Ohio Abortion Business Files Lawsuit Over Health Dept. Investigation

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Abortion Business Files Lawsuit Over Health Dept. Investigation Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 23, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — An abortion business in Ohio has filed a lawsuit to stop the state’s health department from conducting an investigation to determine whether it is meeting state regulations for surgical centers. The abortion facility calls the health department’s desire to review medical records a "fishing expedition."

The Ohio Department of Health is seeking access to records of 224 customers at the Central Ohio Women’s Center abortion business. The center is affiliated with Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio, which operates seven abortion facilities, and told the Associated Press it’s not aware of any pending lawsuits against it.

Lisa Perks, the center’s executive director, said it filed the lawsuit because it didn’t want to turn over sensitive medical records and patient information to the state agency.

However, the state normally seeks medical records in other kinds of investigations, including patient information for people living at nursing homes, health department spokesman Jay Carey told AP. He said the information would be kept confidential.

"This is something we’ve been doing for a long time," he said. "We keep it on a need-to-know basis for those who are investigating."

The abortion business filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Columbus and its similar to ones Planned Parenthood has filed in Kansas and Indiana to stop investigations there.

In those states, attorney general say they’re concerned Planned Parenthood has been performing abortions on minors without reporting statutory rape. They also want to know whether illegal late-term abortions have been performed.

In June, a Cincinnati prosecutor said a Planned Parenthood abortion center there would not be charged in connection with a secret abortion it performed on a 14-year old girl who was a victim of rape.

The Ohio Department of Health shows 274 abortions on girls under the age of 15 in 2003.

Planned Parenthood also filed suit against the Bush administration for seeking abortion facility records in its defense of the partial-birth abortion ban.