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Ohio abortion clinic owned by Martin Haskell to remain open while appeal goes forward, judge rules

by | Feb 5, 2014

 

By Dave Andrusko

Photo: Tony Jones, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Photo: Tony Jones, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Last Friday Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jerome Metz Jr. ruled that an Ohio clinic owned by the notorious abortionist Martin Haskell can remain open while his Lebanon Road Surgery Center, also known as Women’s Medical Center, fights a state order closing the clinic.

Haskell’s clinic was in violation of state law because it operated without a transfer agreement with an area hospital and was unable to identify any doctors within the region that wanted to assist his abortion business. The Ohio Department of Health had ordered Haskell’s abortion clinic to cease all operations and close its doors on or before February 4, 2014. The clinic appealed.

Judge Metz suspended the closure order, citing a hardship for women who use the Women’s Medical Center.

“The suspension (of the closure order) will maintain the status quo until the merits of this appeal can be determined by the court,” Metz said. “(I find) that based on all of the above considerations, an unusual hardship will result from the execution of the order pending determination of the appeal.” The appeal process could take a year (or more), Jennifer Branch, Haskell’s attorney, said.

According to the Associated Press,

“Melissa Wilburn, senior assistant attorney general, argued in court records for the state that the clinic’s appeal of the closure order has ‘no chance of succeeding,’ and that ‘the public interest is not served when a clinic in clear violation of the law is permitted to continue to operate.

“Wilburn argued that the matter was simple: The clinic doesn’t have a transfer agreement and is no longer allowed to use doctors in place of the agreement, and therefore is not licensed to operate.”

The Cincinnati area has two abortion clinics. The Sharonville abortion clinic not only performs “thousands” of abortions (according to Branch), it is also “the only clinic for hundreds of miles that performs later-term abortions [abortions on women who are between 18 and 22 weeks pregnant],” the Associated Press reported.

Haskell is best known for his advocacy of partial-birth abortion and is credited for popularizing the now banned and illegal procedure. Ohio Right to Life says that Haskell has performed abortions for more than 30 years.

Categories: Abortion Clinic