Fallout continues as state passes abortion ban

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Whole Woman’s Health has provided abortion services in South Bend for the past three years and has served more than a thousand clients.

“Well, we will be open and providing care for patients up until the day that the law goes into effect, at which time then we will unfortunately have to close the clinic,” said Sharon Lau with Whole Woman’s Health Alliance.

Whole Woman’s Health has seen it all before in Texas where it was forced to close clinics after the fall of Roe v. Wade, and officials are pretty confident they’ll see it again.

“Ultimately there’s going to be, you know, about half the states where abortion will be legal and the other half where it won’t be. And so, there’s really going to be a lot of, kind of, you know, travel agencies, abortion travel agencies,” Lau explained. “But now, the problem is scaling up to be able to handle the amount of influx because basically every state that touches Illinois either is, or will be completely restricted and so, in fact, right now we have patients calling the South Bend clinic, patients from Illinois calling the South Bend clinic to try to get appointments because there are wait times in Illinois right now, so it’s really kind of a vicious cycle.”

There were 8,414 abortions in 2021 in Indiana. 94 percent involved Indiana residents. 355 abortions occurred in St. Joseph County (4.2 percent of the state’s total.) 6,237 abortions were recorded in Marion County last year, accounting for nearly three out of four abortions in the state.

After voting for a bill to ban most abortions in Indiana last Friday in the Indiana house, the debate continued when Representative Dale Devon, (R) Granger got home. “My family, I had a lot of close family members that were upset with me, the way that I voted, and, you know, because it’s taking the right away from the mother at some degree, I guess, but what about the right of the child? And that’s who I’m fighting for.”

Indiana’s ban on most abortions is set to take effect September 15, over the objections of South Bend Mayor James Mueller.

“Extreme legislation like that which passed the statehouse over the weekend is not, does not line up with Hoosier values, and is not good for our state, “ Mueller said. “It is an assault on liberty and women’s rights and something that we need to work on going forward.”

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