Ohio Department of Health Revokes Late-term Abortion Facility’s Operating License

The Department of Health has revoked the facility license for the Women's Med Center, a late-term abortion facility in Dayton, OH.

The Department of Health has revoked the facility license for the Women’s Med Center, a late-term abortion facility in Dayton, OH.

By Cheryl Sullenger

Dayton, OH – The Ohio Department of Health has revoked the Ambulatory Surgical Center license of the Women’s Med Center, a late-term abortion facility located in Dayton, Ohio, owned by the nationally known late-term abortion pioneer Martin Haskell.

Operation Rescue obtained a copy of the revocation order issued on November 30, 2016, which gives the abortion facility 15 days to halt surgical abortions. The facility also has the right to appeal within 15 days of the order, which the facility has already indicated it will do.

Once the Women’s Med Center stops surgical abortions, it will leave six surgical abortion facilities in a state that had twelve surgical facilities as late as 2013. These closures have resulted in a steady decrease in abortions in Ohio, according to the latest statistics.

The Women’s Med Center in Dayton is known for providing abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy using a modified version of the now outlawed “partial birth abortion” method that Haskell is credited in part with developing.

The Ohio Department of Health revoked the facility license after the Women’s Med Center failed to maintain a hospital transfer agreement, as required by law, and rejected a variance renewal application as insufficient.

Haskell had long operated on a variance that allowed him to replace the transfer agreement with an arrangement with local physicians who would provide hospital care for women who suffered serious complications from abortions. That variance expired in August, 2012.

An application for renewal of the variance was made on November 20, 2013. The Ohio Department of Health allowed the facility to remain operating while it took three years to consider renewing it. After a series of appeals and hearings, it was finally recommended that the Women’s Med Center variance application be denied and its facility license revoked.

Jennifer Branch, an attorney representing the Women’s Med Center, blamed the pro-life group Created Equal, for the variance denial. The Department of Health had required that four physicians with hospital privileges remain on call, but the facility could never get that many physicians to agree. Created Equal launched a campaign dissuade doctors from aiding Haskell’s abortion business that included post cards, public outreaches, and a large panel Truth Truck exposing those who had worked with Haskell in the past.

“We congratulate Created Equal and its leader, Mark Harrington, for the success of their campaign and for this great victory. Doctors will sometimes become tacitly involved with abortions as long as no one knows they are doing it, but once their participation becomes known, most physicians back away because they do not want their reputations tarnished by an association with abortion,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “While we understand that a lengthy appeal process is still ahead, we are confident that the Women’s Med Center will eventually be forced to comply with the law.”

The need for a hospital transfer agreement was more than evident in the wake of several medical emergencies that have required emergency transport and hospitalization of Women’s Med Center abortion patients over the past few years. In August, 2016, Operation Rescue documented one case where a patient was given a late-term abortion without her consent before being transferred to the hospital by ambulance.

Another of Haskell’s abortion facilities, the Women’s Med Center located in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville, Ohio, also lost its facility license in 2014 after two hospitals revoked hospital privileges for Haskell and his associate, Roslyn Kade. At the Sharonville location, Haskell continues to conduct early medication abortions, which do not require a facility license in Ohio.