On July 9, I filed a personal complaint with the Department of Justice against the abortion facility in Fort Wayne because there is no wheelchair ramp or parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
The complaint was prompted when I observed women leaving the facility in noticeable discomfort and unable to walk unassisted – apparently as the result of having undergone an abortion procedure. These women had to walk down steps and across a parking lot to their vehicles, and they oftentimes had their arms over two people as they limped to their cars.
Let me be clear that my heart breaks for women who believe that the only choice they have in the midst of their crisis pregnancy is to opt for an abortion. This complaint, however, is not directed at the choice they made to have an abortion. The abortion was already completed. I care about these women regardless of their decision, and the lack of proper care after their procedure is alarming to me. Transporting them to their cars in a wheelchair is a simple compassionate act. Failure to do so is unconscionable.
Just as alarming is the reality that an abortionist may be exempt from the laws that other businesses are required to obey. My research shows that to date the Department of Justice has responded to similar complaints by ruling that wheelchair ramps must be installed in doctors offices, a fabric store, a health club, a real estate office and several restaurants.
Whether one agrees with the services provided by the business, laws are supposed to be enforced. The Department of Justice indicates that complaints are answered in eight to 12 weeks. I will be watching to see whether the Obama Administrations Department of Justice will apply the law to all businesses equally, or if they protect the abortion provider.
CATHIE HUMBARGER Fort Wayne