Indianapolis abortion doctor ordered to close clinic in Ohio

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SHARONVILLE, Ohio (Jan. 31, 2014)– The Ohio Department of Health has ordered an Indianapolis abortion doctor to close his clinic doors due to the lack of a hospital transfer agreement required to facilitate emergency care for women with abortion complications.

Dr. Martin Haskell, who travels to Indianapolis to do abortions, has been ordered by the Ohio Department of Health to close his Sharonville, Ohio, abortion clinic for failing to meet Ohio medical standards requiring a hospital transfer agreement.

Haskell’s Sharonville clinic, Women’s Med Center, also known as the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, has failed to find any hospital willing to sign a transfer agreement for at least two years.

The Ohio Department of Health’s order comes as the Indiana Senate considers requiring better accountability in verifying that doctors doing abortions in Indiana have local hospital admitting privileges or an agreement with a doctor to provide emergency back-up.

In a statement to media on the ordered closure, an Ohio Department of Health spokeswoman said,  “There is a history of problems with this particular ambulatory surgery facility and operator. The agency no longer has confidence that this ambulatory surgery facility will take necessary steps to operate in accordance with regulations.”

According to Indiana Induced Termination of Pregnancy reports compiled by the Indiana State Department of Health, Haskell has done just over 2,000 abortions in Indiana since 2012.

“We believe this underscores why the Indiana legislature must act now by requiring full transparency in verifying whether doctors doing abortions in Indiana meet hospital admitting privileges requirements,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.  “Women’s safety when suffering complications from an abortion procedure must be paramount.  As it stands today, not one person at the Indiana State Department of Health can verify if any doctors doing abortions in Indiana, including Dr. Haskell, have local hospital admitting privileges, or emergency back-up, as required by law.  This is a dangerous oversight that must be corrected immediately.”