Politics

Debate over abortion mills transferring patients to public hospitals flares in Ohio

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Ohio law requires that abortion mills have a transfer agreement with a local hospital in case a woman needs emergency care as the result of a botched abortion.

Ohio law also bans publicly-funded hospitals from establishing these transfer agreements with abortion mills because doing so would essentially force the taxpayers who fund the hospital to support the abortion industry. So by default, abortion mills in Ohio must have either a transfer agreement with, or an abortionist who has admitting privileges at a local private hospital.

Some private hospitals have, of their own prerogative, rejected requests for affiliation from abortion mills. Between this fact and their legal inability to establish an agreement with public hospitals, at least one Ohio abortion mill – Women’s Med in Sharonville – is unable to commit surgical abortions.

The debate between pro-lifers and pro-abortion advocates in Ohio is characterized by a focus on very different points. Predictably, abortion advocates’ line of sight stretches no further than their belief that it is the ultimate objective of conservative lawmakers to impinge on the rights of women.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio president Kellie Copeland typifies this limited scope of fact in an op-ed for Cleveland.com:

When Gov. John Kasich took office, he and his anti-choice allies scoured Ohio’s regulations to look for excuses to close clinics and effectively outlaw abortion.

clinic chair hospitalAmong the governor’s so-called “anti-choice allies” happen to be the majority of the population in Copeland’s area, as Ohio Right to Life president Michael Gonidakis points out in a contrasting op-ed at the same outlet:

As a Midwestern state with Midwestern values, Ohio falls in line with the results of the most recent CNN National Poll which concluded that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion. A rather small minority supports it.  Furthermore, 58 percent of Americans, according to CNN, believe that abortion should be illegal in most or all circumstances.

NARAL also fails to acknowledge the fact that private hospitals are still legally free to accept or reject the abortion industry’s advances – a detail that was not lost on Gonidakis:

…private hospitals can (and do) enter into transfer agreements with abortion facilities.  Public hospitals were not their only option.  However, in many instances, all of the private hospitals in a given region refused to enter into the agreement with the abortion provider.

This is a crucial piece of the debate: legislators have by no means restricted abortion mills’ ability to continue operating with the safety provision of an established transfer agreement. In accord with the pro-life sentiment of Ohioans, the law simply says that public funding cannot be used to help abortion thrive by funding these hospital partnerships. But private hospitals are bound by no such funding dilemma.

“What conclusions should we draw,” Gonidakis pointedly inquires, “regarding the abortion industry when their medical colleagues refuse to do business with them?”

Copeland then resorted to a belying tactic frequently employed by flippant abortion advocates: the “it’s only a few women so it doesn’t matter” tactic. She said:

Ohio’s complication rate for abortion is less than one half of one percent, and only a handful of patients require a transfer to a hospital in any given year.

She made this statement after bemoaning that Ohio is the only state that has both the transfer agreement requirement AND a public hospital ban on the books together, suggesting that so much legislation regarding what she considers to be a non-issue is crazy.

But pro-lifers do not consider women with botched abortions to be a non-issue. They also don’t consider it a non-issue when taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for a facility that is essentially a safety net for abortionists.

For pro-lifers like Gonidakis, women’s health and the integrity of hard-earned tax dollars are at issue here:

The abortion industry claims that “women’s health” is paramount, yet they continue to advocate for a lesser standard of care than those required of other licensed providers in Ohio.

Make no mistake: Ohio law affords no loopholes for abortion facilities.  It should come as no surprise that several abortion facilities in Ohio have closed recently due to serious health and safety violations… Planned Parenthood and their allies bristle at any health and safety regulations, yet we can rest assured that their objections are in the vast minority.

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