Several abortion facilities in Ohio have closed and others may soon follow over their failure to comply with new state regulations that mandate private hospital transfer agreements and ban late-term abortions.
The Lebanon Road Surgery Center in Sharonville is the latest closing as the state Department of Health refused to grant the facility a variance to the law. The decision was upheld by a hearing officer, thus forcing abortionist Martin Haskell out of business.
“We are gratified to see yet another late-term abortionist shutting down,” Mike Gonidakis, Ohio Right to Life president and member of the state medical board, told reporters. “As a result of this Health Department order, Martin Haskell, a strong proponent and former practitioner of the controversial and deadly partial-birth abortion procedure, will no longer be able to abort children and jeopardize women’s health in Hamilton County.”
Last month, the Cleveland Center for Women’s Health, run by abortionist Martin Ruddock, closed because of regulations barring abortions past 20 weeks gestation.
A third abortion facility, Capital Care Women’s Center in Toledo, was ordered closed earlier this year, but remains open while it is appealing the decision. It was unable to find a hospital that was willing to enter into a transfer agreement.
The Center for Choice, also in Toledo, likewise closed in June because it could not comply with the requirement.
“My concern is that if there aren’t enough clinics to take care of women that seek abortion care, women will turn to desperate measures,” Kellie Copeland of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio told The Columbus Dispatch.
“This move is an abuse of power motivated by pressure from Ohio Right to Life, an anti-choice organization led by Governor Kasich’s appointee to the State Medical Board, Mike Gonidakis,” she stated. “Kasich’s agenda is clear: to put politicians in charge of women’s personal, private medical decisions by closing every abortion clinic in this state, despite their incredible safety record.”
As previously reported, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed new abortion regulations into law this past June, which describe each child in the womb as an “unborn human individual,” and bar abortionists from obtaining transfer agreements with public hospitals—thus mandating them to find a private hospital that will enter into a partnership. The majority of private hospitals are operated by religious organizations that oppose abortion.
Following the signing, Gonidakis applauded Kasich and chided abortion activists.
“For all their bluster about equality among the genders, Democrats have a policy of inequality towards women,” he stated. “If you’re a woman living outside the womb you’re respected and cherished, but if you’re a woman living inside the womb not only do they threaten your life, they pretend you don’t exist. Ohioans are grateful there are leaders like Governor Kasich and Republicans in the legislature who care enough to respect all women.”
There are now nine abortion facilities remaining in the state following the recent closings.