Women's Pavilion to stay open for phone calls, referrals while doctor is unable to perform abortions

Abortions will be not performed at the Women’s Pavilion in South Bend for at least 90 days after Friday, Nov. 6, but the clinic will remain staffed during that time.

Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, the doctor who performs abortions at the clinic, withdrew his appeal of a motion to revoke the clinic’s license as part of an agreement with the Indiana Department of Health. In exchange, the state agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning the same suit can not be filed again.

Klopfer or another person affiliated with the Women’s Pavilion can reapply for an Indiana abortion clinic license again in 90 days.

In the mean time, the clinic will remain open to take phone calls and refer patients seeking safe abortions to other clinics, according to Aly Kaluzny, patient educator at the Women’s Pavilion. The closest open abortion clinics are in Merrillville, Kalamazoo, Mich., Indianapolis and Chicago.

“The Women’s Pavilion staff and pro-choice community are focused on maintaining women getting access to safe abortion care in northern Indiana while we are not performing abortions,“ Kaluzny said. ”The pro-choice community in South Bend will remain present and remain a support to women who need reproductive care.”

Klopfer’s medical license is valid but also under review. He is expected to settle that case with the Indiana Department of Health by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, anti-abortion organizations like St. Joseph County Right to Life and The Life Center, which have offices on either side of the Women’s Pavilion, are still pushing the state of Indiana to permanently close the Women’s Pavilion.

“We have been working for many years to call attention to the Women’s Pavilion’s disregard for the health and safety of women in St. Joseph County, and to ensure that Dr. Klopfer and his facility are held accountable for the substandard conditions and health code violations at the clinic,” Tom Gill, president of St. Joseph County Right to Life, told the South Bend Tribune.

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