Judge Suspends Order to Close Haskell Abortion Clinic With Conditions

By Cheryl Sullenger

Cincinnati, OH — Hamilton County Judge Jerome Metz has stayed an order issued by the Ohio Department of Health to close a late-term abortion clinic in Sharonville, Ohio, operated by Martin Haskell.

Judge Metz issued his 3-page ruling today that places conditions on his suspension of the ODH closure order.

“As a condition of that suspension, [Haskell] must maintain adequate safety policies and procedures for admittance of any patient to a hospital as may be needed. In furtherance of that condition, [Haskell] shall report any change in its current procedures or protocols or any change in its back-up doctors to the Court, to the Department of Health, and to the Department’s counsel of record. If it appears that any such change would be substantially detrimental to public safety, the Department may petition to alter or terminate the suspension,” stated the order.

“Today’s stay of the ODH closure order has only continues to place women in danger in spite of the conditions,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The two current abortionists that have an agreement with Haskell to provide hospital care have dubious safety records laced with multiple malpractice complaints. Women injured by Haskell abortions will only jump from the frying and into the fire, if subjected to treatment by his current back-up doctors.”

Haskell has operated his Lebanon Road Surgical Center abortion clinic, also known as Women’s Med Center, in Sharonville, a suburb of Cincinnati without the required hospital privileges or hospital transfer agreement, a fact that is not contested by either Haskell or the ODH.

Instead, his abortion clinic had been allowed to operate under a variance issued by the ODH allowing him to substitute an agreement with various other physicians to provide hospital care to Haskell’s abortion patients suffering complications that require hospitalization. Haskell’s abortion clinic is not equipped to handle serious abortion complications. It was the revocation of this variance and his operating license that led to the appeal and today’s suspension of the ODH closure order.

Haskell submitted an affidavit in support of his motion to stay the closure order stating that he provided late-term abortions and abortions to poor women. He complained that only one abortion clinic that does not specialized in those abortions would be left in the Cincinnati area.

“It is disgusting to think that Haskell would try to deflect from his lack of emergency safety measures by claiming if he closed, poor women might not get abortions,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “That really exposes his bigotry towards the poor if he thinks poor women not having abortions represents ‘irreparable harm.’”

Haskell obtained a variance in 2011 on the condition that three abortionists agreed to maintained unrestricted admitting privileges.

After two of those abortionists lost hospital privileges, Haskell replaced them with Chandra Gravely and Cindy Hansel. However, Haskell failed to notify the ODH in a timely manner about the personnel change on his transfer agreement, leading an ODH spokesperson to state, “The agency no longer has confidence that this ambulatory surgery facility will take necessary steps to operate in accordance with regulations.”

While Haskell maintains his clinic is safe, Operation Rescue has recently documented four medical emergencies at Haskell’s two Ohio abortion clinics, raising serious concerns for patient safety. The troubled backgrounds of his back-up doctors compound concerns that injured patients will receive adequate treatment.

“The assertion that Haskell has been operating safely is a complete falsehood,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We have documented one botched abortion after another at his clinics and have the proof that he is hurting women.”

Haskell will continue to operate his Sharonville abortion clinic pending his appeal of ODH’s denial of licensure for his abortion clinic, a process that could take months.

“With the ODH’s determination that Haskell is operating unsafely, we can only expect more injuries to women that could be avoided if Haskel was forced to close as ordered,” said Newman. “The order today makes a mockery of health and safety laws and only serves to continue to place the lives of women at risk.”

[Court documents provided to Operation Rescue by Greater Cincinnati Right to Life.]

  • Rev Donald

    Judge Jerome Metz seems to be in bed with the babykilling abortionists.

  • As a non-attorney I wonder if the State of Ohio Department of Health will appeal Hamilton County Judge Jerome Metz’s stay of an order issued by the Ohio Department of Health to close a late-term abortion clinic in Sharonville, Ohio, operated by Martin Haskell – to the State of Ohio Supreme Court? If ODH can, as a non-attorney I think they should.

  • KayDeeBeau

    Might be time for the citizens of Hamilton County to remove this judge from the bench.

  • Brian

    Well said; this judge needs to grow a set and do his job and suspend this guy, or get
    thown out office.

  • Joanne

    Haskell had already shown that he cannot meet the conditions to stay the suspension order. What makes the judge think he can or will do it now?

  • Dan Heiman

    Looks like this would be a great precedent for allowing criminals, illegal businesses, fraudulent practices to use this kind of legal precedent to limit government regulation and law enforcement. I mean if the abortion businesses can successfully convince judges that they need not follow state law, and need not heed state agency licensing regulations, then what other illegal activities might just as well operate in full violation of the law by simply arguing that “i don’t feel the laws are favorable to me, so therefore they hurt my business and i dont want to follow them”

  • Dear Dan, and other commentators on this page that feel the County Judge has the last say in this matter. As a non-lawyer I suggest it would be prudent for you and for anyone else who feels a ‘higher legal authority’ in the State of Ohio can and should overturn the said County Judge’s ruling that overturned the State of Ohio’s Board of Health’s decision to ‘close down said abortion mill’. As a non-lawyer I suggest you contact the State of Ohio Board of Health and find out from their legal department if the State of Ohio Board of Health’s original ruling that was overturned can be appealed TO THE STATE OF OHIO SUPREME COURT – and if it can, as a taxpaying State of Ohio Citizen demand that the State of Ohio Board of Health fight for you and for the lives of the unborn baby and their mothers in Ohio and to fight for their original ruling as well and take this case to the State of Ohio Supreme Court to overturn that County Judge’s Decision. In the past I took part as a non-attorney when our group hired a lawyer and had a County Decision that directly affected us – filed with – and the County Decision was overturned by the State of Ohio Supreme Court. So never say it is over – and stop looking at the tree [The County Judge] and start looking at the forest [The State of Ohio Supreme Court]. God Bless You All.

  • As a non-attorney I call on the taxpaying Citizens of Cincinnati, all Citizens of Ohio and myself as well, to demand to the State of Ohio Board of Health to protect the unborn baby, their mothers and the rule of law passed by the Legislators of the State of Ohio that gave OBH the power of oversight of abortion mills in the State of Ohio. And if OBH feels it justifiable to close a late-term abortion clinic in Sharonville, Ohio, operated by Martin Haskell it should be able to. Furthermore, if the County Court that oversees matters regarding said closing in Sharonville, Ohio feel it appropriate to overturn said closing by OBH – then OBH should feel it appropriate to attempt to uphold their former ruling of said closing – by appealing to the State of Ohio Supreme Court to overturn the decision against them by said County Court. Thus only then do we know that The State Government of Ohio seeks to protect the health and welfare of all State of Ohio Citizens both born and unborn. Thank You and God Bless You All.

  • David Lee Blair

    When do judges themselves become culpable for a death due to a criminal judicial act in the same way as others whose non judicial criminal act results in deaths? Or do judges act with impunity under the law?

  • Prolifers United

    “However, appellant argues that it provides some medical services no otherwise available, so that closing its doors may cause irreparable injury to Appellant and the patients it SERVES.”

    We don’t think Haskell serves his clients at all. He serves himself and his greedy wallet and the devil. He doesn’t “serve” the public at all. He is a serial killer that should have his butt thrown in the clinker!