The state health department has shut down a late-term abortion clinic in Ohio that failed to follow state health and safety laws related to protecting women’s health.
The Ohio Department of Health affirmed its order to shut down abortion practitioner Martin Haskell’s Sharonville clinic, the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, for failure to meet Ohio medical standards. Haskell’s clinic operated without a transfer agreement with any area hospital and was unable to identify any doctors within the region that wanted assist his abortion business.
Ohio Right to Life officials informed LifeNews today of the closure.
“We want to thank the Health Department for enforcing Ohio law and refusing to allow the abortion industry to escape complying with health and safety standards,” said Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life. “Women’s health is priority number one and today’s actions by the Kasich administration should serve as a wake-up call that Ohio will no longer turn a blind eye towards unhealthy medical practices.”
Gonidakis told LifeNews that, according to Ohio law, Lebanon Road Surgery Center exists as an Ambulatory Surgical Facility and because of this legal status, the clinic is not a full-service medical facility. To operate legally, Lebanon Road Surgery Center must have a transfer agreement with a full-service private hospital to handle all cases of abortion complications against the mother. In the case that an abortion facility is unable to acquire a transfer agreement, it can apply for a variance (exception). Lebanon Road Surgery Center failed to obtain either.
Haskell, who owns Lebanon Road Surgery Center, has performed abortions for more than 30 years. He is notorious for his advocacy of partial-birth abortion and is credited for popularizing the now-banned and illegal procedure. With the closing of Haskell’s clinic, only one abortion facility remains open inside the county with the third highest rate for abortion deaths in Ohio, Gonidakis said.
“It is past time this abortion business was denied operations, for the health and well-being of this community and beyond, but even more for the little lives saved and for women’s safety,” said Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “Cincinnati Right to Life has been working for years to this end. Even if Haskell should appeal to the courts, his days of operation in this area are numbered.”
For years Haskell has operated only with the help of a variance issued by the Ohio Department of Health that allows Haskell to skirt the hospital requirement. He currently has no hospital privileges. Instead, he has an agreement with two physicians – to provide hospital care in the event of a woman suffers a medical emergency at his abortion clinic. At least one physician that Haskell has used in the past had a history of gross negligence and had been ordered to halt the performance of all obstetric procedures.
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Operation Rescue has documented four medical emergencies at Haskell’s two Ohio abortion clinics, two of which occurred just last year, creating serious concerns for patient safety.
The Lebanon Road Surgery Center is the most recent of five Ohio abortion clinics closed or slated to close. The Women’s Med Center is one of two abortion providers in Greater Cincinnati, together with Planned Parenthood responsible for the deaths of at least 2,500 unborn babies per year