Anti-Abortion Ordinances Pushed in Indiana Counties

Anti-abortion groups in Indiana are pushing ordinances at the county level that would require doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. Similar measures have stalled in the state legislature because they have passed the Senate, but not the House. Mike Fichter, president and chief executive of Indiana Right to Life said that that since they continually hit roadblocks in the state House of Representatives they are “taking the different approach of talking to counties,” according to the Associated Press.

One of these ordinances was passed in Vanderburgh County, which has no abortion clinics, earlier this month. Fichter reportedly lauded passage of the Vanderburgh ordinance as a victory because it will make it harder to establish an abortion clinic there, according to the Associated Press. A similar ordinance is now being pushed in Allen County, where the Fort Wayne Women’s Health Organization clinic has been located since 1977.

Supporters of the ordinances claim they protect patient safety, but abortion providers and ordinance opponents say that these types of laws limit women’s legal access to abortion. Susan Hill, President of the National Women’s Health Organization, called the proposed county ordinances “another attempt to harass providers.”


Daily Women's Health Policy Report 8/18/08; Associated Press 8/14/08; Interview with Susan Hill 8/19/08

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