You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Local

Advertisement

County’s only abortion doc losing required backup

One had pieces of her fetus still inside her.

Several had problems ranging from major infections to bleeding – each following an abortion.

Dr. Geoffrey Cly said he encountered these patients at various times while on call several years ago.

And they are the patients who prompted the physician to become the backup doctor – a physician who can admit patients to a hospital after such a procedure – for the one and only doctor who has long practiced abortions in Fort Wayne.

That relationship, though, will be terminated at the end of the year.

That means in 2014, Allen County might be without a doctor who can legally perform abortions.

“I’ve been thinking about it and praying about it,” Cly, an OB-GYN with Parkview Physicians Group, said of his decision.

Cly, who describes himself as “pro-life,” sent a letter this week to abortion practitioner Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, informing him of his decision to no longer function as Klopfer’s physician designee as of Dec. 31.

The physician designee is a doctor with admitting privileges to a hospital.

Allen County law requires that a physician who practices here but does not reside within the county have a relationship with a local doctor who can legally practice within the county.

Indiana law requires that doctors who perform abortions either have admitting privileges at local hospitals or a relationship and agreement with a local doctor who does.

Cly took on that role for Klopfer, who resides in Illinois.

He did so, Cly said, for the safety of patients like the ones he encountered in the past – patients he said had no recourse for treatment once Klopfer left town.

But recent news reports caused Cly to rethink his position.

Klopfer has been accused of failing to properly report abortions he’s performed on at least three 13-year-olds in Indiana, including one in Fort Wayne.

Among those accusations is that Klopfer allegedly did not notify the Indiana State Department of Health within three days of the abortion.

It’s also unclear whether he notified the Indiana Department of Child Services, as medical professionals are required to do if they suspect child abuse.

In Indiana, sex with someone younger than 14 is considered child molestation.

“It’s sad,” Cly said.

“Those 13-year-olds who had the terminations done, how else could they have been helped? Who knows what their family dynamics were, or if they’re still stuck in there?” he said.

An article posted at rhrealitycheck.org quotes Klopfer as recommending that minor girls and their parents seek abortions in Illinois or Ohio “if they want to avoid having their abortions reported.”

Cly said he felt Klopfer might have been jeopardizing his patients’ safety by not properly reporting such abortions to the proper people.

“It seems like his decisions are allowing significant safety issues to walk away,” Cly said. “It didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”

Cly said he has not spoken directly to Klopfer, but in his letter, he wrote:

“Your failure to report 13-year-old abortions properly and your subsequent admission to advising parents to avoid state laws is alarming … I am saddened to think these young girls may still be in a situation where they are in danger of being forced into further sexual abuse and emotional trauma.”

Cly’s letter was released Thursday by Indiana Right to Life and Allen County Right to Life.

Klopfer could not be reached for comment Thursday.

He has been under the spotlight since complaints about his handling of abortions on 13-year-olds came to light.

Last week, the state’s Medical Licensing Board asked Klopfer to appear before its members to address those accusations.

He is still able to practice in Indiana, though his license is up for renewal.

Without a physician designee, though, he cannot perform abortions in Allen County.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

Advertisement