Abortion Clinic to Stay Open
This morning Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jerry Metz granted late-term abortionist Martin Haskell’s Sharonville clinic permission to remain open while he appeals a shutdown order by the Ohio Department of Health.
ODOH ordered the clinic, called the Women’s Med Center but referred to in documents by its legal name, the Lebanon Road Surgical Center (LRSC), closed earlier this month because it did not have a transfer agreement with any local hospital.
Required for all ambulatory surgical units (outpatient surgery centers), transfer agreements ensure that patients get immediate care from a partner hospital if something goes wrong.
The state had allowed Haskell’s two clinics to make alternate arrangements, but when they ended the clinics never made new ones. When patients have problems such as hemorrhage or seizures, staff simply call 911.
On Tuesday, Haskell filed a reuqest to remain open, claiming that the clinic, though “unpopular with some,” is vital to the health of area women who would suffer “irreparable harm” without it.
The official affidavit requesting to remain open says that “thousands” of women use it every year, particularly its late-term abortion services.
“LRSC fulfills a unique niche in providing pregnancy terminations in this region,” it reads. “In addition to early termination services, LRSC provides advanced termination services for women throughout Southern Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, an Indiana. LRSC is the only provider offering services between 18 and 22 weeks in that large geographic region.”
But the Rev. Katherine Marple, who leads prayer vigils outside the Kettering clinic, says this is not true. “Kettering does late-term abortions on Wednesdays and Thursdays,” she says. “It’s a two-day procedure.”
The web site for Haskell’s three clinics (a second in Kettering, OH, and a third in Indianapolis) also says that both the Cincinnati and the Kettering clinic offer late-term abortions by the D&E (dilation and extraction) method.
D&E is a two- or three-day procedure in which a woman’s cervix is artificially expanded over at least 24 hours until it is wide enough for a curette (a kind of knife or file) to be inserted. The doctor then dismembers the 13.5 to 22-week-old babies and “extracts” their body parts.
Haskell’s affidavit also says that many doctors refer women to clinic because of problems with their babies or because their babies are too far along to use simpler abortion methods, and that he trains residents there upon request.
Judge Metz found that the state had not demonstrated the patients were at “an immediate and particularized likelihood of harm,” but only at potential risk of harm during an emergency. Closing the clinic he said, would cause an “unusual hardship” for women.
Pro-life leaders say they will continue to fight for the clinic to be shut down permanently. “Every day the Women’s Med Center is open means more little ones will not see the light of day, and more women are targeted by the abortion industry,” says Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “This abortion facility has not met established health and safety requirements far too long, and its closure is more than justified.”
For our story on the clinic losing its license, click here.
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