The head of Allen County Right to Life filed an ADA compliance complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice against the local clinic that provides abortions.
On Monday, Cathie Humbarger filed a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act against F.W.S.–H. Heine Inc., which does business as Fort Wayne Women’s Health.
In her complaint, Humbarger alleges the abortion clinic, at 2210 Inwood Drive, is not wheelchair-accessible. The parking lot contains no spaces reserved for people with disabilities, and Humbarger said she has seen women in apparent physical discomfort struggling to get to their cars from the doors to the clinic. The Allen County Right to Life office is located near Fort Wayne Women’s Health.
“(T)hese women were unable to walk unassisted,” Humbarger wrote in her complaint. “On each occasion, the women were being physically held up by a Fort Wayne Women’s Health employee … It was obvious that their physical condition required being transported in a wheelchair, but that this is not available to them because there is no wheelchair ramp at the facility.”
Humbarger is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the “apparent violation” of the ADA and require the clinic to come into compliance.
In a telephone interview Monday, Humbarger said it is common for all other businesses to have entrances accessible to the disabled, as well as parking set aside.
“The abortion facility doesn’t get a pass,” she said.
While she was not sure if the ADA considered those under the influence of anesthetic to be disabled, the standard medical protocol for those who have undergone any invasive medical procedure, such as abortion, would be to put the patient in a wheelchair to help get them to their vehicles.
“I would expect that that would be extended to these women,” Humbarger said.
Humbarger said her organization’s building is ADA-compliant. The complaint is not about “access” to abortion but rather out of concern for the women who use the nearby clinic.
“This is clearly our concern for women. We’re very discouraged that women in the midst of their crisis think that their only option is to have an abortion,” she said. “However, the woman has already had the abortion at this point, and we are compassionate to their situation.”
She said she is sure that those who gather near the clinic to pray or to protest want to provide physical assistance to help the women to their vehicles, but the clinic’s parking lot is private and no one is ever allowed on it.
An attempt to contact the abortion clinic for comment was met with a “no comment” and the phone was hung up before a question was asked Monday afternoon.