Toledo, Ohio Abortion Clinic Closes After Breaking Health, Safety Laws

State   Steven Ertelt   Jun 11, 2013   |   9:58AM    Toledo, OH

In April, Ohio state officials ordered the temporary closure of an abortion clinic in Toledo that is breaking a state health and safety law designed to protect women’s health.

Although abortion advocates frequently cite women’s health as the reason for supporting abortion, Ohio state officials exposed a cover-up involving Center for Choice of Toledo, a local abortion center. Now, new reports indicate the Center for Choice took its last abortion appointment on Friday.

According to Ohio Department of Health documents, this abortion clinic operated without a transfer agreement resulting in a recommended closure and a $25,000 fine.

The transfer agreement is needed so abortion practitioners can quickly admit a woman who was injured in a botched abortion, so a local hospital or medical center could provide her with emergency medical treatment.

Now, the Toledo Blade newspaper is reporting that the abortion center has closed for good.

The parking lot of the Center for Choice in downtown Toledo was nearly deserted and the lights in the building were dark on Monday, four days after the long-running abortion clinic quietly shut its doors.

The closure of one of two Toledo abortion clinics is the result of the state of Ohio enforcing a longstanding rule requiring all ambulatory surgical facilities to have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital, and of local hospitals refusing to provide that agreement.

Sue Postal, Center for Choice owner and director, confirmed that the clinic stopped taking appointments last week.

“The three hospitals in the area are unwilling to support us. It really needs to be a bigger community support. I don’t want to blame anybody. We’ve never asked for much. We’ve kind of absorbed most of the abuse,” Ms. Postal said. “I don’t want anybody to be the scapegoat because I think it’s a community thing.”

“We’ve been fighting the fight for all these years,” she said. “When anything’s attacked, you need community support. We tried.”

Ohio Director of Health Theodore Wymyslo notified the facility on April 24 that it had 30 days to request a hearing on a proposal to revoke the clinic’s license. Ms. Postal said she would have needed a transfer agreement in place to get a hearing.

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The abortion facility had been operating since 1983.

After the initial decision to temporary close the abortion facility for breaking state law, pro-life advocates were happy.

“This is yet another case of the abortion industry disregarding women’s health and well-being. Center for Choice lied to the Department of Health in order to cover-up the fact that they were breaking Ohio law,” said President of Ohio Right to Life Mike Gonidakis. “The abortion industry strives to paint a rosy picture of women’s healthcare, but the reality is that the abortion industry acts with callous disregard for women and of course their unborn babies.”

According to Ohio law, Center for Choice of Toledo exists as an Ambulatory Surgical Facility and because of this legal status, the clinic is not a full-service medical facility. In order for Center for Choice of Toledo to operate legally, the clinic has to have a transfer agreement with a full-service hospital to handle all cases of abortion complications against the mother. The clinic has not had a legal transfer agreement since 2010, according to Ohio Department of Health documents, Gonidakis said.

“It’s a crime that Center for Choice has performed illegal abortions for the last two years, jeopardizing women for the sake of profit, but we take hope in the fact that they will cease taking innocent human life,” he told LifeNews.