Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky says it has closed its Fort Wayne health center this week. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Araceli Gomez Aldana reports, the organization says the staff’s personal information was shared as part of what it calls intimidation and harassment by local anti-abortion activists.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky President and CEO Christie Gillespie said the harassment targeting patients, providers and supporters went beyond the ritual protesting, causing them to lose their lease due to regular phone calls to their landlord.
Gillespie identified anti-abortion groups in the Fort Wayne community as offenders, specifically efforts led by Allen County Right to Life. Those efforts, according to Gillespie, included a mailer that included the name, address, and photo of a clinic nurse practicioner with the message “there are killers among us.”
Gillespie emphasized the Fort Wayne center did not perform abortions but says the services they provide are in high demand.
“All of this during the time where data shows Fort Wayne’s rates of STDs are higher than the rest of the state. And at a time where the maternal mortality rate in Indiana is twice that of the nation.”
In a statement, Allen County Right to Life Executive Director Cathie Humbarger rebutted the claims. It reads, in part, “We do not practice or condone intimidation. All activities that we sponsor are lawful. We consider this closing a victory for unborn boys and girls.”