Cincinnati Clinic Will Stop Providing Surgical Abortions This Week


The Cincinnati-area Lebanon Road Surgery Center, also known as Women’s Med, will end its tenure as an abortion provider, beginning on Friday. The clinic decided not to appeal a Hamilton County judge’s ruling that the Ohio Department of Health was within its rights when it revoked the clinic’s license earlier this year.

Lebanon Road had five days to appeal Judge Metz’s decision last Friday or face the halting of its surgical abortion services. The clinic’s attorney, Dorothea Langsam, announced on Wednesday that her clients will not appeal and will stop providing such services at the end of the week.

Though previous reports indicated that the clinic would close altogether, Langsam confirmed for RH Reality Check that Lebanon Road will remain open but will no longer include surgical abortions among the medical services it offers. Instead, women will be able to go to Lebanon Road for the doctor’s appointment they are required by law to have before getting an abortion. The clinic will also continue to provide other reproductive health care to women.

Langsam also said that the clinic is looking into the option of providing non-surgical abortions.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, at the start of 2013, Ohio had 14 abortions clinics. Now only ten remain, three of which have also come under fire. Lebanon Road was one of two clinics in the Cincinnati area that offered surgical abortions, and the only one offering later abortions.

Lebanon Road had been operating at its Sharonville location for nearly four years, and for 32 years at another location in Clifton, Ohio. According to the clinic, it has a hospital transfer ratio of fewer than one patient to every 15,000 surgeries performed, and during its four years of operation at the Sharonville location, clinic staff had only transferred one patient to a hospital, with a successful outcome.

The clinic has been fighting to stay open since 2012, when the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued a proposal to revoke the clinic’s “variance”—an exemption permit that allows a facility to operate without a written transfer agreement with a local hospital, which is required by state law. The ODH then moved to revoke the clinic’s operating license all together for failing to comply with Ohio law by having either a transfer agreement or a variance.

Langsam told RH Reality Check that the obstacles facing Lebanon Road are those that all surgical abortion providers in the state now face. “Ohio has figured out an insidious way of going after abortion clinics,” she said. “By closing them one by one, it makes it difficult to bring a lawsuit against the state based on the undue burden challenge. And by the time such a claim is brought, these clinics will all be closed.”

In an opinion piece for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Martin Haskell, Lebanon Road’s medical director and chief surgeon who has been licensed to practice medicine since the mid 1970s, explained why the change is bad for Ohio:

Tens of thousands of women have walked through our doors over the years. These are women resolute in their decision, unwavering in their commitment, even as picketers try to stop them with their graphic signs and attempt to lure them into clinics masquerading as abortion providers. …

In the past five years, we have seen almost 6,000 of these impoverished women in Cincinnati. These women have few resources, fewer options and no way to travel to another city for an abortion. Their goal is simple. They want only to provide a better life for themselves and the children they already have. They are the silent victims left in our governor’s wake as he closes abortion providers one by one. He has made a conscious decision to abandon these women and their children, sending them into even deeper poverty, hopelessness and suffering.

As part of its decision to stop battling the state in court, Lebanon Road has also decided to drop a lawsuit it filed earlier this month against the ODH for its “unreasonable and politically motivated” decision to revoke the clinic’s variance and license.

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  • TheBrett

    I’m not confident that the Supreme Court will uphold abortion rights when – not if, when – they hear a case about these manipulative back-door abortion ban laws. That means it’s going to come down to Democrats in the next wave election passing state constitutional amendments to make sure these laws can’t get passed in the first place.

    • Shan

      I should think there are enough legislators who were dumb enough to actually go on record stating that the only purpose of the TRAP laws is to shut clinics down, nothing to do with regulating them for the sake of “women’s health” at all.

      Recently, a Federal district judge in Alabama struck down as unconstitutional that states admitting privileges law, stating:

      “If this requirement would not, in the face of all the evidence in the record, constitute an impermissible undue burden, then almost no regulation, short of those imposing an outright prohibition on abortion, would,”

      This is the one I hope goes to the SCOTUS, if that’s even how it all works.

      • Max

        Yes indeed shan .That’s exactly what these trap laws are doing.! Just like slavery .Wilberforce was very instrumental in abolishing slavery and he did just that . He went in the back door and started chipping away ,law by law.Im sure the citizens of the day were furious with him too. They were probably very angry when they started taking away their rights to a “human slave”

        • a7xrocker1981

          Awesome analogy. Too bad he won’t get that reference having the brain he does.

          • fiona64

            Awesome analogy.

            Only if one is an imbecile …

          • Jennifer Starr

            With your complete lack of brain, I doubt you even know what an analogy is.

          • Dez

            Again coming from a guy that advocates execution of doctors without a trial. How are you any different than a terrorist?

          • fiona64

            That individual claims to be a 19-year-old female.

            She has all of the wisdom one might expect from a 19-year-old, too.

        • fiona64

          You’re funny, Max, given that you advocate enslavement of women …

          • Max

            Not so .advocating enslavement of women is in your camp.

          • Dez

            Naw that’s’ your side who like the slave-owners of the past forced my ancestors to breed like cattle. Like them you want to take away the right for black women to decide whether we want to reproduce or not. Actually treat us like human beings that are capable of making our own decisions. If not you are no better than the slave-owners and you might as well bring back slavery since our lives only matter if we are breeding new people.

