Ohio Hospitals Breaking State Law by Failing to Report Abortions of Unborn Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 2, 2016   |   6:19PM   |   Columbus, OH

A new Ohio investigation is revealing that some hospitals failed to report the number of babies who were aborted at their facilities to the state, as required by law.

After a Cincinnati hospital changed its policy two months ago to ban abortions on babies with fetal anomalies, a Gannett Ohio inquiry revealed that the hospital and several others were not reporting abortions to the state, according to WKYC.

The report continues:

The Ohio Department of Health is requesting what it considers delinquent data from Ohio hospitals, spokesman Russ Kennedy said.

“The code says you have to submit a report. It doesn’t say, ‘unless there is none,’ ” Kennedy said.

Hospitals across Ohio have consistently failed to file these abortion reports as required by state law, spokesman Russ Kennedy said. State health officials now are investigating how many hospitals failed to comply and are requesting delinquent data.

Hospital officials across Ohio say they weren’t required to file monthly and annual reports on abortions if they performed no abortions. Ohio Department of Health didn’t have a template to submit this data, a spokeswoman at Chillicothe-based Adena Health System said.

Blame for not following state law should fall on both hospital officials and on the Ohio Department of Health, which failed to pursue and collect the data, said Gonidakis, of Ohio Right to Life.

“These are laws. They aren’t suggestions,” he said.

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The late reports from Christ did not affect Ohio’s annual tally of abortions performed statewide, Kennedy said. The health department already tracked the number of abortions performed in Ohio hospitals through doctor-submitted reports.

In 2014, just 84 of Ohio’s more than 21,000 abortions were performed at hospitals – 0.4 percent of all abortions statewide, according to Ohio Department of Health’s annual report.

The Cincinnati facility, Christ Hospital, recently responded to the state with its report, which shows that 59 abortions were performed in the past 52 ½ years, according to the report.

However, an abortion doctor from the Cincinnati area, who was unnamed in the report, said he aborted more than a dozen babies at Christ Hospital last year, the report states.

Two other hospitals, Bucyrus Community Hospital and Galion Community Hospital, told reporters that they did not file reports because there were no abortions at their facilities.

Ohio law requires that hospitals report abortions performed after 12 weeks at their facilities to the state Department of Health both monthly and annually, according to the report. However, the state does not list penalties for hospitals if they fail to provide the information, the report states.

LifeNews previously reported that Christ Hospital adopted a new policy recently that will only allow abortions “in situations deemed to be a threat to the life of the mother.”

Abortions dropped to historic lows in Ohio in 2014, the latest year numbers are available. The 2014 Ohio Abortion Report revealed an 8.7 percent drop in abortions, making it the lowest level since 1976 when record-keeping began. The Ohio health department report shows 21,186 abortions on unborn babies in 2014, which is down from 23,216 abortions in 2013 — showing 2,030 babies saved from abortions compared to the year before.