On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Ohio Department of Health held a hearing on late-term abortionist Martin Haskell and the failure of his abortion clinic to meet the requirements of Ohio law. The clinic is still operating.
Abby McIntyre, our fulltime intern at our Stand True Youth Outreach office in Ohio, attended the hearing on behalf of Priests for Life. Here's her eyewitness account.
Yesterday I got myself out of bed at 5:30am, drank an exorbitant amount of coffee, and trekked eastbound from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio. I am not a morning person, but when notorious abortionist Martin Haskell, pioneer of the partial birth abortion, is being tried in front of the Ohio Department of Health, I can make an exception. His kill mill had been required to have an agreement with a local hospital to care for patients in cases of emergency, but because they lacked such an agreement, it had been ordered to shut down. Despite the fact that this policy is for all surgical facilities, Haskell couldn’t seem to find a hospital willing to help him dismember children. (Shocking, I know). After month’s of appealing the Health Department’s order to close and years of skirting around the law, he had reached his final hearing. Praise God, I thought, Dayton would finally be abortion free, and I would get to see it happen firsthand.
Well, what you get isn’t always what you expect, right?
After ID checks and metal detectors, 40 local pro-lifers crammed into a hearing room to watch two sets of lawyers sit before a judge, one side arguing for the Ohio Attorney General and the other for Martin Haskell. They gave their opening statements, in which the Attorney General’s lawyers stated that they called no witnesses, because their case was on the basis of fact and law. Haskell’s lawyer had other plans. She called forth the Director of the Health Department, who had ordered the abortion mill to shutdown. Because the hearing was meant to be administrative, he wasn’t present, and had to be pulled out from his busy schedule.
Fast forward 3 hours, and our stomachs and attention spans had gotten the best of us. I was unaware that it is possible to ask the same question in 17 different forms, but Haskell’s lawyer proved me otherwise. From his previous employment, education, his qualifications, to his beliefs on abortion, she grilled the Director of the Health Department relentlessly. The poor man was snatched out from making important decisions about the health and safety of the entire state to be spitefully questioned. She had made the Director out to be a radical, right-winged lunatic, or at least tried. When that didn’t pan out, she had attempted to discredit his qualifications to be the Health Department director. Then she angled her questions to imply that he was wishy washy in regulation. This disheartened all of us, especially because the hearing had been previously made out to be a short and sweet process. We had expected it to last an hour at most. The decision to shut the clinic down had already been made, they were supposed to be merely finalizing it.
My group decided to take off before we passed out, both from hunger and frustration. I left in a fit of helplessness, but as I walked out, something the Director had answered came to mind. “My job is to ensure patient health and safety, and when a hospital essentially wants nothing to do with the facility, this worries me.” Ohio law states that a surgical facility must have an agreement with a local hospital in the case of an emergency. In this case, Haskell’s clinic had attempted to file an agreement with Miami Valley Hospital. Not only had the hospital denied the agreement, but they had written the Health Department a letter stating that they wanted to make it clear that they didn’t even want to be associated with Haskell’s butcher shop. (We should each write a letter to Miami Valley Hospital in thanks!) If a local hospital had gone to that great an extent to clear their name, it raised some questions.
In a last-ditch effort, Haskell was paying an enormous amount of money for a lawyer to do everything and anything to stop his facility from closing. It finally hit me that Dr. Haskell was absolutely desperate. If he had been confident in his stance, the abortionist wouldn’t have had a need to fight so hard to uphold the validity of his practice. The bigger the threat, the greater the defense.
Hours later, we discovered from several media outlets, that Haskell’s lawyer had somehow whined long enough to take their case in front of court. Of course, the clinic will remain operational until the court date, which won’t be for at least another few weeks, if not months. How typical of the abortion industry.
I am not without hope, though, that one day I will personally see the closing of the last standing abortion facility in Dayton, Ohio. Courageous advocates for life have been fighting since the decriminalization of abortion to shut Haskell’s death clinic. Thousands upon thousands of children go into the grisly building, only to be carried out in bags with “Product of Conception” labels. They have suffered a most gruesome death at the hands of a greedy man, under the disguise of women’s advocacy. In many ways, it looks like evil is prevailing, but God is never without justice for his children. Until then, my prayers shall not cease. I will watch people like Haskell’s lawyer wrangle with the law and with God. While they may put out a confident front, fear of defeat can never be masked.
The other side is greatly intimidated by us. But with truth like ours, who wouldn’t be?