Toledo, Ohio May Become Abortion Free as Abortion Clinic Has License Revoked

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 31, 2014   |   1:45PM   |   Toledo, OH

The city of Toledo may soon be abortion free as the last remaining abortion clinic there has had its license revoked.

The state of Ohio has been trying to shut down the Capital Care Network of Toledo abortion clinic for some time for violating state regulations protecting the health and safety of women. Last year, the abortion clinic was provided a notice by state health officials of its noncompliance, which according to state law, should have led to its closing.

closdsign4The abortion clinic lacks a valid, legally required transfer agreement with a “local” hospital, as required by state law. When the abortion clinic was unable to secure a transfer agreement with any Toledo hospital, Capital Care Network entered into a transfer agreement with an out-of-state hospital at the University of Michigan. Because the hospital is located 52 miles away from CCN, a hearing examiner found that it does not meet the “local” requirement.

According to Ohio Right to Life, Capital Care Network previously held a transfer agreement with the taxpayer-funded University of Toledo Medical Center. When Ohio Right to Life requested that the taxpayer-funded institution respect the conscience rights of taxpayers and end the agreement, the university chose to do so. After UTMC ended its contract last summer, Capital Care Network proceeded to operate illegally for nearly six months without a transfer agreement.

Now, the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order to revoke the license effective August 12. Here’s more on that decision:

Interim Director of Health Lance Himes signed the adjudication order on Tuesday, “refusing to renew and revoking” the health-care facility license of Capital Care Network. The West Sylvania Avenue clinic has 15 days after the mailing of the notice to file an appeal and request that a court stay the order pending that appeal.

Mr. Himes’ decision follows a recommendation from a state hearing examiner in June that the clinic be shuttered because it does not hold a valid emergency-care agreement with a local hospital, a requirement of state law.

“We will have to close as a surgery center if we do not get a stay from the courts,” Capital Care owner Terry Hubbard said.

Ms. Hubbard said she is not giving up and for now has the financing to fight the state ruling in court.

Although she has already reached out to hospitals in a 30-mile radius of Toledo seeking a transfer agreement, she will begin the process again starting today.

“Maybe now a hospital will have a little more empathy now that they know we will have to close and there won’t be a clinic for women in Toledo,” Ms. Hubbard said.

Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, praised the ruling and criticized the clinic’s decision to operate without a transfer agreement.

“These are serious matters that involve women’s health,” he said. “For over a year they’ve operated without a transfer agreement, and that’s illegal.”