By Dave Andrusko
Two weeks ago, NRL News Today updated the ongoing story of abortionist Ulrich Klopfer, charged with failing to report to officials within three days that he performed an abortion on a 13-year-old girl, as required by Indiana law.
On June 17, Lake County Criminal Court Judge Nicholas Schiralli set a trial date of January 26, 2015, where, if convicted, Klopfer potentially faces a fine of $1,000 and 180 days in jail if convicted of the Class B misdemeanor.
But this is only one of a myriad of allegations against Klopfer. An Indiana law, which takes effect today, requires that abortionists have admitting privileges in a local hospital or have “an agreement with a physician who has admitting privileges at a hospital in the county or contiguous county in case of post-operative complications.”
What we failed to make clear enough in prior stories is that a similar admitting privilege law, enacted on the county level in Allen County, Indiana, is currently prohibiting Klopfer from performing abortions at his Fort Wayne facility. Here’s how Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, explained the situation and how a similar requirement was extended today to the entire state.
“On Dec. 31, 2013, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s back-up doctor with admitting privileges rescinded his role as back-up doctor. Since Klopfer resides in Illinois, it is imperative that a doctor be available after the abortion doctor is no longer in the area if an emergency arises. Klopfer is not the only doctor who does abortions in Indiana but resides outside of the state. This county hospital admitting privileges law not only ensures that someone is available to provide care if an emergency arose, but it also allows the county to verify that the law is being followed.”
The hospital admitting privileges law was a part of Senate Bill 292 by state Senators John Waterman and Jim Banks (District 17) during the 2014 Indiana General Assembly session. Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill into law on Mar. 25.
Fichter explained that under the new law, “the Indiana State Department of Health [ISDH] will ensure that abortion doctors are prepared to facilitate emergency care for women with abortion complications. Hospital admitting privileges laws enable streamlined care based on a woman’s current medical situation.”
The new law has additional important provision. The ISDH is permitted to inspect abortion facilities at least once per year and to perform complaint inspections as needed. “It requires abortion providers to give a woman seeking an abortion emergency contact information,” Indiana Right to Life explained. It also “mandates that the public can verify with the ISDH that hospital admitting privileges documentation is on file with the department.”