The Ohio health department has updated an arrangement that allows late-term abortion practitioner Martin Haskell to continue doing abortions without following state law requiring him to have a transfer agreement at a local hospital.
In 1996, Ohio passed a law requiring that all ambulatory surgical centers must be licensed by the state and, in 1999, it came to the attention of the Ohio Health Department that abortion clinics were not in compliance with the law, having never applied for licensing. The OHD began the process of insuring that all abortion clinics came into compliance.
Haskell refused to comply and, after years of court and administrative battles, the administration of former Ohio governor Ted Strickland granted a variance [exception] allowing the late-term abortion practitioner to open a new abortion facility in Sharonville, Ohio, the Women’s Med Center at 11250 Lebanon Road. The state gave him this variance on the condition that he maintains privileges at an area hospital, a lesser standard than a transfer agreement.
Now, Haskell’s variance has been modified and Ted Wymyslo, the health department director, says Haskell is no longer required to have privileges at an area hospital or a transfer agreement. He is allowed to operate by having his partner, Roslyn Kade, and two other Cincinnati doctors, David Schwartz and Walter J. Bowers*, handle his emergency complications.
That decision is meeting with strong condemnation from Virgil Lovitt, the mayor of Sharonville and president of the Sharonville Board of Health.
“Now, Martin Haskell can continue to perform abortions without meeting these requirements, and he can replace his skills with other doctors that, also, do not need to meet the written state regulations,” he said. “Any abortionists working at the Women’s Med Center are now covered by the credentials of Dr. Haskell’s partner, Roslyn Kade, and two doctors off-site. This has expanded the variance to beyond the career of this 71-year old abortionist. Martin Haskell can finally retire and his late term abortion center will legally be able to operate indefinitely.”
Lovitt says the concerns are not merely hypothetical as the abortion clinic has already experienced botched abortions just one year after opening.
“Haskell’s two-day process for late term abortions has already produced one stillborn baby in a hotel toilet and another in a car on the way to an ER,” he said. “These complications are difficult to track, and there are probably more than we know. There are pro-life sidewalk educators outside the abortion facility, and it is estimated that this location is performing about 200 abortions each month.”
In August, Lovitt joined Mike Gonidakis of Ohio Right to Life, Paula Westwood of Cincinnati Right to Life, and Colleen Gerke of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in a meeting with Wymyslo about Haskell where Lovitt says he “begged the new director not to liberalize the variance if Martin Haskell’s privileges at an area hospital changed.”
Westwood also complained about the health department’s decision, saying, “This expanded variance for the Women’s Med Center needlessly caters to the abortion industry at the cost of many unborn babies’ lives.”
She is calling on pro-life advocates to contact the following officials “to ask why the state of Ohio is helping the abortion industry at Women’s Med Center stay in business with a special variance, when it should at the very least be required to have a transfer agreement like most other Ambulatory Surgical Facilities.”
Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director
Ohio Department of Health
246 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Attorney General Mike DeWine (attorney for Ohio Department of Health)
30 East Broad St., 14th floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Governor John Kasich (appointed Dr. Wymyslo)
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, Oh 43215-6117
Ask The Christ Hospital how protecting abortionists is in keeping with its much publicized prenatal, birthing and maternity care efforts.
President and CEO
The Christ Hospital
2139 Auburn Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45219
513-585-2000 (request office of the president)
The Christ Hospital
Division of Compliance and Organizational Ethics