On November 5, 2019, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) granted a new facility license for Women's Med Center at the conclusion of a lengthy legal battle. Prior to that date, Women's Med Center had been operating continuously without a license since November 30, 2016. On that day, ODH revoked its license to operate as an ambulatory surgical facility. In response to the ODH action, owner Martin Haskell filed suit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. There, Judge Mary Wiseman issued an emergency order to suspend and stay the ODH decision. In August 2018, Judge Wiseman ruled that she lacked the jurisdiction to overturn the ODH decision. In so doing, she was effectively concurring with the Ohio Supreme Court, which had reached such a decision in a similar case involving a Toledo abortion clinic in early 2018. Haskell's appeal of this decision was denied by the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals in March, 2019, and declined by the Ohio Supreme Court in August 2019. Haskell then entered a final appeal to the Supreme Court, asking it to reconsider its refusal to hear his case, which was rejected in October, 2019. During this entire three-year period of legal dispute, Women's Med Center was able to remain open and continue its grisly practice of aborting some 44-55 infants each week, even though its license had been revoked.
Written Transfer Agreement
Ohio law identifies clinics such as Women's Med Center as ambulatory surgical facilities, where surgery is performed outside a hospital environment. Besides abortion, such facilities include a wide range of medical specialties, such as orthopedics, endoscopy and eye surgery. To remain in compliance with Ohio law, these facilities must have concluded a written transfer agreement with a local hospital in the event of a medical emergency. However, no Dayton-area hospital - including Premier and Kettering - has ever agreed to conclude a written transfer agreement with Abortionist Haskell and Women's Med Center. Likewise, neither Haskelll nor his principal abortionist, Roslyn Kade, currently has admitting privileges at any local hospital. However, Ohio law also provides for a variance or waiver of the requirement for a written transfer agreement under "limited circumstances." The variance is based on written agreements with local doctors who have hospital admitting privileges and who agree to act in case of a medical emergency. For the years 2012-2016, Women's Med Center applied for variances from ODH, based on agreements with doctors affiliated with Wright State Physicians (see below). ODH failed to act on those variance requests in a timely manner, but eventually denied all variance requests for the years 2012-2016. Thus, for the years 2012 through most of 2019, ODH allowed Women's Med Center to continue operating even though it had no written transfer agreement and no approved variances.
Unable to conclude a written transfer agreement with any local hospital, abortionist Haskell began searching for local physicians (primarily OB/GYNs) who would agree to function as "back-up doctors" under an approved variance. Across the Miami Valley area, the only doctors who have agreed to such a contract with Haskell are those with Wright State Physicians. Since 2013, Haskell's requests for a variance have listed Dr. Janice Duke and Dr. Sheela Barhan, both OB/GYNs with Wright State Physicians who have admitting privileges at Miami Valley Hospital. Later, Dr. Jerome Yaklic (now President of Wright State Physicians) added his name. However, ODH eventually denied these variance requests, indicating that the number of back-up doctors was insufficient to ensure "24/7 back-up coverage and uninterrupted continuity of care." In 2019, as it became obvious that the Ohio courts would not support his appeal, Haskell identified a fourth physician, Dr. Margaret Dunn, currently dean of the medical school for Wright State Physicians. Haskell's 2019 variance request, which thus included the names of four back-up doctors from Wright State Physicians, was approved by ODH and Haskell's license re-issued in November 2019. For details on the relationship between Haskell and Wright State Physicians, click here. It should be noted that the agreements between Haskell and the doctors of Wright State physicians provide no additional benefit or safeguard to women's health, since United States law requires that hospitals provide stabilizing treatment of a patient in an emergency medical condition, regardless of an individual's ability to pay. The sole benefit has been to keep Women's Med Center in business.