UPDATE: The judge in the case ruled that the abortion clinic can stay open. But Mike Gonidakis of Ohio Right to Life says the fight to close it is not over:
“The judge obviously got this one wrong. The law is crystal clear as to the health and safety requirements for an abortion clinic to operate in Ohio. You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that Capitol Care Network falls short of those standards.
We hope that our pro-life Attorney General Mike DeWine will appeal this decision to not only uphold state law but to also protect women’s health. We are more than confident that we will win this case on appeal.
It boggles my mind that an abortion clinic prefers to skirt around state law and ask a court to hold them to a lower standard than the rest of the medical community. Their actions scream loudly as to what their true profit driven motivations truly are.”
The Attorney General of the state of Ohio has filed a motion seeking to close the last remaining abortion business in Toledo.
Last year, an Ohio Department of Health hearing examiner ruled that Capital Care Network of Toledo be closed because it lacks a valid, legally required transfer agreement with a “local” hospital, as required by state law.
When the abortion clinic was unable to secure a transfer agreement with any Toledo hospital, CCN, the last abortion clinic in Toledo, entered into a transfer agreement with an out-of-state hospital at the University of Michigan. Because the hospital is located 52 miles away from CCN, the hearing examiner found that it does not meet the “local” requirement.
Now, Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a motion with the Lucas County Common Pleas Court in an effort to expedite the closure of Toledo’s last abortion facility.
“It’s unconscionable that this abortion clinic has been operating illegally for nearly a year now,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “This order has been sitting on a judge’s desk for far too long while innocent babies die and women are endangered. We sincerely thank Mike DeWine for taking the lead by attempting to put an end to these delay tactics. The judicial branch should expedite this matter especially because innocent human lives are on the line.”
Gonidakis told LifeNews.com that the abortion clinic attempted to enter into a transfer agreement with an out-of-state hospital. Because the hospital is located over 50 miles away, the Department of Health ruled that it does not meet health and safety standards. While the abortion clinic’s legal counsel argued that this out-of-state hospital met the “local” requirement of the law, a hearing examiner ruled a year ago this week that it did not meet the definition of “local.”
“If these abortion clinics really cared about women’s health, they wouldn’t attempt to skirt the most basic health and safety standards that every other ambulatory surgical facility in the state abides by. With the force of Attorney General Mike DeWine weighing in on this significant breach of health and safety standards, we expect to see action on this case soon,” said Gonidakis.
According to Ohio Right to Life, Capital Care Network previously held a transfer agreement with the taxpayer-funded University of Toledo Medical Center. When Ohio Right to Life requested that the taxpayer-funded institution respect the conscience rights of taxpayers and end the agreement, the university chose to do so. After UTMC ended its contract last summer, Capital Care Network proceeded to operate illegally for nearly six months without a transfer agreement.
According to Ohio law, Capital Care exists as an Ambulatory Surgical Facility and because of this status, the clinic is not a full-service medical facility. In order for Capital Care Network of Toledo to operate legally, the clinic has to have a transfer agreement with a full-service hospital to handle all cases of abortion complications against the mother.
Why are laws requiring abortion practitioners to hold admitting privileges necessary? Consider Angela’s story.
Angela was twenty weeks pregnant when she walked into a dingy abortion clinic in Santa Ana, California, on August 7, 2004. Her abortion was completed in five minutes with little or no pain relief by an 84-year old abortionist, Phillip Rand, who rotated his time between several clinics throughout Southern California.
When he was done with Angela’s abortion, he got in his car and began the three-hour drive on congested California freeways to another abortion clinic in Chula Vista, near the Mexican border, where he had more patients waiting. But when Angela started bleeding heavily, the two medical aids, who were the only ones left in the clinic, didn’t know what to do. One called Rand and asked him to return to the clinic to help the hemorrhaging women, but Rand refused. He was already an hour or so away and didn’t want to go back and risk losing business in Chula Vista. He told them to call 911 if she got any worse.
Angela did get worse – much worse. By the time paramedics arrived, it was too late. They found her in a pool of her own blood. There was no oxygen or no crash cart at the clinic, but it is doubtful that the two minimally-trained aids would have know how to operate them if they had been available. Angela was transported to a local hospital where she later died.
One paramedic was so incensed by how he found Angela that he reported Rand to his supervisor who, in turn, notified the Medical Board. A signed declaration from the paramedic noted, “This was the worst post-partum patient situation at a medical clinic I have ever encountered during my time as a paramedic.” Twenty months later Rand surrendered his medical license.
For Angela, there was no continuity of care. Rand held no hospital privileges. This allowed him to operate well below the standard of care at the cost of one woman’s life.