Abortion debate heats up as Ohio clinic ordered to close

United States marks anniversary of Roe v. Wade today.
MCT Regional News
Jan 22, 2014

As the United States marks another anniversary of Roe v. Wade today, Ohio seeks to shut down a Cincinnati-area abortion clinic.

The Lebanon Road Surgery Center in Sharonville was targeted for closure in November 2012, a move upheld by an Ohio Department of Health hearing officer in the fall and ordered on Friday by State Health Director Ted Wymyslo effective Feb. 4.

The order follows the “voluntary” closing of a Cleveland abortion clinic on Sept. 30; the decision last year to shutter Toledo’s Capital Care Women’s Center, whose appeal will be heard next month; and the pending attempt by another Cincinnati abortion clinic to obtain an exemption from state law.

The latest move might help bring the abortion issue to full boil in the Buckeye State. Already, abortion-rights supporters were agitated because the state budget, passed by the GOP-dominated legislature and signed by Gov. John Kasich last year, added several new abortion restrictions. Last week, Kasich’s likely Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald, picked an abortion-rights leader as his running mate, and they and the rest of the Democratic ticket are making a joint appearance today with Ohio Planned Parenthood leaders.

Meanwhile, the group Faith2Action, which has been pushing for a bill that would ban abortions in Ohio once a fetus’ heartbeat can be detected, is mailing postcards this week attempting to pressure GOP lawmakers — dubbed “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) — who don’t back the bill.

“What’s the difference between a RINO Republican and a pro-abortion Democrat?” the postcards ask. “Not much — 26,000 babies a year in Ohio will be just as dead.”

The Sharonville clinic was shut down because, like the Toledo center and the other Cincinnati facility, it does not have a valid transfer agreement — a pact required of all Ohio ambulatory surgical facilities with a local hospital to accept patients if medical help is needed.

If two of those three clinics close, Ohio will have fewer than 10 abortion clinics for the first time in decades.

“There is a history of problems with this particular ambulatory surgery facility and operator” in Sharonville, said Tessie Pollock, spokeswoman for the health department. “The agency no longer has confidence that this (facility) will take necessary steps to operate in accordance with regulations.”

The clinic’s attorney, Jennifer Branch of Cincinnati, said an appeal will be filed within the 15-day limit, asking a local judge to allow the facility to remain open until the case is resolved. She called the state’s action “unprecedented” and part of “a regulatory witch hunt on abortion providers at the behest of Gov. John Kasich.”

“Women’s Med Center has provided quality medical care to its patients since (the department) licensed the Center in 2010 even though it did not have a transfer agreement,” Branch said. “We are disappointed that after allowing the center to operate without a transfer agreement for over three years, (the department) has now refused to renew the center’s license.”

In a two-page letter to Branch, Wymyslo said he was troubled by the center’s failure to inform the state and request approval for changes made to the variance under which the clinic was previously operating. That factor “worried me that conditions at the facility while operating under the variance could not be adequately monitored to ensure patient safety,” the doctor said.

Wymyslo criticized the clinic for bringing two new backup physicians on board without informing the health department of “credentialing and disciplinary issues,” which he said caused him “serious concern.”

The clinic did not check one of the doctor’s license profile with the State Medical Board and never verified one of the backup’s admitting privileges at the local hospital, he wrote.

“We want to thank the health department for enforcing Ohio law and refusing to allow the abortion industry to escape complying with health and safety standards,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, in a statement. “Women’s health is priority number one and today’s actions by the Kasich administration should serve as a wake-up call that Ohio will no longer turn a blind eye towards unhealthy medical practices.”

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said, “Gov. Kasich and his political appointees at the Ohio Department of Health are abusing their regulatory authority by moving to close an abortion clinic without any medical justification. ... Clearly this is about politics and ideology, not patient safety.”

