by Steven Ertelt
March 5, 2008
Dayton, OH (LifeNews.com) — Ohio officials have backed off their efforts to close down a Dayton abortion center that failed to protect women who are victims of botched abortions. The Women’s Medical Center of Dayton is not following state law by having a relationship with a local hospital to provide emergency care when women are seriously injured by an abortion.
A judge’s last-minute order at the end of last month allowed the abortion business to stay open even though Ohio Health Director Alvin Jackson revoked the abortion facility’s license weeks prior.
On Tuesday, Jackson granted the abortion business a variance after it named three physicians at Miami Valley Hospital who have agreed to admit patients injured by abortions.
The abortion center, operated by Martin Haskell, who invented the partial-birth abortion procedure, has been running afoul of the law for years because no hospital would agree to support it.
But the Dayton Daily News indicated Jackson sent the abortion business a letter saying it accepts the hospital’s contention that it would accept patients from the abortion center even if none of the three physicians, Larry Amesse, Sheela Barhan and Jan Duke, are available.
"We felt this was a good enough procedure to ensure continuity of care," state health department spokesman Jay Carey told the News. "They’ve met the requirement."
But Christi Dodson, executive director of Dayton Right To Life, told the newspaper she is concerned about the decision.
"I’m extremely disappointed that he (Jackson) didn’t follow through (with the revocation). I still have grave concerns for women who go into that facility," she said.
Had the issue not been resolved, District Judge Algenon Marbley, who issued a restraining order allowing the Women’s Medical Center of Dayton to stay open, had planned for a hearing on Friday.
Denise Mackura, an attorney from the Thomas More Law Center representing Dayton Right to Life, previously talked with LifeNews.com about the situation.
Haskells 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 was considering a lawsuit if the abortion center failed to operate outside state law. There is no word yet on whether the pro-life law firm is still considering such a move.
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 couldn’t comply with state law.
Haskells abortion facility performs approximately 2,600 abortions annually.