Ohio Cracks Down on Unsafe Abortion Clinics
This week three Ohio abortion clinics were fined or closed after recent health inspections revealed unsafe conditions at the clinics that endangered the lives and health of women in the state.
Planned Parenthood in Bedford Heights was fined $25,000 by the Ohio Department of Health for a variety of violations including improper disinfection of surgical equipment used in abortions, the use of expired tests and chemicals, and improper disposal and storage or urine samples. In addition, the health department found:
- expired contracts for hazardous biomedical waste removal and cleaning
- failure to follow the state's tuberculosis control plan
- violations of the single-use rule for certain medical items
- an unwrapped and extended condom, used for vaginal probe ultrasounds
- failure to have on staff a director of nursing who is an RN with surgical experience
- incomplete medical records on patients transferred to hospitals due to complications from abortions
- failure to adhere to infection control procedures
The clinic has ten days to submit a plan of correction and a month to attain compliance with the findings of the health department.
The Northeast Ohio Women's Center in Cuyahoga Falls was denied a health care facility license after the health department found multiple code violations including a lack of staff training and emergency preparedness, a failure to employ a Director of Nursing who is an RN with surgical experience, and expired medications at the facility.
The Ohio Department of Health also issued an adjudication order revoking and refusing to renew Capital Care Network's health facility license due to it's failure to obtain a transfer agreement with a hospital. Ohio law requires ambulatory surgical centers to maintain a written agreement to transfer patients to a hospital in the event of complications or medical emergencies. The clinic had submitted to the state an agreement with the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but the Health Director found that an agreement with a hospital 52 miles away from the clinic violated the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code. Capital Care Network was the last remaining abortion facility in Toledo.
The two-year state budget, passed last year by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Kasich, codified into law a rarely-enforced health department administrative rule that requires the transfer agreements. The budget also prohibited public hospitals from entering into such agreements with abortion clinics.
“We will have to close as a surgery center if we do not get a stay from the courts,” Capital Care owner Terry Hubbard said.
"Without Capital Care Network, life in Toledo will be safer for women and children," said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. "This week, our government assured all of us that women's health and patient safety is priority number one. It is deeply troubling that some people are advocating for this illegal operation to remain open, putting women's lives at risk."
Gonidakis added, "We're deeply concerned, though admittedly unsurprised, that multiple abortion facilities are jeopardizing the lives and health of women. The real war on women is being waged everyday in these unsafe and unsanitary abortion mills. These reports shock the conscience and reaffirm our resolve to protect life from Ohio's abortion industry."
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