The Ohio Supreme Court handed down a victory for women and unborn babies Wednesday when it refused to hear a case involving the license of a late-term abortion facility.
Back in 2016, the Ohio Department of Health revoked the license of the Women’s Med Center, near Dayton, for failing to meet the state health and safety standards. However, the abortion facility challenged the action in court and has been operating without a license since that time.
On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court ended the case when it refused to hear an appeal by abortionist Martin Haskell, who runs the Kettering facility. The ruling puts state health officials one step closer to closing the facility where about 3,000 unborn babies are aborted every year.
“We are extremely grateful that the court saw what the trial judge and the appellate court both saw: that Haskell and his operation are a threat to maternal and child well-being,” said Margie Christie, executive director of Dayton Right to Life and president of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio. “We thank the Department of Health and the Attorney General’s Office for pursuing this matter and working to close this blight on our community.”
Haskell is well-known as a late-term abortionist and possibly the inventor of the partial-birth abortion procedure, which is now banned. His facility in Dayton advertised abortions up to 22 weeks, though the watchdog group Operation Rescue suspects it “still conducts abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy for ‘fetal indications.’”
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In 2016, the state revoked the abortion facility’s license after it failed to comply with a state law requiring that all ambulatory surgical facilities have written transfer agreements with local hospitals in case of patient emergencies.
The Second District Court of Appeals in Ohio upheld the department’s decision, and the state Supreme Court refused to hear Haskell’s appeal of that ruling this week, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
State pro-life leaders expressed relief that the abortion facility may not be in operation much longer.
“Every surgical facility in the state of Ohio is required to have a transfer agreement which protects women’s health,” Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said. “There are no loopholes for abortion clinics. Both the Court of Appeals and today the Supreme Court have reaffirmed the Department of Health’s order for this clinic to be closed. No reasonable person believes this so-called clinic should remain open if they can’t follow basic health and safety standards.”
According to the Dispatch, separate litigation involving the abortion facility is on-going in federal court, so the abortion business likely will remain open for now. The pro-abortion group NARAL told the AP that the abortion facility “will continue to pursue options to continue to provide safe and legal abortion” after the Supreme Court decision.
“Haskell and his operation are all about profits, not about the well-being of women,” said Gary Taphorn, chairman of the board of Dayton Right to Life. “We are relieved to see this shameful chapter in the history of our region be closed.”
This is the second such legal battle involving Haskell and the state Department of Health. In 2014, the state shut down his Sharonville, Ohio, abortion facility for similar health and safety violations.
Earlier this year, Operation Rescue documented an emergency complication at the facility. According to 911 records received by the pro-life group, the Dayton abortion facility called an ambulance for a woman who was unconscious and having seizures after aborting her unborn baby.