Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood in Merrillville is able to provide abortions again after halting those services for a couple weeks.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in northwest Indiana has halted abortions because of a state law that involves doctors’ admitting privileges marking the first time the state has used the law to stop services.

In a letter earlier this month the Indiana State Department of Health told the Merrillville Planned Parenthood to stop performing abortions because a doctor with admitting privileges had ended their relationship with the clinic.

A judge’s ruling halting parts of the state’s new anti-abortion law is, in the words of retiring Indiana Planned Parenthood CEO Betty Cockrum, a “fine last hurrah” for her.

An anti-abortion group is criticizing a decline in Planned Parenthood’s services and clients over the last decade. The attack comes as the number of abortions increased slightly.

The number of patients at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is down about 50 percent since 2007. The organization went from 35 clinics to 17 in that time.

Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter says that’s proof the organization is failing.

Planned Parenthood went to federal court to ask a judge to halt portions of Indiana’s new anti-abortion law before it takes effect.

And the judge seemed skeptical of some of the state’s arguments for upholding broad portions of the legislation passed this year.

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