July 22, 2015 — The Indiana State Department of Health on Tuesday refused to renew a South Bend abortion clinic's license to operate, the South Bend Tribune reports (Gray, South Bend Tribune, 7/22).
ISDH in January filed a complaint to revoke Women's Pavilion's clinic license after the clinic failed an inspection and the state rejected its correction plan. The Women's Pavilion is the only abortion clinic in northern Indiana.
The health department inspected the Women's Pavilion clinic in October last year and cited the facility for not complying with several state regulations. The clinic was required to submit a plan for correction within 10 days. The clinic submitted a plan, but the health department said it was not acceptable and sent a letter of noncompliance (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/20).
In June, ISDH sent a letter to Women's Pavilion clinic owner George Klopfer notifying him that the clinic's application for license renewal had been denied, based on a recommendation from the Abortion Clinic Licensing Program.
The rejection letter noted a "history of non-compliance, ongoing non-compliance, untimely and unacceptable plans of correction and pending license revocation." According to the letter, investigators during an inspection earlier in June found evidence that the clinic was providing medication abortions without enforcing an 18-hour mandatory delay before such a procedure.
On June 29, Klopfer and the Women's Pavilion staff appealed the decision. Ken Severson, a spokesperson for ISDH, said an administrative law judge will consider the appeal in November and the clinic is legally allowed to operate until the hearing.
Two previous complaints to revoke the clinic's license filed by the ISDH also will be decided in November. If the clinic's license is denied, Women's Pavilion will be the third of Klopfer's clinics to cease providing abortion services in northern Indiana. He previously stopped providing abortions in December 2013 at his Fort Wayne clinic and in May at his clinic in Gary (South Bend Tribune, 7/22).