Think it can't happen here? Think again
Over the past two weeks, more than 300 in central Ohio have come together to watch the #GosnellMovie at events sponsored or cosponsored by Greater Columbus Right to Life. Hundreds more in the local community have gone (or will go) to other showings in the area. In fact, a full list of the theaters showing the movie can be seen online. If you have not seen the movie, we strongly encourage that you go see it. Here is what a few locals had to say after watching the movie at our sneak-peek in September.
But one thing I want to make exceedingly clear, do not think that a Gosnell-type situation could not happen here in central Ohio. Because, even though Ohio reportedly has some of the strictest abortion regulations in the state, failure to meet the standards set by the laws is often met with inaction, excessively long legal practices, and penalties that are abandoned or reduced so as not to have any practical ramifications. Don't believe us? This is a document we put together several weeks ago, citing actual examples from clinic inspection reports.
But last week, something happened that was almost unbelievable and it shows just how desperately we need for groups like Greater Columbus Right to Life and other local organizations to continue serving in education, advocacy, and watchdog positions. Because what happened in Ohio last week is, quite frankly, unbelievable.
Warning - Gosnell Film Spoiler Alerts follow.
One of the shocking takeaways from the film is how the abuses at the Gosnell facility were able to continue because of political decisions and media coverage that tends toward protecting anything termed as "reproductive rights." And as a pro-life organization, we have been frustrated by local media who have refused to cover atrocities like filthy clinics hiring known sex offenders and then not reporting when that sex offender was arrested and indicted for child pornography. Think we might be exaggerating? Check the Toledo coverage of the indictment, and there was zero Columbus coverage, even though Mr. Michaelis was frequently working at Founder's.
You might have read out previous coverage of the fine that Capital Care Network of Toledo received from the Ohio Department of Health. The fine was charged after a patient's abortion was halted because the doctor thought he might have perforated her bowel. This is a very dangerous medical emergency. Rather than call for an ambulance, a non-medical staffer of the clinic drove the woman to the hospital and dropped her off at the emergency room. Here is our coverage of the situation, which was appealed by the clinic. It took nearly a year for the appeal to get a hearing, which it did last June. The defenses of the clinic were laughable, including that a) since the patient's bowel was not actually perforated, there wasn't really an emergency so there should be no fine, and b) that the clinic has not been making a profit for many years and this fine will put them out of business. This past Friday, a hearing officer made a recommendation to the Ohio Department of Health to reduce the fine to $3,000.
Here are a few things to consider from the actual case.
- First, the clinic was notified in a letter on August 21 that it had ten days to respond to fix the deficiencies and 30 days to request an appeal. It responded with the deficiencies and requested an appeal on September 8th, 2017. They did not even bother to follow the proscribed timeline to correct their deficiencies. This is typical of the clinics that have been run under the same management - no response, late response, etc.
- Second, the clinic is owned and operated in part by a woman who has been operating various abortion clinics in Ohio and Indiana under different names and DBAs for almost a decade the track record is NOT good. A few of them.
So what can we do? Well, the first thing we would encourage you to do is to contact the Ohio Department of Health and let them know that it is not appropriate to let someone with Terrie Hubbard's track record off with a minor fine. By reducing this fine the ODH will be signaling that women who enter these facilities they are setting up a do not consider women's health to be 13 times less important for similar violations against the general public! Contact information: Director Lance Himes: Director@odh.ohio.gov or call (614) 466-2253.
The Second thing you can do is to consider joining our team, which serves as a watchdog at local clinics and can help to make sure that when things go wrong, someone knows. You can do this by either volunteering with us or making a donation.