By Dave Andrusko
On Tuesday the Lebanon Road Surgery Center of Sharonville, Ohio, filed a second suit challenging the January 17 decision by the Ohio Department of Health to close the clinic owned by the notorious abortionist Martin Haskell.
The suit, filed in Hamilton County, asked County Court Judge Jerome Metz Jr. to order the Ohio Department of Health to approve its license. In June Hamilton County magistrate Michael Bachman sided with the state and ruled the clinic should close. However Metz ruled that the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, also known as Women’s Medical Center, could remain open while it fought the state order closing the clinic.
The suit was filed that day after Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart issued a stay that allowed Toledo’s only remaining abortion clinic to continue in operation while Capital Care Network appeals a directive from the Ohio Health Department to close its surgical center. Judge Duhurt set the first hearing date for the appeal for September 4.
Both cases involve Ohio’s law State law that requires ambulatory surgical centers — including abortion clinics — to have a contract with private hospitals to transfer patients in case of complications.
Attorneys for the Lebanon Road Surgery Center “accuse the department of abusing its regulatory authority by ordering the clinic to close in January after questioning whether it had followed rules to provide backup care for patients,” WCPO TV reported.
In the case of Capital Care Network, CCN had a one-year arrangement with the University of Toledo Medical Center to transfer patients there, but UTMC exercised its option not to renew, effective July 1, 2013. Unable to find an Ohio hospital, the abortion clinic signed an agreement with the Ann Arbor hospital, effective late this past January.
“State law doesn’t define ‘local,’ but the state’s health director at the time, Dr. Ted Wymyslo, determined that the University of Michigan Health System, about 53 miles away, doesn’t qualify,” Jim Provance of the Toledo Blade wrote.
On July 31, Lance Himes, interim director of the Ohio Department of Health, signed the order to revoke the clinic’s license effective August 13. Himes’ decision upheld a decision, written by William J. Kepko, an Ohio Department of Health hearing examiner, who ruled the state’s decision to revoke the clinic’s license as an ambulatory surgical center was valid.