Wilde said at a Feb. 10 St. Joseph County Council meeting that clinic staff was working on complying with the inspection report. He said none of the violations put patients in any danger.

Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer performs abortions at the South Bend clinic through an agreement with a doctor with valid admitting privileges in St. Joseph County.

Clinics operated by Klopfer in Fort Wayne and Gary are licensed, but abortions are not being performed there because he doesn’t have hospital admitting privilege agreements with doctors in those counties, state records show.

Klopfer faces criminal misdemeanor charges of failing to properly report abortions on 13-year-olds in Gary and South Bend. He is scheduled to appear March 26 before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board for a hearing pertaining to a state investigation on complaints filed against his practices. He has said in the past that he found it “amazing” that a paperwork error could jeopardize his medical license.

Indiana’s other surgical abortion clinics are located in Indianapolis, Merrillville and Bloomington. A clinic in Lafayette is the state’s only one that offers only drug-induced abortions.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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