On September 25, 2015, the Ohio Department of Health denied the variance requests from Women's Med Center for the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 license periods. That decision was in response to the latest request for a variance submitted by Women's Med Center on July 24, 2015. Abortionist Haskell now has 30 days in which to request a Chapter 119 hearing to make his final case as to why the Ohio Department of Health should not revoke his license. Separately, Women's Med Center and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court on September 1 against the director of the Ohio Department of Health, contending that the requirement that abortion centers have a written hospital transfer agreement with a local hospital is unconstitutional.
Relationship with Wright State Physicians
To be in compliance with Ohio law, Haskell’s clinic, as an ambulatory surgical center, is required to have a written transfer agreement with a local area hospital in the event of a medical emergency. However, no Dayton area hospital has agreed to conclude a written transfer agreement with the Women’s Med Center. Likewise, neither Haskell nor his principal abortionist, Roslyn Kade, has admitting privileges at any local hospital. Previously, ODH had granted a “variance” or waiver of the requirement for a written transfer agreement. The variance was based on written agreements with three local doctors who agreed to act in case of a medical emergency, but still fell short of the requirement for a written transfer agreement with a hospital. Since 2013, Haskell’s requests for a renewal of the variance have listed only two local physicians (Dr. Janice Duke and Dr. Sheela Barhan) with admitting privileges at Miami Valley Hospital. On June 25, 2015, ODH Director Richard Hodges formally notified the Women’s Med Center that its variance requests for 2012, 2013, and 2014 have been denied and that it “may propose revocation” of the abortion clinic’s license. In the letter, Director Hodges noted that two physicians “cannot meet the department’s expectation for 24/7 back-up coverage and uninterrupted continuity of care.”In 2013 and 2014, Haskell’s variance requests had also cited a relationship with Wright State Physicians, of which Duke and Barhan are members. With the cooperation of Dr. Alan Marco, the new President and CEO of Wright State Physicians, Duke and Barhan were able to incorporate their individual agreements with Haskell into an “umbrella” agreement with Wright State Physicians, also signed Marco. Addressing this “smoke and mirrors” tactic, the ODH letter correctly indicates that this approach is not satisfactory, since no other member of Wright State Physicians by name has agreed to provide back-up services. For details on the relationship between Haskell and Wright State Physicians, click here. It should be noted that the agreements between Haskell and Duke, Barhan, and 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.