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Planned Parenthood Merrillville

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Merrillville

Jeff Dildine, file, The Times

INDIANAPOLIS — The Planned Parenthood health center in Merrillville has secured a new back-up doctor, as required by Indiana law, and once again can perform abortions.

According to the State Department of Health, a doctor with local hospital admitting privileges agreed Thursday to care for any Merrillville abortion patient in the event of complications, an emergency or other need requiring hospitalization and a Planned Parenthood doctor is not available.

The privileges were confirmed Monday by the state health agency, which is prohibited by law from releasing the doctor's name.

Abortion services are set to resume this week at the Lake County Planned Parenthood facility.

Christie Gillespie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said her organization is committed to providing a wide range of health services, including abortion services, regardless of regulatory impediments.

"We ensure that women have medically accurate information about the options that are accessible to them," Gillespie said.

"Deciding if and when to become a parent is a very personal decision, and the staff at PPINK provides information to patients regarding all options, including abortion."

The clinic was forced to halt abortion services July 13 after its previous back-up doctor ended the doctor's relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Indiana is among just eight states with an enforceable admitting-privileges requirement, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan sexual and reproductive health research organization.

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.