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By Darrel Rowland - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

dogmama2

Why can't people who don't want an abortion NOT have one and for the women who decide this is the best option for them let THEM make the decision that is right for them...What if this was the opposite way around and we were forcing abortions on people who didn't want them? It is not an easy decision. It is one that holds feelings for forever. I also don't understand why we have any children in foster care or why all children aren't adopted...why can't we worry more about the ones who are here instead of the ones not here yet???

mobekat

Those same people don't want to pay for those children either.

propman

The US has an average of 3,200 abortions every day
Over 54 million since Rowe vs Wade.
That is the equivalent of over 160 Sandy Hook shooting a day.

dogmama2

To compare abortion to Sandy Hook is ridiculous, cruel and just mean.

JMOP

Ridiculous, cruel, and just mean? Do you know how abortions are performed? What kind of so called doctor and so called mother could kill her baby? (Yes it's a baby, an unborn child, not a fetus. It's only called a fetus to desensitized a culture in believing it's less of a human being.) Those are the people that are ridiculous, cruel, and just plan mean.

dogmama2

I know exactly how an abortion is performed. A doctor who is following a patient's request and a woman who is having an abortion is making a hard decision. It is a fetus by every MEDICAL term and no it is in no way comparable to Sandy Hook. Like I have said a million times before let's take care of the ones we have and worry less about the ones who aren't here yet. Millions of people starving, out of work, unclean water, foster care out of control...really and you want to bring thousands more of children who are going to be in a situaton to not be cared for? why because people want healthy babies to raise...they don't want a 4, 5, or 6 year old, might have issues? That is the real reason huh? We demand bring em all here but figure out how to pay for em yourself.

JMOP

So it's ok to kill babies, because so many are already here?
My doctor never called my child a fetus while I was carrying. He said the baby's heartbeat sounds healthy. He always referred my child as a baby. I never had a fetus shower either, I had a baby shower.
Too many dogs here that people don't take care of. They probably got raped or forced into breeding, and the dog mothers didn't want their pup fetuses, we should think about those poor dog mothers too. (That's how I see the argument, as ridiculous as people devaluing human life)

methodman

I believe its the pregnant mothers choice. The support for the unborn children does tend to dwindle off after they are born and require financial support.

dogmama2

You and your doctor called a baby because you and I both know it will not grow into a puppy. It is ok to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason you see fit if it is your body...I feel that no one has the right to tell anyone else what to do until it is an infringement on another breathing persons rights. Nowhere does being born fall under a constitutional right. And yes I feel that until you can take care of the things that you already have you shouldn’t get anymore. Maybe people who do and feel they can do whatever they want and have others foot the bill wouldn't if all costs fell on them...and what the hell with the dogs? Comparing the two makes no sense. But bringing all life to being born is exactly why there are so many kill shelters...

JMOP

I admit I may have gone overboard some with bringing up dogs, but abortion is something that I am compassionately against. My point with your comment about too much surplus of unwanted children, so the first thing that came to my mind was too many animals. Comparing the two was foolish, my apologies.
About half of all abortions are repeated abortions. That to me, it is such a disconnect to human life. Google image search aborted babies at 20 weeks. At 20 weeks they are able to survive outside the womb. At 12 weeks gestation, they can feel pain during an abortion. How can anyone deny an innocent life?

dogmama2

During the last year about 650,000 children spent some time in out-of-home care in the United States. On any given day, there are approximately 400,000 children in out-of-home care in the United States. How about we find these a loving ome and help the ones not in foster care to find loving homes and then and only then worry about the ones that didn't make it. How many kids does that make it since 1973 that have gotten hear and are then thrown away?

JACKEL

I am still confused why there are so many unwanted pregnancies in this day of availability for prevention.Allowing for surprises, don't you know by the first OB Visit whether you want another brat ! Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a chicken !No cards and letters please !

Windy

If you don't want a baby, take the appropriate precautions in the first place. Abortion should NOT be used as a form of contraceptive.

Stevie Renee

Excellent comments Dmama2. A woman should have the right to choose. All situations are different as are woman. They should have the option especially when rape, incest or medical conditions arise which could result in the unborn or mothers suffering or death. People are constantly complaining about paying for people on welfare-who pays for the children in foster homes? It must be hard to adopt American children as people go to different countries when we have thousands of adoptable children here.