SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Planned Parenthood closes Indiana center, citing harassment

Planned Parenthood closed its health center in Indiana’s second-largest city Monday, blaming what it called years of growing intimidation and harassment of the center’s staff by supporters of anti-abortion groups.

Posted: Jul 9, 2018 7:19 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Planned Parenthood closed its health center in Indiana’s second-largest city Monday, blaming what it called years of growing intimidation and harassment of the center’s staff by supporters of anti-abortion groups.

The Fort Wayne health center provided birth control options, sexually transmitted disease testing and early diagnosis of cervical, testicular and breast cancer, said Christie Gillespie, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. The facility did not perform abortion procedures.

A sign on the clinic’s door Monday said it is permanently closed and directed patients to Planned Parenthood sites in Elkhart and Mishawaka, both cities roughly a two-hour drive north of Fort Wayne.

Gillespie said the closure means the Fort Wayne area has lost a trusted health care provider. She said she’s “pretty angry” about the intimidation and harassment, which she said goes far beyond picketing outside of the health center, and she attributed it to supporters of Allen County Right to Life and other regional groups that oppose abortion.

Cathie Humbarger, the executive director of Allen County Right to Life, told WANE-TV the group doesn’t “practice or condone intimidation.”

But Humbarger and Indiana Right to Life president and CEO Mike Fichter said in a joint statement that they were “pleased” by the center’s closure, attributing it to a dwindling customer base and what they called the center’s growing unpopularity in the Fort Wayne area.

“Planned Parenthood’s accusation that intimidation by Right to Life led to this closure is simply untrue and smacks of an attempt by Planned Parenthood to turn its business woes into a fundraiser,” Humbarger and Fichter said in their statement.

Gillespie said the health center, which had four employees, saw 1,500 unduplicated patients during last fiscal year — about half of the nearly 3,000 patients it had two years ago. She said the numbers have fallen due to the harassment of staff and the difficulty of recruiting providers to work there.

“This has nothing to do with demand or finances,” she told The Journal Gazette. “Our closing is solely because of intimidation and harassment of patients, supporters and providers.”

Planned Parenthood provided copies of a mailer it said was sent to Fort Wayne neighborhoods that included the name, photograph and home address of a Planned Parenthood nurse practitioner, with the message, “there are killers among us.”

The group responsible for the mailers, Created Equal of Ohio, also sent the woman a letter saying it had “launched a campaign to expose the role you” play in enabling abortions, Planned Parenthood said. That letter said the nurse counsels women to get an abortion at larger Planned Parenthood facilities and said the campaign against her would stop if she quit her job.

“We’ve had providers that have been told that their life would be unlivable in Fort Wayne if they worked for us,” Gillespie said. “This is not how decent and compassionate people behave.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
Bartholomew52238
Howard43734
LaPorte43624
Tippecanoe4214
Shelby39822
Jackson3942
Delaware38740
Hancock34928
Floyd32140
Boone31835
Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
Montgomery24417
Clinton2401
White2389
Decatur23031
Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1758
Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
Franklin1158
Ripley1086
LaGrange1022
Daviess9516
Carroll933
Steuben872
Wayne865
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper701
Jay530
Clay522
Washington511
Rush503
Randolph503
Fulton501
Pulaski490
Jefferson471
Whitley443
DeKalb431
Starke393
Sullivan371
Owen341
Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 123830

Reported Deaths: 5621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook802043780
Lake8511315
DuPage7891383
Kane6518192
Will5704282
Winnebago235457
McHenry162878
St. Clair121089
Kankakee95951
Kendall82519
Rock Island69124
Champaign6617
Madison60064
Boone48117
DeKalb4356
Sangamon35329
Jackson29310
Peoria27311
Randolph2714
McLean22413
Ogle2143
Stephenson2105
Macon19519
Clinton18817
Union16813
LaSalle15714
Whiteside14413
Iroquois1334
Coles12816
Out of IL1201
Warren1180
Unassigned1050
Grundy1042
Jefferson10116
Knox1010
Monroe9712
McDonough9413
Lee821
Tazewell785
Cass740
Williamson712
Henry700
Pulaski560
Marion510
Jasper467
Macoupin462
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery401
Vermilion401
Morgan391
Livingston362
Christian354
Jo Daviess320
Douglas280
Jersey241
Fayette213
Woodford212
Ford201
Menard200
Washington190
Mason180
Bureau171
Hancock171
Mercer170
Shelby161
Carroll152
Schuyler130
Alexander120
Bond121
Crawford120
Franklin120
Fulton120
Moultrie120
Clark110
Logan110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Johnson100
Wayne91
Henderson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene60
Marshall50
Wabash50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Few Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Robinson
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 82°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Casey
Few Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 76°
Brazil
Few Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Marshall
Few Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Scattered Showers
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events