Toledo News Now reports that Thomas Michaelis has been indicted on charges of child pornography. Michaelis, who was employed at Capital Care Network and performed abortions around the state – including in Columbus at Founder’s Women’s Healthcare (1243 E Broad Street), had his medical license revoked in the 1990’s after he pled guilty to four counts of sexual imposition of minors. After several years, he petitioned the Ohio Medical Board for the reinstatement of his license. The request was granted. It has now been permanently revoked.
This is a tragedy, but it is not surprising to those familiar with Michaelis. Until last May, Michaelis would frequently perform abortion procedures at Founder’s. Our sidewalk counselors had frequent interactions with him; he was known to openly mock those praying at the clinic. On more than one occasion, he told volunteers that God wanted him to perform abortions or that if God did not support abortion, God would stop him (Michaelis). The interactions were so disturbing, that several of our volunteers started bringing evidence o f his criminal record to share with patients – especially the parents of minors seeking abortions.
Abortion advocates – if they acknowledge this at all, will undoubtedly try to paint this as an anomaly within the industry, but that is not true. Organizations such as Operation Rescue have uncovered case after case of the criminal sexual exploits of abortion providers. Moreover, while they paint abortion providers as brave crusaders for women’s health struggling against unjust regulations attempting to subvert a woman’s right to choose, this simply is not true. The public often thinks clinics are safe and clean places, a benefit of the legalization of abortion. Abortion would still be an evil act even if it were performed in a clean environment by conscientious professionals, but it seems like they rarely are. It is not a matter of abortion clinics being bad places because they are dirty. Abortion clinics are dirty because they are bad places.
Greater Columbus Right to Life has directed considerable resources toward Founder’s over the last two years. In that time, thousands of babies were aborted inside 1243 E. Broad Street. By contrast, we’ve seen a little over 100 women turn away from their Founder’s abortion clinic appointments. We thank God for every one of those turn-aways. We’ve also been building a community narrative that speaks to what is happening within the clinic beyond the numbers of babies who are aborted. Whether or not we like to acknowledge it, the numbers of those dedicated to protecting life at all of its stages are about equal to those who are staunch defenders of the right to abortion. Both sides work to capture the middle-grounders – those individuals who feel uncomfortable with the idea of abortion but claim a hesitancy to deprive another person of the right created in Roe/Casey, those individuals who generally oppose abortion but cling to it when confronted by horrors such as rape or incest or heartbreaking fetal anomaly, or those who simply feel uncomfortable with the entire debate and the ensuing political football. It is these people who give a social license to abortion and with whom we desperately try to share the gospel of Life or the pragmatic arguments against abortion or any other reality that will expose the evil of abortion for what it is – the intentional dehumanization and destruction of an innocent human life, a life that was made in the image and likeness of our Creator.
To the dedicated prolife individual, the horror of learning Mr. Michaelis was indicted on child pornography is heartbreaking, but not especially surprising. Pornography and abortion share a commonality: they both reduce the value of the individual to that of an object, and they both encourage the destruction of innocence. Both reflect a sexual atheism that has pervaded our culture. For the time being, abortion remains legal and child pornography illegal, but just as we fight to reverse the legality of abortion be mindful that there are many out there calling for the decriminalization of pedophilia.
To the person who finds child pornography offensive but who is uncomfortable comparing abortion to pedophilia, who is not sure that all abortion clinics are bad, or who thinks this is an anomaly, let me share a little more about Founders and Capital Care network with you.
To begin, it is helpful to understand the connection between Capital Care Network and Founder’s. In 2012, there were four abortion clinics in Columbus: Planned Parenthood, Complete Healthcare for Women (which has stopped performing abortions), Founder’s, and Capital Care Network. At one time, Capital Care Network had offices in Columbus, Toledo, Akron, Lima, and Ft. Wayne. In 2012, the Columbus Capital Care Network closed and started a partnership with Founder’s (Ohio’s first abortion clinic). Many of the staff, the management, and some of the abortion providers moved to 1243 E Broad Street (Founder’s) and the CCN Columbus office closed. Today, the Capital Care Network isn’t really much of a network. The Toledo office is fighting to stay open, despite the fact that the clinic cannot get a transfer agreement with a local hospital and is under an order to close by the Ohio Department of Health. Abortion advocates would tell you that this is because misogynists (male and female alike) in the General Assembly are trying to regulate abortion out of business. Certainly, there are many of prolife legislators in Ohio, but the requirement for ambulatory surgical centers to have a transfer agreement is hardly new, and it does not apply to only abortion clinics. If you go to a laser eye surgery center or an endoscopy center or certain aesthetics offices – all of them are ambulatory surgical facilities required to have a transfer agreement with a local hospital. When, by the way, was the last time you heard someone lament that excessive regulation was preventing people from having access to a nearby LASIK or endoscopy center? So what really changed? State university medical facilities were signing transfer agreements in violation of another longstanding Ohio law saying that state entities cannot support abortion, so the General Assembly put a provision in the 2013 budget reiterating that this general provision also applies to state-funded university hospitals. So the Toledo office of Capital Care Network (where Michaelis was regularly employed) cannot get a state-funded hospital to sign an agreement, and local hospitals will not enter into an agreement either. Why is this? Well, in some cases it is because many hospitals are faith-based, and rightfully oppose abortion on religious grounds. In some other cases, however, it is because the abortion industry tends to have these lapses in judgment (again, reflecting the