HomeoldOhio Department of Health Shuts Down Sharonville Abortion Clinic

Ohio Department of Health Shuts Down Sharonville Abortion Clinic

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Notorious Abortionist Martin Haskell is Out of Business in Hamilton County

Columbus, Ohio–Today, the Ohio Department of Health affirmed its order to shut down abortionist Martin Haskell’s Sharonville clinic, the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, for failure to meet Ohio medical standards.

Specifically, Haskell’s clinic operated without a transfer agreement with any area hospital and was unable to identify any doctors within the region that wanted to assist his abortion business. Haskell’s abortion clinic must cease all operations and close its doors on or before February 4, 2014.

“We want to thank the Health Department for enforcing Ohio law and refusing to allow the abortion industry to escape complying with health and safety standards,” said Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life.

“Today’s actions by the Kasich administration should serve as a wake-up call that Ohio will no longer turn a blind eye towards unhealthy medical practices.”

According to Ohio law, Lebanon Road Surgery Center exists as an Ambulatory Surgical Facility and because of this legal status, the clinic is not a full-service medical facility. To operate legally, Lebanon Road Surgery Center must have a transfer agreement with a full-service private hospital to handle all cases of abortion complications against the mother. In the case that an abortion facility is unable to acquire a transfer agreement, it can apply for a variance (exception). Lebanon Road Surgery Center failed to obtain either.

Late-term abortionist, Martin Haskell, who owns Lebanon Road Surgery Center, has performed abortions for more than 30 years. He is notorious for his advocacy of partial-birth abortion and is credited for popularizing the now banned and illegal procedure. With the closing of Haskell’s clinic, only one abortion facility remains open inside the county with the third highest rate for abortion deaths in Ohio.

Editor’s note. This analysis was provided by Ohio Right to Life.

The Ohio Department of Health recently ordered the closure of the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, an abortion clinic located in Sharonville, Ohio. This decision has sparked significant reactions from both pro-life and pro-choice advocates, highlighting the ongoing contentious debate over abortion rights and regulations in the state and nationwide.

Background of the Closure

The Lebanon Road Surgery Center, operated by Dr. Martin Haskell, has been at the center of regulatory and legal disputes for several years. The Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) decision to shut down the clinic stems from its failure to meet specific state health and safety requirements.

Regulatory Requirements

Ohio law mandates that ambulatory surgical facilities, including abortion clinics, must have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital or a variance (exception) allowing the clinic to operate without such an agreement. These regulations are intended to ensure that patients have access to hospital care in case of emergencies.

The Clinic’s Compliance Issues

The Sharonville clinic had been operating under a variance that required it to have backup physicians with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. However, the ODH found that the clinic failed to meet the conditions of this variance and subsequently issued the closure order.

Reactions from Pro-Life Advocates

Pro-life organizations and advocates have hailed the closure as a victory for women’s health and safety. They argue that ensuring compliance with health regulations is crucial for protecting patients and that clinics failing to meet these standards should not be allowed to operate.

Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Pro-life advocates emphasize that the closure demonstrates the importance of strict regulatory oversight to maintain high standards of care. They believe that the Lebanon Road Surgery Center’s inability to comply with the state’s requirements justifies its shutdown.

Broader Impact on Abortion Providers

The closure is seen as part of a broader effort to enforce health and safety standards across all abortion providers in Ohio. Pro-life groups argue that rigorous enforcement of these standards will lead to improved care and safety for women.

Responses from Pro-Choice Advocates

Pro-choice advocates, on the other hand, view the closure as a politically motivated attack on reproductive rights. They argue that the regulatory requirements are unnecessarily stringent and are designed to impede access to legal abortion services.

Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Pro-choice groups contend that the closure of the Sharonville clinic will reduce access to essential reproductive healthcare services in the region. They argue that such regulatory measures disproportionately affect low-income women and those living in rural areas, who may have limited access to alternative providers.

Challenging TRAP Laws

The term “TRAP laws” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) is often used by pro-choice advocates to describe laws they believe unfairly target abortion providers under the guise of health and safety regulations. They argue that these laws are intended to restrict access to abortion by imposing burdensome requirements that many clinics cannot meet.

Legal and Policy Implications

The closure of the Sharonville clinic has broader legal and policy implications for the regulation of abortion providers in Ohio and across the United States.

Precedent for Future Actions

The Ohio Department of Health’s action sets a precedent for the enforcement of regulatory requirements on abortion clinics. Other states with similar regulations may look to Ohio as a model for implementing and enforcing their own health and safety standards.

Ongoing Legal Battles

The clinic’s closure is likely to result in legal challenges from pro-choice organizations seeking to overturn the decision. These legal battles will further shape the landscape of abortion access and regulation in Ohio and potentially influence national debates on the issue.


The Ohio Department of Health’s decision to shut down the Lebanon Road Surgery Center in Sharonville underscores the deep divisions and contentious debates surrounding abortion regulation and access in the United States. While pro-life advocates celebrate the closure as a victory for patient safety and regulatory compliance, pro-choice advocates see it as a significant setback for reproductive rights and access to essential healthcare services. As the legal and policy implications of this closure continue to unfold, the future of abortion access in Ohio and beyond remains uncertain and highly contested.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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