An Ohio abortion facility that was caught putting a woman’s life in jeopardy is complaining about the fine it must pay for its safety violations.
The Ohio Department of Health fined Capital Care Network in Toledo $40,000 for violating emergency procedures involving a patient whose bowel may have been perforated, the AP reports.
Rather than call 911, the abortion facility employees took the woman out the back door and into one of their personal vehicles on April 1, 2017, state health investigators found. An employee dropped off the woman at a local hospital and then drove away, not even leaving the woman’s medical records with the hospital – a violation which abortion clinic owner Terrie Hubbard admitted to this week.
On Thursday, however, the Toledo abortion facility contested the fine at a hearing, arguing that it did not violate their emergency policies and it did not think the patient’s situation was an emergency, according to the local news. Later, it was learned that the patient did not have a perforated bowel.
“The business might have to go away because we don’t have $40,000 if I can’t get a loan to pay for it,” Hubbard said at the hearing.
The clinic contends the patient transfer was never believed to be an emergency and, therefore, did not violate its policies.
At the time the clinic did not have policies governing non-emergency situations or referrals to other health-care providers. It has since adopted such policies.
“If, in fact, it was a perforated bowel or uterus, that is a significant and serious condition?” [hearing officer Karl] Schedler asked Ms. Hubbard.
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“If that happened? Yes…,” Ms. Hubbard said. “In a perforation situation, which I have been involved with in my 30-some years [as a nurse], there is always a fluctuation in their vital signs. There was none in this patient’s case.”
She also said the patient did not experience bleeding beyond what would be expected after a first trimester abortion, something that would be expected with a perforated uterus. The patient was 11½ weeks pregnant before the abortion.
The abortion business’s new policy prohibits employees from transferring emergency patients in personal vehicles, according to the report.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said the abortion business should close if it cannot afford the fine, just as any other business would have to.
“Abortion businesses shouldn’t get any special treatment,” he said. “Capital Care Network has operated recklessly for far too long. Their lack of health and safety standards could have cost a woman her life.”
Earlier this year, the state also revoked Capital Care Network’s license after it was caught violating a requirement that ambulatory surgical facilities have a written transfer agreement with a hospital for patient emergencies. However, the abortion business later complied with the requirement and received a new license.