disordered practice of operating an abortion clinic) and legitimate medical facilities just don’t want to be affiliated with abortion doctors. A business that is willing to hire a known child sex offender to perform OBGYN services and abortions on women (including minors) lacks good judgment. Another Capital Care Network affiliated practice was shut down this year by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). In addition to page after page of serious health and safety violations, it came to light that the Akron/Cuyahoga Falls clinic was stealing women’s blood to save money. Yes. They were taking vials of blood from repeat patients without their knowledge or their consent and using them for other purposes. The DEA and ODH acted immediately to shut down the Akron/Cuyahoga Falls clinic. The Lima and Ft. Wayne clinics are also closed. What was once one of the largest chains of abortion clinics in Ohio is now fighting to keep the last clinic it owns open (the clinic that employed a convicted child sex offender who was recently indicted by the Department of Justice for distributing child pornography) and manages an office in Columbus (Founder’s). Founder’s, where Michaelis regularly aborted babies, is not without its troubles. The Columbus clinic has been routinely cited for health and safety violations. The current primary abortion provider, Harley Blank, is 75 years old. Blank is being sued by a 29 year old woman for medical malpractice. In addition to the irreparable harm done to the woman (whose claim includes full permanent sterilization and a missed diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy), Dr. Blank was practicing medicine without medical malpractice insurance at the time. Violating Ohio law, he did not notify his patients that he was practicing without malpractice insurance. The young woman filed a lawsuit after being so sick (due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy) that she was rushed to the hospital. In that lawsuit, Blank recently filed a request for a third extension of time to answer discovery in the case. The first and second extensions of time were agreed to when it was disclosed that Dr. Blank’s wife unexpectedly passed away in August. After weeks of not hearing anything (and the extensions of time having expired), the victim of malpractice and her attorney rightly expressed that while they have a high degree of sympathy for Mr. Blank on his loss, the case cannot fail to move forward indefinitely. In responding, Dr. Blank’s attorney notes that Dr. Blank has been so devastated by the loss of his wife that he is not capable of responding to the questions asked in discovery and that “an objective time frame cannot be placed on his recovery.” The attorney goes on to specify that six weeks or more may not even be enough time for him to be able to function sufficiently to respond to the lawsuit. The death of a loved one is a difficult thing, and we extend condolences to Dr. Blank. However, if Dr. Blank is so distraught that he cannot answer questions related to the lawsuit and/or the victim’s care, then he should not be performing abortions on other young women. This is underscored by the anecdotal news that another patient of Founder’s was recently sent to the hospital following a complication of her abortion. If he is so distraught that he is unable to function, then he needs to take some time off or retire.
In addition to being the primary abortion provider, state records indicate that Dr. Blank is a part owner of Founder’s. He, together with his partners Dr. Karl Schaeffer and Dr. Bob Chosy and the clinic manager Terrie Hubbard should be asked why they would permit a known child sex offender to perform abortion procedures on women and young girls and how they intend to keep patients safe with a doctor who is so distracted. Dr. Schaeffer regularly performs abortions on Wednesdays at Founders and is in full-time practice with Bressler and Schaeffer. Dr. Bob Chosy is a retired OBGYN and appears to be President ProTem of the Worthington City Council. Terrie Hubbard is a registered nurse, owner of Capital Care Network, and manages or has partial ownership interests in Founder’s. At a minimum, all four of them should have exercised better judgment and better management. They, victim advocates, and law enforcement need to review patient records and actively seek out Dr. Michaelis’ patients, especially minor girls, to see if they were victimized.
Those of you who are pro-abortion or pro-choice should ask yourself what it is you support. The Gosnells and the Michaelises of the abortion world are not anomalies. They reflect the fundamental disordered thinking and behavior that it requires to justify working in a profession where best practices require someone to reassemble the arms and legs and torso of an unborn baby. They are propped up by a million-dollar industry selling false hope to women in moments of despair and by the politics of those who care far more about winning elections and gaining power than in promoting women’s health or helping women. Women need more than catchy slogans on abortion – they need real help, and it doesn’t come in the form of a filthy suction machine.
To those who are prolife, you need to ask yourself what it will take to mobilize all of us to action. What will it take to get you to join us in prayer, in lovingly reaching out to women who feel that they have no options? Consider joining our 365ProLife Prayer Program today.
To everyone in the middle, abortion is a tough issue in the midst of a culture that has elevated personal choice to near-universal status. After more than 40 years of abortion, there are not many who haven’t been impacted by the tragedy of abortion or a tragedy that leads to abortion. Consider, though, that in your silence you are permitting these atrocities to happen. Consider, also, that these stories are not rare anomalies, but a norm in the industry. Abortion would be wrong even if it weren’t for abortion doctors stealing patient blood, performing abortions in filthy conditions, hurting/killing women, or if none of them were convicted child sex offenders. These things are not what make abortion wrong. Because abortion is so fundamentally wrong, though, it leads to these atrocities with a frightening regularity. The abortion industry knows this, which is why it is silent. It is why they hope that you will stay silent. Don’t.
 http://insider.foxnews.com/2011/08/24/group-of-psychologists-pushing-for-decriminalization-of-pedophilia/, http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/15/conference-aims-to-normalize-pedophilia/
 http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/reports/rwservlet?imgc&Din=201308881948, http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/reports/rwservlet?imgc&Din=201420601712