By Dave Andrusko
As promised Capital Care Network, Toledo, Ohio’s only remaining abortion clinic, has filed an appeal in Lucas County Common Pleas Court asking the courts to reverse an order issued by the Ohio Department of Health that revoked its license to operate as an ambulatory surgical facility.
The revocation is effective August 12. The case has been assigned to Judge Myron Duhart, the Toledo Blade reported.
On July 31 Lance Himes, interim director of the Ohio Department of Health, signed the order to revoke the clinic’s license as of next Tuesday. 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.
In Ohio, to perform abortions, a clinic must qualify as an ambulatory surgical facility (ASF). ASFs must have agreements with a local hospital to transfer patients if complications arise.
Capital Care Network had a one-year arrangement with the University of Toledo Medical Center, 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.
As a backup strategy, Capital Care Network took the position that a transfer agreement is not really needed. In situations not considered serious emergencies, the clinic will employ a helicopter, clinic owner Terri Hubbard said.
In situations that are a true emergency, “they will be transferred to the local hospital because 911 will transport to the closest hospital to the center,” said Jennifer Branch, the clinic’s Cincinnati attorney.