Another Day, Another Lawsuit, & Another Complicit Doctor...
They say a leopard will not change its spots and that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Apparently that rings true for abortion clinics as well. Greater Columbus Right to Life has uncovered an all-new lawsuit filed this week by the City of Columbus against Founder's Women's Health Clinic operator: Terrie Hubbard. The complaint references unpaid taxes and fines from 2014 and 2015, but also indicates unpaid taxes and fees from the first, third, and fourth quarters of 2016. In the past two years, we uncovered similar lawsuits and liens against Terrie Hubbard & Co for unpaid city, state, and federal taxes. This means that the clinic has had a tax problem in part or all of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. It is also notable that the same clinic had similar problems when it was managed by Dr. Blank and Downtown Gynecologists with numerous filings going back well beyond 2008.
The exhibits filed with the lawsuit suggest that the clinic has been making some effort to pay back the taxes owed to the city. For example, one of the exhibits notes a $75 payment credited to the tax due. The new lawsuit filed this week, however, suggests that the clinic is in far steeper financial difficulty than even we originally thought.
From time to time, individuals and businesses fail to pay a tax or fee. Sometimes it is overlooked. Sometimes it is an accounting error. Sometimes a person entrusted with business finances is not trustworthy. Sometimes cash flow patterns or emergencies pop up, and upon occasion people have disagreements with government over how much money they actually owe. All of these things happen from time to time even among the most upstanding people and businesses. However, it is another thing to repeatedly and consistently fail to pay your taxes on millions of dollars in income and to continue in the habit once you have been caught: penalties for nonpayment of current taxes are MUCH higher than the interest levied on those which are past due. So to be under so much scrutiny for city, state, and federal taxes in 2015 and 2016, and continue not paying them suggests that there just isn't the money to do so.
Another indicator that things at Founder's are worse than previously thought is Ohio Health's recent refusal to enter into a transfer agreement with the clinic. Last November, we reported that Founder's had applied for and been denied a variance to Ohio's transfer agreement law (an agreement with a local hospital to directly admit patients of a surgical center in case of emergency) after Ohio Health refused to renew their agreement with the abortion clinic. The variance was denied because the clinic proposed that then-Dr. David Burkons, a former NE and NW Ohio abortion provider who recently lost his medical license for operating a pill mill, could serve as back-up for the two abortion providers working at Founder's. The state denied that variance. Founder's reapplied, proposing that a different local OBGYN, who appears to be a Dr. Mark Brown practicing at Ohio Health and Midtown Obstetrics and Gynecology (a practice which does not appear to provide abortions) serve as backup*. Just a few months ago, the Ohio Department of Health approved the variance.
Although some speculated last fall that Ohio Health's Grant Hospital's refusing to renew its transfer agreement with Founder's indicated that the facility was declining to work with abortion providers in general, that does not seem to be the case. A few months ago Ohio Health renewed its transfer agreement with Planned Parenthood's abortion clinic on East Main. Thus, it does not appear to be that Ohio Health refuses to work with any abortion providers, just THIS abortion provider. Why could that be? The answer to that is purely speculative, but it is hard to believe it does not have something to do with our campaign to inform the public about the questionable business practices of the clinic and its affiliates, such as the time that we pointed out that doctor providing abortions did not disclose to his patients that he failed to carry the medical malpractice insurance, news that came too late for at least one patient.
As always, we firmly believe that failure to pay taxes is nowhere near as morally abhorrent as engaging in abortion - the intentional destruction of unborn children. To the contrary, the life of one of these unborn children is worth far more than all of the taxes owed by the clinic and any affiliated businesses. Likewise, our efforts to build a culture of life do not rest upon or end with political, legal, or administrative actions. However, for too long the public has been shielded from the truth about abortion clinics. A false narrative has developed clinics are there to protect and advance for the care of women, that they are interested in protecting women's rights, that abortion is inevitable so legality makes it safe, and in some cases that they seek the best outcome for children by ensuring that only women who are prepared to be mothers give birth. This is not true.
Life is not always easy, but it is always a gift from God, and we are bound to respect it, promote it, and give thanks for it. If you would like to join us in our prayerful and peaceful presence at Founder's, we would love to welcome you. If you'd like to donate a rose to gift to a woman contemplating abortion or make a general donation to support our work, we would appreciate it. If you can do neither, consider sharing this post with a friend and saying a prayer for our work, especially the precious unborn we seek to protect and the mothers who carry them.
* According to the Ohio Medical Board, there are only two actively licensed Ohio physicians by the name of Mark Brown, one in Columbus and one in Coldwater, a city about two hours from Columbus. Only one of them is an OBGYN and only one of them is listed by Ohio Health.