Ohio Judge’s Order Keeping Dayton Abortion Center Open Causes Pro-Life Stir

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Judge’s Order Keeping Dayton Abortion Center Open Causes Pro-Life Stir Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 29
, 2008

Dayton, OH (LifeNews.com) — A judge’s last-minute order allowing a Dayton abortion center to stay open has caused a stir among pro-life groups who say that the abortion business has been flouting state law. The Women’s Medical Center, operated by Martin Haskell, who invented the partial-birth abortion procedure, has been in trouble for years.

The abortion center has been violating a state law for not having arrangements with a local hospital to provide medical treatment for women who suffer from abortion complications.

As LifeNews.com reported on Thursday, Ohio Health Director Alvin Jackson revoked the abortion facility’s license earlier this month.

However, WMC officials were able to persuade District Judge Algenon Marbley to issued a temporary restraining order stopping it the license revocation — but not until two weeks after the health department’s decision.

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.

Judge Marbley claimed his decision was necessary because some of abortion center’s customers are using the two-part abortion drug and need to return to the abortion facility for a followup.

Denise Mackura, an attorney from the Thomas More Law Center representing Dayton Right to Life, held a press conference on Friday to condemn the decision, calling it "an unbridled act of judicial tyranny."

“Haskell’s abortion center must be closed,” she told LifeNews.com.

She said Haskell has had a history of injuring women in abortions and that his failure to obtain the hospital transfer agreement continues to put women at risk.

“He performs late-term abortions and has had several cases of complications and injuries reported over the last few years. It is the health of our sisters, mothers and daughters that is at risk if Haskell is allowed to keep his abortion facility in operation," she said.

Mackura told LifeNews.com that the Thomas More Society is preparing a lawsuit to ask the courts to close the center if it continues to operate in violation of state laws.

“We have to wonder why this abortion business has been allowed to operate in violation of state law for so long and has not been held to the same standards as other medical facilities,” says Mackura. “If the state of Ohio does not act, we will."

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.

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 Dayton Daily News.

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."

Haskell’s abortion facility performs approximately 2,600 abortions annually.

Related web sites:
Thomas More Society – https://www.ThomasMoreSociety.org