Columbus Hospital Severs Ties with Abortion Facility

Founder’s Fails to Secure Emergency Backup Care


DATE: Tuesday, November 15, 2016     PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Today, Ohio Right to Life announced findings from a public records request on Founder’s Women’s Health Clinic, a Columbus abortion facility. In a letter to the Ohio Department of Health dated September 14, 2016, Founder’s reveals that Grant Hospital chose not to renew its written transfer agreement with the Columbus abortion facility. Ohio law requires that all ambulatory surgical facilities, including abortion facilities, secure a written transfer agreement with a local hospital in order to provide 24/7 emergency backup care to patients. If unable to obtain an agreement, the facility may seek a variance from the law. Legal representation for Founder’s notes that when Grant chose not to renew its contract, the abortion facility sent letters to all hospitals in a 30 mile radius of Founder’s requesting a written transfer agreement. When no area hospitals responded, the facility chose to seek a variance from the law from the Ohio Department of Health.

“Yet again the traditional medical community is refusing to do business with the abortion industry,” said Devin Scribner, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “In Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati and now Columbus, hospitals are opting out of the abortion business. Not one hospital within 30 miles of the downtown area has leaped at the opportunity to work with Founder’s. ”  

Ohio law requires that to secure a variance from the law, an ambulatory surgical facility must have a contract with one or more physicians who have admitting privileges at a local hospital. It is up to the discretion of Rick Hodges, director of the Department of Health, to determine whether their application is sufficient. In Founder’s’ variance request, the two physicians who are cited as the facility’s backup care are the facility’s own abortionists, Harley Blank and Karl Schaeffer.  

“Founder’s’ variance request makes a mockery not only of the law, but of their patients in need of care outside of the abortion facility,” said Scribner. “Unable to secure a partnership with anyone beyond their walls, Founder’s now operates independent from the traditional medical community and apparently without the benefits of peer review and honest, un-conflicted medical evaluation and treatment. Director Hodges should reject this variance request on the basis that it simply fails any reasonable expectation for emergency backup care.”

To view Founder’s’ variance request to the Ohio Department of Health, click here.

UPDATE 4:01 PM: This afternoon, the Columbus Dispatch reported that the Ohio Department of Health denied Founder’s Women’s Health Center’s variance request on Friday. In a letter sent to the facility, Rick Hodges, director of the department, says that the facility’s provision of just two backup physicians does not meet the department’s expectations. This could lead to the closure of the facility if Founder’s is unable to identify a third backup physician.

“Ohio Right to Life thanks the Ohio Department of Health for holding this abortion facility accountable,” said Katherine Franklin, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life. “We remain concerned that this abortion facility is still operating independent from the traditional medical community and, apparently, without the benefits of peer review. Even if Founder’s is able to secure another physician as backup, the fact remains that its primary backup is its own abortionists. Director Hodges should reject this variance request on the basis that women need honest, non-biased medical evaluation and treatment in cases of emergency.”

Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death. 



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