By Sam Dorman
The Whole Woman’s Health abortion business in South Bend, Indiana, is closing its doors after years of fighting with the state over licensing and pro-life restrictions.
Whole Woman’s Health President Amy Hagstrom Miller reportedly made the announcement on Monday and the facility surrendered its license this week. According to ABC 57, the business hadn’t performed abortions in months and although closing its doors, will continue referring patients to other abortion facilities in Indiana or another state.
“We are devastated to mark the end of our physical presence in South Bend,” Hagstrom Miller said, according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle. “This journey started over seven years ago when we were asked to come fill the need for abortion care in the community. Over the years we have worked with community allies, local officials, and legal counsel to ensure that we could provide the care that our patients deserved.”
The Associated Press reported that patients were unable to physically visit the abortion business since December of 2022. Data reportedly showed that it provided 355 medication abortions in 2021 but Hagstrom Miller said it was able to provide much more.
“Even while navigating relentless attacks on our staff, medical providers, and clinic building — we were still able to serve over 1,000 patients for medication abortion care in our small but mighty South Bend clinic,” she said. “While we no longer provide abortions in our South Bend clinic location, our resolve to help Hoosiers is as strong as ever.”
Whole Woman’s Health was part of a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion but withdrew its name from the suit on Monday, WVPE reported. That law was reportedly halted in the court system in September and December. It’s now under consideration by the state’s supreme court.
Hagstrom Miller noted: “It’s difficult to recruit staff, it’s difficult to recruit doctors into that environment with an uncertain future. We had to make the very tough decision that we can’t operate in that environment of hostility and uncertainty any longer.”
Whole Woman’s Health spokesperson Jared Lathrop called out “onerous restrictions” for playing a role in the facility’s closure.
“Things like physical plant regulations, doctor-only laws, the 18-hour waiting period, the admitting privileges requirements, the hostile environment for our doctors to practice in, and the uncertainty of Indiana’s abortion ban – all of these layers make it impossible for us to keep our clinic open,” said Lathrop.
As Live Action News previously reported, the clinic has encountered issues with complying with requirements from the state’s health department but was nonetheless granted temporary permission to operate in 2019. It was one of seven abortion facilities in the state and the sole abortion provider in South Bend. The next nearest abortion business is 100 miles away in Chicago.
Based on the organization’s own statements, it appears the facility’s closure will likely save many lives. While some like the National Abortion Federation lamented the news of its closure, others celebrated.
“A great day for life in Indiana!” tweeted Rep. Rudy Yakym (R-Ind.).
Voices for Life Executive Director Melanie Garcia Lyon reportedly touted the closure as a “victory for human rights in our community.”
According to WNDU, she said that “Whole Woman’s Health has ended the lives of thousands of preborn Hoosiers and victimized thousands of women since opening in 2019.”
Antonio Marchi, who serves as executive director of Right to Life Michiana, reportedly said, “We are deeply saddened at the thought of 1,100 little ones that are not alive in our community today because of abortions at this facility.”
Marchi added, “We’re hopeful that no more moms and babies will be victimized here.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.