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Last updated: Wed. Nov. 27, 2013 - 10:13 am EDT

Gaps in Indiana teen abortion reporting

Doctors did not report procedures on time, state records show


At least four Indiana doctors have waited weeks or even months to report abortions provided to girls under 14 despite a law requiring them to do so within three days, according to state records.

The law, intended to speed up reporting of statutory rape and sexual abuse, is part of a larger requirement for all Indiana abortions to be reported every six months. The law requires doctors to report within three days any abortions provided to girls 13 and younger to both the Department of Child Services and the Indiana State Department of Health. Breaking the law is a Class B misdemeanor.

State records reveal that the doctor who appears to have ignored the law most often is Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, the sole doctor providing abortions in St. Joseph County. Klopfer also works at clinics providing abortions in Allen and Lake counties.

Doctors in the state have reported at least 12 abortions to girls under 14 since July 2011, records show. But in seven of those cases, the doctors did not file reports until several weeks -- in one incident, it was six months -- after the procedure. In two other cases, it was unclear when the reports were filed because state records are incomplete.

At least three abortions since 2011 performed by Klopfer were reported well past the three-day window, according to Department of Health reports.

Klopfer, an Illinois-based doctor, has formal complaints against him for failing to immediately report two other abortions provided to girls under 14 -- one in Lake County in 2012 and another in Allen County in 2013. Both were 13-year-old girls, and both were 11 weeks pregnant, according to the terminated pregnancy reports. The complaints, filed by Allen County Right to Life, came to light in a News-Sentinel article in September.

Read the rest of this in-depth report at The South Bend Tribune's website.

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