By Dave Andrusko
Last week we updated readers on the latest in the long legal dispute over the license of the Women’s Med Center (WMC) in Dayton, Ohio, owned by the notorious late-term abortionist, Martin Haskell, which has a long history of legal battles with the Ohio Department of Health.
Good news. “Judge Mary Wiseman of the Montgomery County Court of Common Please upheld the 2016 decision by a former Ohio Department of Health director to revoke the license for failing to have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital or naming enough backup physicians for emergencies,” the Springfield News Sun reported Wednesday.
The abortion clinic has 30 days to appeal Judge Wiseman’s ruling, or permanently close its doors.
“This ruling is a win for the pro-life movement in Ohio and the women of Dayton,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “Ohio Right to Life is encouraged to see a facility as notorious as Women’s Med Center finally shuttered.”
Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, had a very different opinion.
“So, because of the religious nature of some of the hospitals in the area and just federal politics and those kinds of things, the Women’s Med center of Dayton is unable to secure this medically unnecessary transfer agreement and so, the state of Ohio moved to close the facility and that is what brought us to court,” she told the newspaper. “It’s all politics.”
Lacking a written transfer agreement, WMC has continually sought a variance from the Ohio Department of Health director. All applications–in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015—were denied.
In 2016, the Ohio Department of Health revoked WMC’s license. The abortion clinic appealed, and Judge Wiseman allowed WMC to continue operating throughout the appeals process.
Prior to Wednesday’s decision, Wayne Baker of the Dayton Daily News interviewed State Rep. Niraj Antani, who said recent court decisions are favorable to the Ohio Department of Health’s position.
The “Ohio Supreme Court just ruled that transfer agreements are constitutional, so that really is a settled question,” Antani told Baker. “If the Women’s Med center was able to comply, they would be able to stay open. There is an abortion clinic in Cleveland that was able to comply with the law.”
Martin Haskell is best known for his advocacy of partial-birth abortion technique and is credited for popularizing the now banned and illegal procedure. According to Ohio Right to Life, Haskell has performed abortions for more than 30 years.