Former St. Joseph Co. councilman voices concerns over health department’s statement on abortion

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 4:49 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Today brought criticism that St Joseph County Health Department leaders overstepped their authority in becoming advocates for abortion.

In a written statement released last week, the health officials declared that “women, their partners, and families, and medical professionals must maintain the authority to make the judgement surrounding the need for termination of a pregnancy with exceptional circumstances to protect the lives of women and prevent an increase in maternal morbidity and mortality. "

“I don’t believe that accurately reflects the position of all health board members, and it seems totally inconsistent to me with the goal of protecting the health of the mother and unborn babies. Abortion kills unborn babies, total opposite of health,” said former St. Joseph County Councilman Jamie O’Brien during the public comment portion of today’s meeting of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners. “I’m hopeful that St. Joseph County Commissioners will respond in due course, and that all members of the health board will have an opportunity to be heard, particularly those who disagree with the leadership of the health board.”

The health department statement was signed by Health Officer Robert Eiterz, M.D. Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox, MD, President of the Board of Health, Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, PhD, and Vice President of the Board, Jason Marker, MD.

“In its statement, the health department makes policy recommendations that advocate for abortion in exceptional circumstances of pregnancy, including those in which a pre-born human is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly, a child is conceived during rape or incest, and/or the life of a mother is at risk with the continuation of a pregnancy. The department also states that it is lobbying legislators who represent St. Joseph County to advance this view,” added Michiana Right to Life Executive Director Antonio Marchi, who contends that the health department’s decision to lobby lawmakers came without a full board vote and without the approval of county commissioners.

You can read the full statement below:

For more information regarding the health department’s statement, click here.

Meanwhile, Right to Life Michiana also released a statement on Tuesday’s regarding the St. joseph County Health Department’s statement:

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