A Win for Women’s Health
Good news from our friends at Greater Toledo Right to Life:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 6, 2018 (Toledo, OH): The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that because Capital Care Network of Toledo violated a standing rule of 21 years requiring all ambulatory surgical facilities to have written hospital transfer agreements to facilitate emergency treatment, the Ohio Department of Health was within its rights to revoke the clinic’s operating license.
The Court upheld the Department of Health’s position that Capital Care Network’s agreement with the University of Michigan Health Center in Ann Arbor, some 50 miles away, does not satisfy the state’s legal requirement that it have an emergency patient transfer agreement in place with a local hospital.
The Court ruled 5-2 to reverse lower court rulings that had sided with the abortion clinic. It noted that Capital Care had been without a written transfer agreement with a local hospital, as defined by Ohio Law, since August 1, 2013.
“This is what we wanted all along – the courts to uphold the law and afford the same medical safety standards that apply to any other ambulatory surgical facility” said Ed Sitter, Executive Director of Foundation for Life. “We can’t have lower health and safety standards because this is an abortion facility. Women’s health & safety is still a priority.”
“This is a win for women’s health, it’s a win for the rule of law and hopefully, it’s a win for the unborn, as women have more time to make an informed choice” Sitter went on to say.
In a separate case filed by another clinic, Pre-Term Cleveland, the court found that the clinic did not have standing to challenge the emergency transfer law or restrictions on abortion enacted in recent years through the budget process.
The Court found that the clinic had not shown that it “suffered or is threatened with direct and concrete injury in manner or degree different from that suffered by general public…” .
The majority found that it was not necessary to jump to questions of whether the General Assembly acted constitutionally in cementing a prior administrative rule into state law because the clinic had already violated the administrative rule.
Joining Justice O’Donnell in the majority were Sharon Kennedy, Pat Fischer, Pat DeWine, and Judith French. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, and recently resigned Justice William O’Neill, dissented.