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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Ohio abortion center kept open with public university’s support

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

KETTERING, Ohio, July 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Publicly-funded Wright State University physicians are actively helping late-term abortionist Martin Haskell keep his business in operation.

Haskell, who popularized the now-illegal partial birth abortion procedure, terminates more than 35 babies a week at his suburban Dayton facility.

Mark Harrington of Created Equal explained that Haskell "would have to close the doors of his Women's Medical Center in Dayton were it not for the support given by Wright State Physicians."

Dayton Right to Life’s website also states that "abortion is currently possible in Dayton only because of the active support provided by the Wright State Physicians to local abortionist Martin Haskell."

Ohio law requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital to ensure a level of safety for women in case of complications arising from the major surgery. Haskell admitted to the Ohio Department of Health that he "requested a written transfer agreement with all the local hospitals, but none have agreed to an agreement."

In order to indirectly gain the legally required admitting privileges that he is supposed to have but unable to get, Haskell went to Wright State Physicians (WSP), an organization of the taxpayer-funded university's faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

WSP members are not only employed by the state university — and not just using the public university's name — but the organization exists to assist and serve the school.  Its stated primary mission is "to recruit and retain outstanding medical faculty and staff in support of the clinical, educational, research and community service activities of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine."

WSP's corporate office is on University Boulevard, in the heart of campus.  It is not known whether WSP offices are paid for by the organization itself or Ohio taxpayers.

Despite being employed by Wright State, which as a state institution is strictly forbidden from any and all involvement in the abortion industry, university physicians contracted with Haskell to provide his facility with "emergency backup services" at Miami Valley Hospital.

Having secured the WSP contract, Haskell requested a "variance" from the Ohio Department of Health, claiming that the WSP contract fulfills the legal requirement of having admitting privileges at a local hospital.

In his request, Haskell explained that his abortion business "has contracted with Drs. (Sheela) Barhan, (Janice) Duke, and (Jerome) Yaklic to provide backup physician services."  He added that his abortion business "also has a contract with Wright State Physicians" in case Barhan, Duke, and Yaklic are unavailable. "These three physicians have admitting privileges at Miami Valley Hospital," Haskell emphasized.

Critics say WSP is violating the law because the intention of Ohio statute is to prohibit state agencies from supporting abortion businesses and yet taxpayer funding and support flow from Wright State to WSP, which is solely responsible for keeping Haskell's center operating.

Maxlifer.com stated, "Ohio voters are being victimized and taken advantage of by members of the Wright State Physicians Group, who while benefitting from the support of a taxpayer-funded medical school and university, are helping an abortionist stay in business, thus violating the intention of an Ohio regulation designed to prohibit tax-supported medical facilities from supporting abortionists.

"The doctors are pursuing their own private pro-abortion agenda...at the expense of taxpayers."

Pro-life activist Bob Skovgard of Kettering told LifeSiteNews, "It's bad enough when any doctor, who should be about healing and curing patients, plays a critical role in keeping an abortion center open — in this case so the killing of over 35 innocent pre-born babies per week can continue. But it's especially bad when the doctors are part of a group that is supported by a tax-funded university medical school.

"We urge the doctors to withdraw from their contract with the abortionist, and to join the many respect life Initiatives in our community that offer a wonderful variety of positive alternatives, and address the circumstances that might lead a mother to consider an elective abortion."

In addition to the contract with WSP's Barhan, Duke, and Yaklic, an abortion deal was also made and signed by WSP president Alan Marco, assuring the Ohio Department of Health that if those three physicians are not available, other WSP doctors will provide emergency backup.  Thus, the entire WSP group is contractually committed to facilitating Haskell's abortion business.

Dayton Right to Life's Margie Christie noted that Marco's signed assurances of WSP support came without notifying other WSP members. "The fact that the Wright State Physicians group has entered into this contract with Dr. Haskell on behalf their group without notifying their other members is unconscionable. Many of the other doctors want no involvement in the abortion business," she told LifeSiteNews.

"In addition, Wright State University has also been silent on the matter. Who speaks for women's health care at Wright State?  Who speaks for the preborn children of Ohio?  We citizens want some answers from the Ohio Department of Health."

Despite the WSP contracts, the Ohio Department of Health denied Haskell's request for a variance last fall. He requested a hearing and U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett ordered that Haskell's abortion business remain in operation until the hearing is resolved.  A final decision on the hearing, held April 26, is expected this month.

Meanwhile, Haskell joined with Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio in suing the state, claiming that Ohio pro-life laws are unconstitutional. A September 2015 lawsuit contends that requiring hospital access for the safety of women suffering from botched or failed abortions threatens the availability of a woman's right to abortion. The suit also claims that Ohio law prohibiting taxpayer-funded hospitals from facilitating abortionists also threatens women’s rights.

Pro-life groups tried their own campaigns to stop Haskell from using Wright State to remain open.  Last year, Created Equal sent letters to the physicians who signed Haskell's contract, requesting that they rescind their agreement.  When none of the doctors responded, Created Equal began publicizing the names of the physicians and mounting a public relations campaign against Haskell and WSP.

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