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Ohio Supreme Court refuses to reconsider ruling against Dayton abortion clinic

by | Nov 1, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

The Ohio Supreme Court this week declined to reconsider its May decision upholding an order by the Ohio Department of Health instructing Dayton’s lone abortion clinic to close because it had failed to reach a state-required patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital.

Last May the Women’s Med Center asked the seven-member court to hear and reverse the Court of Appeals decision which had upheld the order by the state health department. As was the case with the reconsideration issue Wednesday, the vote was 4-3 against the Women’s Med Center.

As NRL News Today has detailed in multiple stories, a 2013 Ohio law requires an “ambulatory surgical facility,” which includes abortion clinics, to have a written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. The exception is if it is granted a variance by the state health director.

However, in 2016, state health officials revoked the center’s operating license “because it did not have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital or name enough backup physicians for emergencies,” The Columbus Dispatch’s Catherine Candisky reported. The clinic is run by the infamous late-term abortionist Martin Haskell, credited with inventing the hideous partial-birth abortion procedure.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Deputy Director Jaime Miracle told Wayne Baker of the Dayton Daily News, “Minutes after the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled this morning, I filed an emergency motion in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) which would allow Women’s Med Center in Dayton to continue performing surgical abortions,” Branch said. “This was filed in the case that has been pending in federal court since 2015 (Planned Parenthood and WMCD v. Hodges). We raised constitutional issues in federal court that were not raised in the Supreme Court of Ohio.”

By contrast, Margie Christie, executive director of Dayton Right to Life, told the Dayton Daily News, “Since 2016, this facility has tied up our court system and spent thousands of state tax dollars trying to undermine the work of the Ohio Department of Health in enforcing its regulations.”

Christie added, “The laws regarding ambulatory surgical facilities were put in place by the legislature to protect the citizens of Ohio. Women’s Med Center should be as concerned about the health and safety of their clients as the Ohio Department of Health.”

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