NRL News

Abortionists bring a second challenge this month to Ohio Supreme Court

by | Sep 27, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

Capital Care Network

On Tuesday, for the second time this month, the abortion industry asked the Ohio Supreme Court to reverse a loss they’d suffered in the legislature, allowing them to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

As we reported, on September 12, the Ohio Supreme Court heard government attorneys defend shutting down Capital Care Network, Toledo’s last abortion clinic, because “it failed to obtain a transfer agreement with a local hospital to take patients in the event of a medical emergency, as required by the 2013 budget,” according to Stephen P. Carney, the assistant attorney general.

Both the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas and Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals in Toledo ruled in favor of the clinic meaning that Capital Care, which performed 895 abortions last year, has remained open.

Yesterday’s oral arguments were part of a 2013 challenge to several pro-life initiatives in the 2013-2014 budget bill brought by Preterm, Cleveland’s largest abortion facility. “Those provisions include the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program, which provides funding for pregnancy centers; statutes requiring ambulatory surgical facilities to have written transfer agreements; and a ban on taxpayer-funded hospitals signing such agreements with abortion facilities,” according to Ohio Right to Life.

Tuesday’s preliminary back-and-forth was about whether Preterm has standing to bring the challenge. The trial court concluded Preterm lacked standing, was not injured by any of the provisions, and granted summary judgment to the state. Subsequently, however, a divided Eighth Appellate District Court reversed the decision.

“Assistant Ohio Attorney General Ryan Richardson argued that Preterm does not have the legal right to sue because it has provided ‘no direct and concrete proof’ that it was harmed — a point that must be proved to pursue a legal action,” according to Randy Ludlow of the Columbia Dispatch.

However, clinic lawyer Jessie Hill countered that the provisions, including one requiring an agreement with a private hospital to accept the emergency transfer of clinic patients to be renewed every two years, did harm its operations.

Conducting ultrasounds to establish a fetal heartbeat also affected the clinic by requiring more visits by individual patients, said Hill, a lawyer with American Civil Liberties Union-Ohio.

The ultrasound argument is a curious one, since the abortion clinic has acknowledged they already do perform ultrasounds!

As noted above, Preterm also criticizes other provisions, including the requirement that it have a transfer agreement with a local hospital in cases of emergency. But none of these can be adjudicated if Preterm lacks standing.