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Friday, September 19, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - More on: "State files licensing action against four Indiana physicians for violations of abortion record-keeping, advice and consent laws"

Updating this ILB entry from yesterday, which quoted from AG Zoeller's news release, the Indianapolis Star today has this story by Shari Rudavsky, headed "Complaints against doctors could make abortion rarer."

You think?

A quote from the story:

Until the Medical Licensing Board holds a hearing scheduled for Dec. 4, the licenses of the four doctors will remain active. The board will decide whether to take action, which could range from a reprimand to revoking the license to practice.

With only a few clinics operating in the state, such a move could have an impact. “We don’t even know how many people have chosen not to provide abortion care because they have been seeing what’s going on, the pressure the state is putting on abortion providers,” said Dr. Sue Ellen Braunlin, co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Whittling down the number of abortion providers would make it more difficult for women who undergo the procedure to do so safely, said Betty Cockrum, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, which has no connection to the Clinic for Women.

“The more these activists are successful at reducing the number of providers in Indiana, the more difficult they make it for women to have access to a safe abortion,” she said.

State law closely regulates how abortion providers must report procedures to the Indiana State Department of Health and in recent years, new reporting requirements have been added by the legislature.

For instance, see these ILB posts from the 2013 and 2014 sessions.

Today Emily Shire of The Daily Beast has this long story, headed "Indiana’s Crazy Administrative Abortion Demands Have Doctors Racking Up the Violations." Some quotes, but there is much more worth reading in the story:
These four physicians are facing potential loss of their medical license for “violations of abortion record-keeping and advice and consent laws,” according to a press release from Zoeller’s office.

These violations essentially stem from unsatisfactory patient paperwork. Under Indiana law, abortion providers must fill out an extensive Terminated Pregnancy Report (TPR). The state charges that the aforementioned doctors have failed to complete these forms within the established guidelines.

While some of the information requested is pertinent, such as the type of termination procedure and date of procedure, other categories seem more onerous: name of the father, age of the father, number of previous abortions and/or miscarriages a woman may have had, and dates of said abortions. Additional information required seems bluntly biased, such as “post-fertilization age of fetus” and “information as to whether the fetus was delivered alive.”

The violations also stem from submission of TPRs past the state-mandated deadline. Under Indiana law, TPRs for abortions performed between January 1 and June 30 must be submitted to the State’s Department of Health by July 30, and TPRs for abortions performed from July 1 through December 31 no later than January 30.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office appears to be taking its cue in their complaints against Klopfer, Glover, Pasic, and Robinson from state and local Right to Life groups. The nature of the violations almost entirely stem from the alleged failure to properly complete a TPR or for filing one too late, a tactic anti-abortion groups have used in the past against abortions providers within the state, including Klopfer.

Also somewhat related is this Aug. 17th story from the Winston-Salem NC Journal, which begins:
After passing laws imposing new conditions on abortions and elections, taking away teacher tenure and providing vouchers for private school tuition, Republican state legislators have seen those policies stymied in state and federal courtrooms.

So they have passed another law, this one making those kinds of lawsuits less likely to succeed when filed in state court. Beginning in September, all constitutional challenges to laws will be heard by three-judge trial court panels appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 19, 2014 10:55 AM
Posted to Indiana Government