Partial Birth Abortion Doctor’s Appeal to Keep Dayton Clinic Operating Rejected by Ohio Supreme Court


Pro-Lifers in Ohio are celebrating after Dr. Martin Haskell, one of the nation’s most notorious abortion providers, lost his appeal to keep the Women’s Med Center of Dayton open in a narrow decision by Ohio’s Supreme Court this week.

Haskell’s name became identified with the partial birth abortion method. Some pro-life groups call him “the father of partial birth abortion.” His clinic is one of only a few nationwide that perform abortions through all nine months of pregnancy. Now the Ohio Department of Health can take action to close the facility permanently.

The Women’s Med Center has been fighting Ohio’s law that requires abortion clinics to have a transfer agreement with a hospital. Haskell’s facility has been unable to meet that requirement and therefore is subject to closure by the Ohio Department of Health. Despite the Center’s failure to abide by the law, judges have allowed the abortion mill to stay open during the appeals process.

The Abortion911 website demonstrates why the clinic may have been unable to find a hospital willing to sign an agreement with them. Dr. Haskell’s clinic has a history of seriously injuring women, including one woman who was seizing and unconscious in February, and another in March who was hemorrhaging.

House Bill 59, the biennium budget of the 130th General Assembly, changed the law to require ambulatory surgical facilities to have a written agreement with a local hospital that “specifies an effective procedure for the safe and immediate transfer of patients from the facility to the hospital when medical care beyond the care that can be provided at the ambulatory surgical facility is necessary, including when emergency situations occur or medical complications arise. A copy of the agreement shall be filed with the director of health.”

Abortion clinics that provide surgical abortions fall under the definition of “ambulatory surgical facilities” (ASF) and are therefore subject to the law in Ohio Revised Code Section 3702.303. A facility that fails to obtain such an agreement will not be able to renew its license to operate with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

The Women’s Med Center of Dayton was notified by letter on September 25, 2015 that the Director of ODH was going to revoke and refuse to renew its license to operate because it was in violation of the law. The Center took the case to court and has been fighting ever since. On Wednesday, Justices Kennedy, French, Fischer and DeWine, all Republicans, rejected the appeal. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, also a Republican, joined Democratic Justices Donnelly and Stewart in the dissent.

Margie Christie, the executive director of the Dayton Right to Life Society, spoke with The Ohio Star about the rejection of the appeal.

“It is quite frustrating that this business continues to operate after years of appeals, variances, and medical health concerns. None of the other ambulatory surgical facilities in this state are given such a broad scope of judicial and operating parameters with which to do business, as do ‘abortuaries.’ The vast majority of ASFs in this state are concerned about the welfare of their patients once they leave their facility and want to provide comprehensive healthcare before, during, and after the provided service is obtained. Clearly Women’s Med Center feels it should not have to provide such comprehensive care,” Christie said.


“Terminating the life of her unborn child does not change a woman’s circumstance at the time,” Christie added. “The hope of a ‘better’ future has now come at the extreme cost of her future mental, emotional, and physical well-being. As a society, we need to do more for these women. Hence places like Dayton RTL and others that provide assistance.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Ohio State Supreme Court” by Sixflashphoto. CC BY-SA 4.0.








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