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Indiana medical board rules against abortion doc Klopfer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Medical Licensing Board ruled against an Illinois abortion doctor Thursday in a case alleging hundreds of violations at clinics in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne.

The board plans to move forward with a full hearing after voting 4-0, with one abstention, to deny a request for summary judgment by Dr. Ulrich Klopfer of Crete, Illinois. The hearing has not been set.

Klopfer did not attend the hearing. His attorney, Mary Watts, argued Indiana law did not support the alleged paperwork violations.

“There is no evidence that anything he did harmed a patient or could have harmed a patient,” Watts said.

However, board member Dr. Bharat H. Barai said, “I want to hear from the doctor, not the attorney.”

Klopfer currently performs abortions only in South Bend. Clinics operated by Klopfer in Fort Wayne and Gary are licensed, but abortions are no longer performed there because Klopfer does not have required hospital admitting privilege agreements with doctors in those counties, state records show.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint last September charging Klopfer with 1,818 counts of submitting incomplete and incorrect abortion reports, two counts of not filing reports for 13-year-old patients within three days of procedures and 13 counts of failing to ensure counselors obtained proper consent.

The reports include information such as the woman’s age, education level, county of residence, gestational age of the fetus and the age and name of the father. The state requires they be filed within six months of an abortion, but for those provided to girls under the age of 14 – the age of consent in Indiana – they must be filed within three days.

Watts said Klopfer did not “knowingly” violate state abortion statutes, but Deputy Attorney General Kelsie Duggan argued Klopfer was responsible for knowing the state statutes that govern his field.

“Due to our belief he has violated professional standards for a licensed medical professional, the board should have (the) opportunity to review the evidence,” Duggan said.