All seven Indiana abortion clinics lost their licenses Thursday under the state’s new law, which allows abortions to only be performed in hospitals or outpatient surgical centers owned by hospitals. More than 98% of the state’s abortions were done by those clinics in 2021.
Abortion clinics in the state told The Associated Press they will remain open to refer patients out of state, including to neighboring Ohio.
“I thought that today would be the worst day,” Dr. Katie McHugh, a provider at the Indianapolis abortion clinic Women’s Med, told the AP on Thursday. “But I think the worst day was yesterday, knowing that the patients that we saw in the office yesterday were the last ones that we would see, and knowing how much it meant for all of us that were there — the staff, the physicians and the patients — that we were able to provide that care to the last moment.”
Dr. Alison Case — who since 2020 provided medication abortions at the South Bend abortion clinic Whole Woman’s Health — will continue her work as a family practice doctor in Indianapolis.
She said she worries for the labor and delivery patients she oversees at a hospital in the city.
“I think there’s going to be more people forced to carry their pregnancies to term, so I think we’ll see more deliveries,” she said. “But I think, important to note, we’re also going to see more of these complications.”
In Ohio, clinics were preparing for a high volume of patients coming in from surrounding states following the judge’s ruling — though they realize it could be short-lived.
“Well, I never expected to be a surge state,” said Iris Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, using the new lingo of the field. “For 14 days, we might be.”
Ohio clinics that had been prohibited from performing most abortions will resume those services beginning Friday.