By Cheryl Sullenger
Cincinnati, OH – Martin Haskell, a nationally-known late-term abortionist who helped develop the now outlawed Partial-Birth Abortion procedure, has sued the Ohio Department of Health this week for ordering his Sharonville abortion facility to close because it does not meet the minimum medical safety standards in Ohio law.
This suit comes just days before Judge Jerome Metz is set to rule on Haskell’s appeal of the ODH’s order to close.
In July, Magistrate Michael Bachman ruled that the ODH had the authority to close abortion businesses and ordered Haskell to shut down his Sharonville abortion business by July 10. Judge Metz intervened and issued a stay on Bachman’s order until he had time to consider the issues involved in the case. He is expected to issue his ruling on Friday.
“By suing the Ohio Department of Health for simply enforcing the law, Haskell appears to be attempting to hedge his bets in the event Judge Metz upholds the closure orders. It is a frivolous action meant to delay closure of his unsafe abortion facility for as long as possible,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Haskell truly believes that as an abortionist, he is above the law and has the right to ignore the same safety rules that everyone else must follow. His disrespect for the law and for medical standards makes him dangerous.”
“This abortion provider will stop at nothing to skirt the law,” said Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, which is organizing a prayer vigil along with Created Equal outside Metz’s courtroom on Friday, August 15 from 9:00 -10:00 a.m. at the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in Cincinnati.
The pro-abortion group NARAL has also called for activists to protest at the Court during Friday’s hearing in opposition to the ODH’s attempt to enforce Ohio’s medical safety law.
For years, Haskell had been operating on an ODH-approved variance that allowed him to continue operations as long as he had an agreement with two physicians to provide hospital care for his abortion patients that suffered from complications.
In January, the ODH declined to renew his variance out of frustration with Haskell’s unauthorized alterations to his agreements with an ever-changing list of troubled abortionists such as Walter T. Bowers. This placed Haskell in violation and forced the ODH to revoke his facility license and order him to close.
Bowers’ incompetence was publicly exposed by Operation Rescue, which discovered that he had been banned from the practice of obstetrics in Kentucky after his botched delivery of a wanted baby resulted in a dead child. He was placed on five years of probation and settled a claim with the parents for $250,000.
“There is a history of problems with this particular ambulatory surgery facility and operator,” an ODH spokeswoman told the Cincinnati Enquirer in January. “The agency no longer has confidence that this ambulatory surgery facility will take necessary steps to operate in accordance with regulations.”
Operation Rescue has recently documented four medical emergencies at Haskell’s two Ohio abortion clinics, raising serious concerns for patient safety. In March 2012, Haskell personally placed a 911 call from his Sharonville clinic and was heard laughing at the dispatcher who offered emergency information.
“How many closure orders does it take to shut down an illegal abortion operation in Ohio? We urge Judge Metz to uphold the ODH closure order in the interest of public safety and rule of law. We also call on the court to dismiss Haskell’s most recent frivolous lawsuit against the ODH for simply doing their duty to protect the public,” said Newman.