Indiana RTL claims Lafayette abortion clinic operating without license
By Dave Andrusko
Indiana Right to Life is asking for a “thorough investigation” of an abortion clinic which it says is operating without a required license.
At a press conference held yesterday and in a letter sent to Attorney General Greg Zoller, Indiana RTL says that Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s Lafayette office performed 36 abortions in 2010 and 78 in 2011.
That the Layette office was performing abortions came to light when statistics for 2010 and 2011 were released and Tippecanoe County was listed as a “county of occurrence” for a total of 114 abortions in 2010-2011 for the first time.
“We referenced that with the State Department of Health’s list of licensed and regulated abortion centers,” said Right to Life of Indiana Legislative Director Sue Swayze, “and there was nothing licensed or listed for Tippecanoe County or Lafayette.”
In his letter to Zoeller, Indiana RTL President Mike Fichter said, “We have additional learned through a public information request that all abortions reported in Tippecanoe country have occurred at Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s Lafayette office.”
Planned Parenthood’s response to NewsChannel 18 was the Lafayette office didn’t need a license because it performed “medical” [RU486], not surgical abortions. A Planned Parenthood statement read, “The Lafayette health center meets all requirements of facilities that provide medication abortion. Indiana law addresses surgical abortion facilities only, so the Lafayette facility is not covered under that law.”
According to NewsChannel 18’s Elisabeth Rentschler, “Swayze said if the Lafayette Planned Parenthood does not require a license to operate, that’s something she and others want to work on getting changed. ‘We’re going to want to talk about that statewide,’ Swayze said, adding, ‘This is a very lucrative business and that would be something that is probably duplicated at other places.’”
The Associated Press reported today that an Indiana State Department of Health spokesman offered no comment on the Lafayette clinic’s licensing status “or whether abortions with RU-486 are treated the same as surgical abortions under state law,” according to the AP’s Charles Wilson.
In his letter to Attorney General Zoeller, Fichter explained that “Our request stems from concerns 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 by law.” He concluded, “We believe it is in the best interest of the State of Indiana to immediately address this situation and to recommend corrective or punitive action as necessary.”