Demands Variance to Transfer Agreement Law
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 11, 2014 (Cincinnati, OH) – Abortion attorney Jennifer Branch, of Gerhardstein and Branch Co. LPA, has filed a lawsuit against Richard Hodges, Director of the Ohio Department of Health.
The case is filed in protest of the Ohio law requiring abortion providing ambulatory surgical facilities to have a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital to cover patient emergencies. Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio recently received a citation from the Ohio Department of Health and faces closure for non-compliance with this law.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio cannot obtain a transfer agreement from any area hospital, and is thus seeking a variance (exception) to have doctors with privileges at The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati–David Schwartz, Michael Draznik, and Tari Anderson–to cover patient emergencies.
Ms. Branch recently lost her bid for election as judge for Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division. Judges for this division have influence whether judicial bypass is granted to minor girls seeking abortions without parental consent. She has also served as attorney for notorious late-term abortionist, Martin Haskell.
“By law, granting a variance to the transfer agreement requirement is entirely up to the discretion of the director of the Ohio Department of Health,” said Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “This case presumes that Planned Parenthood is entitled to this special preference simply by submitting a request.”
Case title: Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region v. Richard Hodges, Director of The Ohio Department of Health; University of Cincinnati Medical Center LLC; UC Health, 11/10/2014 1:14 cv 867 TSB(Cincinnati)
Case synopsis: Civil rights. The defendants threatened to revoke the plaintiff’s ambulatory surgical license for its Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center because it does not have a written transfer agreement with a public hospital, a requirement which became law in Ohio in 2013, causing defendant University to cancel its written transfer agreement. The plaintiff requested a variance as it has several doctors that are in good standing at a local hospital, but the defendant Hodges has failed to act on it. The plaintiff asks the court “to declare the public hospital ban unconstitutional” and to enjoin Hodges from revoking the license.