By Dave Andrusko
I’m guessing the writer as well as the pro-abortion Columbus Dispatch assumed that everyone would reach the “proper” conclusion just from the headline: “Ohio’s abortion-clinic inspections more frequent under Kasich.” [The Kasich is Gov. John Kasich.]
In case not, Megan Henry tells us, “Since Republican Gov. John Kasich took office, state health inspectors have reported 17 times as many violations a year in Ohio abortion clinics as during the tenure of his predecessor, Democrat Ted Strickland.” Strickland was pro-abortion, Kasich is pro-life.
There must be something nefarious coming out of the governor’s office. After all, Henry quickly tells us how piddly are the violations:
A wider range of violations, including “safety and sanitation” and “adverse events,” have been found in the almost-seven years that Kasich has served. For example, an oral-suction machine at one abortion facility was found coated with a heavy layer of dust and dirt.
“Dust and dirt.” Much ado about nothing, right?
But a couple of paragraphs further into Henry’s story the reader finds a link to a contemporaneous story in which Henry spells out what the inspections actually found.
Here are a few examples. One abortion clinic did was “not following protocol for transferring patients to a local hospital in case of medical emergency.” If you actually care about women, that’s not insignificant.
Then there was an abortion clinic that did not carry malpractice liability insurance and “failed to ensure four of four operating room tables were maintained in a safe manner.”
What about that  “dust and dirt” reference? That referred to the Planned Parenthood East Health Center in Columbus, Ohio. But “During the Aug. 20, 2015, inspection, it was discovered that a 17-year-old patient had a surgical procedure in July 2014, and the clinic didn’t obtain a signature of the patient’s parent or guardian.”
So instead of asking why the much more vigorous inspection regime under Kasich, a better question is why the absence of enforcement under Strickland?
“I have no recollections of this event being a topic of discussion in the governor’s office, nor did the governor’s office give guidance or direction to the health department on how to carry out inspections of abortion clinics,” Amanda Wurst, Strickland’s former press secretary, told Henry.
Henry immediately adds “context” to soften the non-enforcement, “To be fair, Ohio had several more abortion clinics while Strickland was governor, and he had to make sweeping budget cutbacks when the Great Recession hit.” [Emphasis mine.]
Abortion clinics argue they are singled out. “Mainly since the Kasich administration took over, we seem to be held to a different standard than other [ambulatory surgical] clinics are,” said Dr. David Burkons, owner of Northeast Ohio Women’s Center. “They seem to be going after abortion clinics to a much greater extent than other non-abortion surgical centers.”
Pro-lifers see it very differently.
Ed Sitter, executive director of Greater Toledo Right to Life, said the health department should conduct inspections of abortion clinics more often.
Twenty-seven ambulatory surgical facility clinics, including half of Ohio’s abortion clinics, are operating despite having expired licenses, according to the health department’s website, as of Friday afternoon.
Oddly, that’s not a violation.
“Clinics are allowed to continue operations after a license is expired as long as they have a pending application” with the department, Melanie Amato [a spokeswoman for the health department] said in an email. “They can apply for their renewal license on the day that their license expires.”