NRL News

Ohio revokes license of Toledo’s last abortion clinic, effective August 12

by | Jul 31, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Capital Care Network

Capital Care Network

Back in June, when last we wrote about the Capital Care Network, the lone remaining abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, state officials had responded to the clinic’s argument that it had fulfilled the requirement to have access to a “local” hospital if complications arose— an agreement with the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor located more than 50 miles away and in a different state.

That response came in the form of a decision, written by William J. Kepko, an Ohio Department of Health hearing examiner, who ruled the state’s decision to revoke the clinic’s license as an ambulatory surgical center was valid.

That conclusion upheld two decisions by former Health Director Ted Wymyslo. The final word, we wrote, rested with Lance D. Himes, the department’s acting director. (Himes served as legal counsel to Dr. Wymyslo, when he issued his original license revocation order last August.)

On Tuesday, Mr. Himes signed an order revoking Capital Care Network’s license, effective August 12. “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,” reported the Toledo Blade’s Vanessa McCray and Marlene Harris.

Capital Care owner Terry Hubbard told the Blade that she now has the financing to fight the Ohio Department of Health’s ruling in court. “I think there is going to be a lot of unwanted pregnancy in Toledo if we are forced to close — not all women can travel,” Hubbard told McCray and Harris.

The story of the Capital Care Network is already a lengthy one.

Former Ohio Health Director Dr. Ted Wymyslo

Former Ohio Health Director Dr. Ted Wymyslo

As NRL News Today explained (quoting from Ohio Right to Life), “According to Ohio law, Capital Care exists as an Ambulatory Surgical Facility and because of this status, the clinic is not a full-service medical facility. In order for Capital Care Network of Toledo to operate legally, the clinic has to have a transfer agreement with a full-service hospital to handle all cases of abortion complications against the mother.”

Capital Care Network had a one-year arrangement with the University of Toledo Medical Center, but UTMC exercised its option not to renew, effective July 1, 2013. Unable to find an Ohio hospital, the abortion clinic signed an agreement with the Ann Arbor hospital, effective late this past January.

“State law doesn’t define ‘local,’ but the state’s health director at the time, Dr. Ted Wymyslo, determined that the University of Michigan Health System, about 53 miles away, doesn’t qualify,” Jim Provance of the Toledo Blade wrote.

As a backup strategy, Capital Care Network took the position that a transfer agreement is not really needed. In situations not considered serious emergencies, the clinic will employ a helicopter, clinic owner Terri Hubbard said.

In situations that are a true emergency, “they will be transferred to the local hospital because 911 will transport to the closest hospital to the center,” said Jennifer Branch, the clinic’s Cincinnati attorney.

Categories: Abortion Clinic