South Bend abortion clinic to close after 30 years

Published: Mar. 10, 2016 at 8:32 PM EST
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Later this month, a South Bend abortion clinic will close its business after operating for 30 years.

The group Pro-Choice South Bend says the Women's Pavilion will shut its doors on March 18.

The clinic hasn't offered abortions since last November, but it has stayed opened to give referrals.

The fate of the clinic has been up in the air ever since the state moved to revoke its license, citing numerous violations by its operator, Dr. George Klopfer.

Pro-Choice South Bend will hold a vigil at the clinic on March 18 at 7 p.m.

From a Pro-Choice South Bend media release:
Pro-Choice South Bend would like to thank the staff and supporters of the Women’s Pavilion, an abortion clinic that provided over 30 years of service to our community. Though the clinic stopped offering abortion care last November, it has remained open to give referrals to other abortion providers. As of March 18th, the clinic will be permanently closed. Pro-Choice South Bend will be hosting a vigil at the Women’s Pavilion on Friday, March 18th at 7 pm. There is currently no abortion care in all of Northeast Indiana. For anyone who is seeking an abortion, you can go to Planned Parenthood in Merrillville or Kalamazoo, or Family Planning Associates in Chicago. If you need any support, guidance, or information contact or message us at Our mission is to transform our communities by providing education, empowering advocacy, and aiding in access to safe abortions. Pro-Choice South Bend believes that abortion should be affordable and accessible for any individual who wants or needs the procedure. Many people in need of an abortion don’t have money or time to spare. To receive the healthcare they rightfully deserve, they now have to travel long distances for two-four hours for multiple appointments, which increases the chance of preventable health risks and imposes financial burdens. Some individuals see no other option than to unsafely self-abort. In our city, receiving an abortion is a complicated, arduous process, but it shouldn’t have to be. Making choices about your own body should be a basic human right. There will be abortion care in South Bend’s future. This is certainly not the end.

From a St. Joseph County Right to Life media release:
According to Pro-Choice South Bend, longtime Indiana itinerant abortion doctor, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, will be shutting the doors permanently to the Women’s Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana on Friday, March 18th. Claire Fyrqvist, St. Joseph County Right to Life Communications Manager responded, “We are grateful to finally see this clinic close, a facility that has had little regard for health standards and women’s safety in its practice of over 30 years.” Jeanette Burdell, Executive Director of St. Joseph County Right to Life, stated, “No other medical facility would be able to get away with the things Women’s Pavilion has been doing for years. Women’s lives are at risk when anesthesia is administered improperly, medication is expired, staff is under-trained and infection control is lacking, to name but a few of the facility’s problems. And when abortions on 13-year-old girls aren’t reported in a timely manner as required by law, children are in danger of sexual abuse.” Klopfer, sole owner and operator of the Women’s Pavilion, faces an administrative licensing complaint by the Indiana Attorney General’s office of over 2,000 alleged abortion-related violations, including over 60 new complaints filed by St. Joseph County Right to Life and area doctors. On March 15th, Klopfer goes before the Medical Licensing Board where they could strip him of his medical license or take other disciplinary action against him. Some of the complaints filed against Klopfer include: * Non-compliance of the informed consent law, which requires the abortionist to provide certain information to the patient at least 18 hours prior to the procedure * Failure to report the abortions performed on at least two 13-year-old girls to the state health department within the required three-day time frame to ensure safety of the patient * Violations of code regarding administration of anesthesia * More than 2,400 incomplete, inaccurate and late terminated pregnancy reports Klopfer, an Illinois resident, operated abortion facilities for decades in Gary, Fort Wayne and South Bend. Klopfer lost his Fort Wayne back-up physician with admitting privileges, required by an Allen County ordinance and state code, in December 2013, rendering him unable to do abortions in Fort Wayne in 2014 and 2015. In June, Klopfer surrendered his operating license for his Gary facility. The surrender followed the release of an alarming report by the ISDH showing deplorable conditions and safety hazards at his Gary facility. Despite being barred from doing abortions in Fort Wayne, Klopfer continued to see patients there and referred them to South Bend for their abortion procedures. “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,” said Tom Gill, President of St. Joseph County Right to Life. “We commend all of those individuals, organizations and institutions that have worked side-by-side to bring about this positive, life-affirming and health-endorsing outcome for our community.” “Years of shoddy abortion practices have finally caught up with Dr. Klopfer,” said Cathie Humbarger, Indiana Right to Life’s Vice President of Policy Enforcement. “Klopfer compromised the health and safety of women who sought abortions from him in Gary, Fort Wayne and South Bend, and we’re relieved he is finally being shut down. Hoosier women deserve better. We extend our appreciation to the Pence administration and the ISDH for refusing to sweep Klopfer’s shady practices under the rug. It’s a good day for the health and safety of Hoosier women.” St. Joseph County Right to Life, Inc. is dedicated to the social welfare by promoting life through education and advocacy. It is the oldest, continuously active pro-life organization in St. Joseph County, and is the central organization representing pro-life interests. Its goal is to protect all innocent human life-the unborn, the infirm or handicapped, and the aged.