A non-profit group, who had been denied permission from the state to open an abortion clinic in South Bend, re-applied for a Thursday instead of challenge the decision in court.
The Texas-based Whole Woman & Health Alliance has applied for a new license on Thursday, avoiding a long legal battle, the South Bend Tribune announced. .
An administrative committee from the Indiana State Department of Health voted 2-1 in November to reject the application to open an abortion clinic presented by a non-profit organization, claiming that the necessary information had not been disclosed at its initial request in October 2017.
After weighing the pros and cons of a legal battle, the Whole Woman's Health Alliance has decided to follow the Ministry of Health's recommendation to re-apply for a license, said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and founder of the non-profit association.
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She said her group was very dependent on donations and wanted to avoid an expensive legal battle.
"Most people say that when you (go to court), it's a few years back and forth. (…) I can not financially support a process that will take years," he said. she said. "And while it seems a bit strange, because we were not changing any information for the first time, the department repeatedly asked us to fill out a new application, so we decided it was the best solution."
The clinic of this non-profit organization would offer drug-induced abortions to pregnant women under 10 weeks of age. The building has already been equipped and furnished.
The new application contains additional information that could be useful, said Hagstrom Miller. It includes more information on the pair of existing clinics of the non-profit association in Virginia and Texas, including reports of inspections performed after submitting its first application.
"We chose to write a fairly complete cover letter and offer information that is not requested in the application," said Hagstrom Miller. "Because in the last year we have learned that they want information, but it is not asked."
The abortion rate in Indiana has dropped in recent years due to the closure of facilities for abortion. The proposed South Bend clinic would be the first to open in a decade, advocates said.
A year ago, the Ministry of Health rejected the application for initial approval of the non-profit VSP, claiming that it did not meet the requirements of "deemed and responsible character" and that she did not disclose the necessary information on her request.
In September, Indianapolis Administrative Law Judge Clare Deitchman disagreed. Deitchman stated that the agency had not demonstrated that the application was "incomplete or inaccurate" and had issued an order requesting that a license be granted. The health department then appealed to the three-member administrative committee.