Ohio Supreme Court upholds ruling shutting down city’s last abortion center
COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a 2014 state order shutting down Toledo’s last abortion center for violations of health laws, in a five-two decision released today.
Abortion center Capital Care had been operating without a transfer agreement with a local hospital since 2013, in violation of a state law passed that same year, according to a press release from Created Equal, a pro-life group based in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio’s Department of Health ordered Capital Care closed in 2014, but the abortion facility appealed the decision, and the lower courts ruled in its favor.
Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office took the case to the Supreme Court in September, arguing the state’s order should be upheld, the Washington Post reported.
The abortion facility had partnered with an out-of-state hospital about an hour away in order to “circumvent Ohio’s safety laws,” said an Americans United for Life (AUL) media advisory.
Capital Care negotiated with the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, the Post reported.
But the Supreme Court ruled this arrangement “would not allow for the transfer of patients in the event of medical complications, emergency situations, and for other needs as they arise,” said AUL.
AUL lauded Ohio’s top court for the ruling.
“For years, the abortion industry has vociferously argued that it should be granted an unmerited exemption from standards routinely applied to other facilities performing invasive surgical procedures, as well as an exemption from the comprehensive inspections required of such facilities,” it noted.
“The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected that argument and has correctly decided that abortion centers should be held to the same standards as all other ambulatory surgical centers in the state.”
That was echoed by Mark Harrington, Created Equal’s founder and president.
“Capital Care should be held responsible for killing innocent babies, but at least today they are being held accountable for violating Ohio state law,” said Harrington.
“Those who kill babies should not be given special privileges to skirt the law. This common sense decision should set a pattern for authorities across the nation.”
In a related decision, the court ruled Cleveland abortion facility Preterm did not have the legal standing to sue the state over the restrictions on abortion clinics that were passed in the state’s 2013 budget bill, the Post reported.
Those restrictions specified an abortion facility had to have a transfer agreement with a local hospital, and banned public hospitals from having such agreements with abortion centers, according to the Post.
The University of Toledo Hospital’s transfer agreement with Capital Care ended about two months before the 2013 restrictions were passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Capital Care is expected to appeal the decision.
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