Late-Term Abortionist Haskell Risking Women’s Health in Ohio

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 2, 2011   |   11:59AM   |   Sharonville, OH

City officials in this Ohio city are concerned about decisions by the state health department to allow a late-term abortion practitioner to not have an arrangement with a local hospital to care for women victimized by botched abortions.

City officials in Sharonville are asking the Ohio Department of Health to reconsider a “variance” issued to Haskell allowing him to operate his Women’s Med Center abortion facility there without having to comply with laws requiring abortion practitioners to maintain valid Ambulatory Transfer agreements or have admitting privileges at local qualified hospitals to care for women who need emergency medical care following a failed abortion.

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

Haskell, credited as one of the early users of the now-banned partial-birth abortion procedure, has received two variances from the Ohio health department, including one for his abortion center in Dayton.

In a letter to the Ohio health department supplied to, Sharonville Board of Health president Virgil G. Lovitt wrote to the state health department on May 19 and said, “It is the belief of the Sharonville Board of Health that this waiver/variance was improperly granted and compromises the health, safety and welfare of the general public.”

The Sharonville Health Department has asked the Ohio Department of Health to reopen and reconsider the variance.

Lovitt, who also serves as the mayor of the Cincinnati suburb, included in the 18-point letter some 53 pages of documentation to support the Sharonville Board of Health’s findings. He expresses concerns that the variance was hastily granted and points out that Haskell’s new abortion facility was in non-compliance with state and federal laws just two weeks before an election that replaced pro-abortion Gov. Ted Strickland with pro-life Gov. John Kasich.

The timeline leading to the granting of the variance raises questions about campaign contributions from Haskell totaling $3,750 to the Strickland re-election campaign.

An October 7, 2010, inspection of Haskell’s Sharonville office indicated deficiencies in 18 categories. The day after the inspection, Haskell made a $2,500 contribution to then-Gov. Strickland’s re-election campaign. Two weeks later, the variance was issued without having any evidence that the 18 discovered deficiencies had been corrected or even addressed.

Additionally, an investigation Operation Rescue conducted discovered that Haskell’s abortion center operated illegally for two months without the proper licensing from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which currently classifies the abortion clinic as “a large generator of Bio-Waste.”

“Both of Haskell’s Ohio abortion clinics have now been given permission to operate outside the law,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.  “The documentation submitted by Mayor Lovitt paints a dramatic picture of an abortion business that is attempting to evade compliance, buy favors, and confuse the public in such a way that it endangers women.”

“Operation Rescue is asking the public contact the Ohio Department of Health and ask them to rescind the variance and uphold the law as written,” he said.