June 19, 2015. Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Myron Duhart reversed the Ohio Department of Health’s decision revoking Capital Care’s surgery center license. This is a great victory for the women in the Toledo area and Capital Care. Capital Care has been fighting to keep its surgery center license for over 2 years. If Capital Care had closed, the women in the Toledo area would have to drive out of state or to Cleveland or Columbus to obtain abortion services. With the Judge’s ruling today, Capital Care remains open and licensed and the women in Toledo have access to safe abortion services.
“Ohio’s last budget bill, HB 59, was found unconstitutional today because it’s scheme denied Capital Care due process. This is a great decision for women in Toledo,” said Jennifer L. Branch, attorney for Capital Care Network of Toledo. “It is unfortunate that the state legislature is attempting to repeat the mistakes they made with HB 59 by inserting additional restrictions on abortion clinics at the last minute in this term’s budget bill, “commented Ms. Branch.
The Court ruled that the changes HB 59 made to the ambulatory surgery center laws made the laws unconstitutional. All surgery centers must have a transfer agreement with a hospital in case a patient needs to be transferred in an emergency. Capital Care could not get a local hospital to give them an agreement with a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Court ruled that whether a center is able to obtain a license cannot be controlled by a third party hospital. The Department of Health must be the ultimate decision maker of whether a license should be granted, not a hospital.
As a result of this court’s decision, Capital Care will continue to be operate with a license and able to provide care to the women in Toledo.