INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – Complaints were filed on Wednesday concerning a Fort Wayne abortion doctor who failed to report an abortion on a 13-year-old girl within three days, as required by Indiana state law.
According to the complaints, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, of the Fort Wayne Women's Health Organization located on Inwood Drive, performed an abortion on the girl on February 7, 2013. He failed to report the abortion within three days and instead, reported it on July 25, 2013, according to the complaints.
The two complaints were filed with the Indiana Attorney General's Office and the Indiana Medical Licensing Board by Allen County Right to Life Executive Director, Cathie Humbarger, and sidewalk counselor Evelyn Witte, both of Fort Wayne.
Humbarger said she was reviewing public terminated pregnancy records when she came across the abortion of the 13-year-old girl, which was performed by Dr. Klopfer. She says the report shows Klopfer did not report the girl’s abortion until more than five months after he performed the abortion, which is illegal in Indiana.
The release sent out by Allen County Right to Life on Wednesday stated that under Indiana law, sex with a person under 14 is recognized as child molesting, no matter what the age of the other person is.
Indiana abortion law states that a physician performing an abortion on a patient less than 14 years of age must file a state-issued form within three days of the abortion with the state department of health and the department of child services. Failure to report this is punishable with a class B misdemeanor.
"It's heartbreaking to learn that a 13-year-old became pregnant and now must live with the pain of an abortion for the rest of her life, but it's doubly-heartbreaking that Dr. Klopfer's failure to report the abortion may have allowed the girl's molester to walk free," said Humbarger.
Humbarger also said she filed another complaint against Klopfer earlier this year.
"It's a similar situation in Gary. A 13-year-old had an abortion and it was not reported in a timely fashion," she said. "I checked with the Attorney General's office and they told me they're still investigating. I know they're taking action and we're pleased about that, but there's very little they will share while the investigation is ongoing."
According to the Fort Wayne Women's Health Organization website, the clinic is closed.
An employee there on the phone said the clinic is open. The employee did not know why the website indicates the clinic is closed. Abortions are done every Thursday and last week there were eleven procedures performed, Humbarger said.
There was an open sign in the window Wednesday morning, but when NewsChannel 15's Alyssa Ivanson walked toward the door, a woman inside locked it and ripped the sign down.
Bryan Corbin, spokesperson for the Indiana Attorney General's Office, released the following statement on Wednesday to NewsChannel 15:
Under Indiana law, any consumer complaints made against a licensed medical provider are considered confidential. The Indiana Attorney General’s Office cannot comment on complaints and cannot confirm or deny whether complaints have been received about a particular provider. Complaints become a public record if and when a formal disciplinary action is filed with the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. The Attorney General’s Office does not have legal authority to bring criminal charges such as misdemeanors. Decisions about criminal charges are solely the jurisdiction of county prosecutors, not the AG’s Office.
The status of providers’ medical licenses and any past licensing board actions can be searched online at the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency database, at this link: http://www.in.gov/pla/3119.htm
A search of Klopfer's name on that site shows no prior action to any of his licenses.
NewsChannel 15 also contacted the Medical Licensing Board to ask under what circumstances would a practitioner lose his or her license during an investigation. The complaints against Klopfer ask for his medial license to be suspended pending an investigation.
The chief of staff for the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, which is the record keeping agency for the Medical Licensing Board, gave this answer:
"The disciplinary process for physicians starts with a consumer complaint filed by the public with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (OAG). The Board would not be made aware of any complaint against a physician unless an administrative complaint is filed with the Medical Licensing Board by the OAG."
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