Lebanon Road Surgery Center can still appeal
By Dave Andrusko
On Friday Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Jerome Metz Jr. ruled that the law is clear—it is the Ohio Department of Health’s “sole discretion” whether it gives a variance to the requirement that abortion clinics have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital in cases of emergency.
As a result–unless the Women’s Med Center’s Lebanon Road Surgery Center appeals Metz’ s decision—the clinic owned by infamous abortionist Martin Haskell will close by Friday.
In his opinion, the judge quoted from the law: “The director’s refusal to grant a variance shall be final and shall not be construed as creating any rights to a hearing.“ As a result, “The court has no jurisdiction to review either the decision of the director or the procedure by which he made that decision.”
“Metz stayed the state ordered closure order pending the court procedures because at the beginning of the case he felt there was a chance the abortion clinic could win on the merits,” according to Denise G. Callahan of the Dayton Daily News. “But he said since that is no longer the case, he would allow the current stay to expire as scheduled in five days.”
Click here to read the August issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”
All ambulatory surgical facilities — including abortion clinics – must have transfer agreements with local hospitals in case of emergencies, according to state law. As of last September abortion clinics were prohibited from making these arrangements with public hospitals. Haskell’s clinic was unable to identify any doctors within the region that wanted to assist his abortion business.
The Department of Health denied its request for a variance (to operate without a transfer agreement), and ordered the abortion clinic in Sharonville, Ohio, closed. Haskell appealed. There has since been a series of back and forth decisions between Judge Metz and Common Pleas Magistrate Michael Bachman who repeatedly affirmed the health department’s decision.
Last week 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. CCN lacked a transfer agreement as well.
According to Kimball Perry and Chrissie Thompson of the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Friday’s ruling is important because, while Cincinnati has another clinic that performs abortions, the Sharonville clinic is the only one for hundreds of miles that performs late-term abortions, the clinic’s previous attorney said. If the Sharonville clinic closes, those seeking late-term abortions must go to Chicago, Cleveland or Atlanta.
“The Sharonville clinic, which used to be located in Cincinnati, has performed thousands of abortions.”