By Cheryl Sullenger
Austin, TX — In a climate when other abortion facilities are cutting back, Whole Woman’s Health is attempting to expand.
Whole Women’s Health (WWH), which currently operates a chain of eight abortion facilities, made national headlines after challenging a major 2013 Texas abortion safety law, HB2, that would have provided greater safety protections for women. In fact, within a year, HB2 requirements actually closed down 23 of the 41 abortion facilities operating in Texas that could not meet the minimum safety requirements, including three WWH facilities.
WWH gained prominence (and most likely hefty donations) when U.S. Supreme Court struck down the most important parts of HB2 in the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, clearing the way for substandard facilities to continue operating in Texas and around the nation.
Emboldened by their successful challenge to the Texas abortion law, the abortion chain has been quietly expanding.
Whole Women’s Health now operates four Texas abortion facilities in Austin, Ft. Worth, McAllen, and San Antonio. It also runs facilities in Baltimore and Minneapolis. An attempted expansion into Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 2014, failed when the abortion business was unceremoniously closed for lack of business in January 2017.
WWH’s current expansion effort primarily consists of taking over operations at failing abortion businesses.
WWH is now operating abortion offices in Peoria, Illinois, which it took over from another abortion provider in 2015, and in Charlottesville, Virginia, where it acquired the now defunct Charlottesville Medical Center for Women earlier this year.
The ownership changes at the Peoria and Charlottesville facilities do not represent “new opens.”
However, WWH has recently applied for a license to sell medication abortions in South Bend, Indiana, presumably to capitalize on the market once dominated by disgraced abortionist Ulrich Klopfer, whose medical license was suspended and his abortion facilities closed after repeatedly failing to report suspected cases of child sex abuse.
The new proposed WWH location, located at 3511 Lincolnway West in South Bend, has a number of issues. The first facility license application submitted to the Indiana State Department of Health was denied because it was missing the name of the clinic administrator, as required for licensing in Indiana.
There may have been a slightly nefarious reason for omitting that tidbit of information.
Cathie Humbarger of Indiana Right to Life told Operation Rescue that a second license application submitted by WWH indicated that its South Bend clinic administrator will be Liam Morley, former clinic administrator from 2011 to 2015 for Klopfer’s now defunct South Bend abortion facility, Women’s Pavilion. Many of the sex abuse reporting failures took place under her administration. She also presided over a failed health inspection in October 2014, in which Klopfer’s abortion facility was cited for multiple health and safety violations. Eight months later, those violations were still not corrected, prompting the Indiana Department of Health to file a formal complaint against the facility that ultimately halted abortions there.
It is possible that WWH did not want it known that Morley, whose failed clinic administration contributed to the collapse of Klopfer’s abortion business, had been tapped to operate their new Indiana facility.
Already, WWH is asking the Indiana State Department of Health for special waivers for a dozen licensing provisions since the South Bend facility will apparently provide only medication abortions and no surgical procedures.
Humbarger and Indiana Right to Life continue working to block the WWH expansion into their state in order to protect women and babies from dangerous conditions and practices that have been documented at WWH facilities in Texas.
“There is good reason not to trust Whole Women’s Health,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Our investigations of the abortion chain reveal chronic substandard facilities and practices for which their abortionists have been disciplined and their facilities fined.”
As a result of Operation Rescue’s investigation and ensuing complaints, Whole Women’s Health abortion offices in McAllen and Austin and Stericycle were fined a total of $83,000 for the illegal dumping of “recognizable” human remains.
Also, two Whole Women’s Health abortionists Alan H. Molson and Robert E. Hanson, were fined thousands of dollars for violations discovered as a result of Operation Rescue complaints.
“There is every reason to expect more failed inspections and other violations from Whole Women’s Health facilities no matter what state they are in,” said Newman. “This is a predatory chain of abortion mills that behaves as if they are above the law, which they are constantly seeking to nullify or sidestep. That makes them and their troubling expansion efforts dangerous.”
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