Abortionists Operating Without a License

by Denise Mackura, JD
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Seventeen of the twenty-one abortion facilities in Ohio are operating without a license.

On October 19, 1999, Cleveland Right to Life sent a letter to the Director of the Ohio Department of Health asking him to close thc doors of the 17 abortion facilitics in Ohio which do not have an ambulatory surgical facility license. Section 3702.30 (D) of the Ohio Revised Code states that health facilities “shall not operate” if they do not have a license. Over 80% of Ohio’s facilities (17 out of 21) do not have a license. Therefore, under the law, they should be shut down. The Director of the Health Department has the ability to do this by seeking an injunction to close the mills until they obtain a license. To obtain a license, an abortion facility would have to apply, submit to an inspection, and prove that they comply with the other requirements of the law. Denise Mackura, the executive director and general counsel of Cleveland Right to life, pointed out in the letter that the facilities have had over two years to comply with the law. The letter also said: “They must not be permitted to flaut the law with impunity. They must understand that the state is serious about protecting women’s health. The only way to do this effectively is to close the doors on these irresponsible facilities until they comply with the law. Otherwise, what meaning does the law in Ohio have?”

Of the original 17 identified Cleveland Right to life as needing a license, the Department of Health had agreed that 12 should have a license and three have license applications pending (meaning, of course, that they are not licensed, although they have been in “pending” status since 1996!). Their preliminary investigation revealed at least one mill using rusty forceps and unsterile curettes. The two other mills from the original list were not investigated by the Department. In the case of the Columbus facility, this is because they had the incorrect address. It is unclear why the Oberlin facility was not investigated. All 12 have now applied for a license, although 8 are fighting the licensing requirement. The Director is still refusing to exercise his authority to enforce the law and close the mills down. Further legal action is being contemplated by Cleveland Right to Life to force the state to carry out its responsibilities.

Status of Licenses of Ohio Abortion Facilities
does not include doctors’ offices or hospitals where abortions are performed
Facility Location Licensed
Akron Center for Choice Akron No
Akron Women's Medical Group Akron No
Medical Planning Services Akron No
Womens Med+ Center Akron No
Cincinnati Women's Services Cincinnati No
Planned Parenthood Cincinnati No
Women's Med+ Center Cincinnati No
Center for Women's Health Cleveland No
Cleveland Surgi-Center Shaker Heights Yes
Planned Parenthood Bedford Yes
Preterm Cleveland Yes
Capital Care Center Columbus No
Founders Clinic Columbus No
Northwest Women’s Center Columbus Yes
Planned Parenthood Columbus No
Dayton Women’s Services Dayton No
Women’s Med+ Center Kettering No
Rollin/Oberlin Clinic Oberlin No
Center for Choice Toledo No
Toledo Medical Services Toledo No
Mahoning Women’s Center Youngstown No

Source: Ohio Department of Healtlt list of abortion providers compared to their list of licensed ambulatory surgical facilities dated 8/30/1999.


J. Nick Baird, MD
Director, Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43266

Governor Robert Taft
77 South High Street, 30th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Posted 6 Sep 2000.

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