by Steven Ertelt
February 28, 2008
Dayton, OH (LifeNews.com) — The last abortion center in Dayton, Ohio may close for good depending on the outcome of a court battle over the revocation of its medical license by state officials. The Women’s Medical Center, operated by Martin Haskell, who invented the partial-birth abortion procedure, has been in trouble for years for not having local hospital privileges.
Ohio Health Director Alvin Jackson revoked the abortion facility’s license earlier this month, but it was able to persuade District Judge Algenon Marbley to issued a temporary restraining order stopping it.
According to a Dayton Daily News report, the order allows the abortion business to stay open until a court can resolve the issues surrounding its license. Judge Marbley will hold a hearing on March 7 or 8.
The Women’s Medical Center abortion facility has been in courts for years over it not having arrangements with a local hospital to provide medical treatment for women who suffer from abortion complications.
The Ohio Department of Health requires free-standing outpatient surgical facilities to designate emergency medical providers through a "hospital transfer agreement." Because no local hospital would agree to serve as the backup provider for Haskell’s abortion facility, it can’t comply with state law.
The News reported that Haskell has worked out an arrangement with some individual physicians to provide the backup medical care, but Jackson determined that wouldn’t comply with state requirements because they would not make their names publicly available.
"The reluctance of the group of physicians to make their commitment a matter of public record does not provide the same level of reliability and certainty as the prescribed written transfer agreement with a receiving hospital," Jackson wrote to Haskell’s attorney, according to the newspaper.
Haskell attorney Alphonse Gerhardstein told the paper that the state health department’s slowness in moving in the case, and letting the matter go for a year before revoking the license this month, shows there is no health danger to women.
Christi Dodson, executive director of Dayton Right To Life, says the abortion center should be shut down and that the existence of a supposed list of doctors willing to help women doesn’t give women much confidence.
"They’ve remained unnamed and we don’t know who they are," she said. "What we’ve always wondered is, do they exist?"
"Does he have no regard for the law or for women’s health, for that matter?" Dodson said. "Because that’s what this is about."