          • Max

            Yes until Wilberforce realized the immorality of it and was instrumental in changing the laws so you could be free ! You should be on your knees that men like this understand the preciousness and dignity of human beings ! Black ,white or red Now on to abortion ,the immorality of taking a life in the womb is another indignity that is now on the forefront that an army of people are waging war on this holocaust and WILL win .In time even you will realize this if you and I are still alive . Little law by little law .now it’s time for you to take that black chip off your shoulder and THINK about how many people like myself are on your side .we want life and dignity for all people .NOT the choice to kill children in the womb. This is not about choice or rights ,it’s about life .There is no choice when you choose to create life . It’s immoral and don’t even try to tell me that it’s my version of morality because it’s universal .think life or death .what do you advocate for?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Black chip? How very racist of you. Why don’t you think that black women need you to make their reproductive decisions for them? Don’t you believe they’re capable of doing that on their own?

          • Max

            Why do you think laws are created to protect life ? I must pass your comment on to my beautiful nephew-in law from Ethiopia who has 2 gorgeous bi-racial children who is also offended at killing children in the womb

          • Jennifer Starr

            Then your nephew in law should never have an abortion. He’s free to make any choice he wants about every pregnancy he carries.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Additionally, trying to tell us you’re not racist because of your family members is akin to saying “Some of my best friends are….” Just thought you should know.

          • Max

            Your comprehension skills are lacking .you can’t seem to see the forest through the trees girl.

          • Arekushieru

            Nope, that would be YOUR comprehension skills.

          • Max

            Are you trolling or do you have a point?

          • Arekushieru

            Do YOU? From what I’ve seen, here, you do not. Just more of the same talking points and no ability to refute them.

            Btw, I have been here about 100 times longer than YOU, little boy.

          • Max

            Wah wah wah ! Are you trying to say because you have been on this blog longer than I have ,you have more credibility .hahaha .good night my dear . Oh by the way ,I’m a woman

          • Arekushieru

            …so says every other teenaged anti-choice MALE that comes onto this blog.

            Nope. Reading comprehension is not your friend, IS it?

          • Dez

            Awww the “black friend” argument to excuse racism. I am mixed race and that does not excuse your racism.

          • Max

            Blind as a bat Dez

          • Arekushieru

            …says the racist who complains about how ‘racist’ abortion is.

          • Max

            Get a grip now .your becoming unglued !

          • Arekushieru

            Keep proving MY point that you HAVE no point, at least not one you can back UP.

          • Max

            Your point?

          • Arekushieru

            Yes, thank you for admitting it.

          • Max

            I thought so

          • Arekushieru

            What ELSE could you think?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Your becoming unglued what?

          • Nessie

            Most bats have good eyesight, though many rely primarily on echolocation to navigate.

          • fiona64

            “Some of my best friends are black,” quoth every Grand Dragon of the KKK, ever …

          • Max

            This has nothing to do with black or white .Its life and death .nothing at all to do with their reproductive decisions .sounds like your the racist here .No ,ending life is not about being “capable ” about making decisions .NO ONE (human) has the right to stop a beating heart .

          • Arekushieru

            Oh, so if a sleepwalking man is raping me (or assaulting someone else, which HAS actually happened, btw) I (or that other person) has no right to use deadly force to defend themselves? SOMEONE has no idea of how laws actually WORK in the United States, and yet this is a CANADIAN telling you that.

            EVERYONE dies, little Max. And, YES, pregnancy DOES have everything to do with one’s reproductive decisions. Did you fail basic biology? Death is not evil. SUFFERING, which your ilk multiplies by the DOZENS, DAILY, however, IS.

          • Max

            Haha too funny .”sleep walking man raping you”” I don’t mean to be fresh but that’s funny .on a serious note .in reply to your right to defending yourself. I can’t imagine for the life of me that someone is defending herself from an innocent little baby in the womb.supposedly the safest place in the world !

          • Arekushieru

            Uh, yes, being assaulted by someone who is sleeping/sleepwalking is not unheard of. Are you seriously that IGNORANT? Google is your friend. Never heard of Night Terrors, either, I guess. You seriously ARE living under a ROCK, aren’t you? Besides, that wasn’t the POINT. The point WAS that you can be raped whether or NOT your attacker does so with INTENT. Oops. Reading comprehension not your strong suit, i take it?

            A FETUS is neither innocent nor guilty. If you want to declare it innocent then it can also be GUILTY of implanting into the uterus (since it IS the one that directs the process of conception, NOT the woman). Since we understand that a fetus lacks the ability to consent to such an action, so, THEREFORE, has no INTENT to attack a woman, therefore, IN TURN, canNOT be guilty, we recognize it is also incapable of being INNOCENT. See, we don’t demonize fetuses like YOUR ilk demonizes women. Oops.

            Also it is uterus not womb.

            The safest place? When 3/4 of the fertilized eggs fail to either IMPLANT or make it to birth? THAT is the freaking safest place in the world? WOW. That’s like saying Gaza is the safest place for citizens to reside. Considering how many ACTUALLY innocent civilians were killed by Israeli soldiers.

            Also, pregnancy is the FUCKING THIRD deadliest medical condition for women, WORLDWIDE. Why, because the FETUS draws the resources that it needs DIRECTLY from the woman’s body. If it does not get enough nutrients through the woman’s maintenance of her body, it can and WILL suck them from the surrounding bones, organs and tissue. It will not CARE if it kills the woman by doing so. Defenceless? What a freaking JOKE.

            Finally, the FETUS suppresses a woman’s immune system. So that it doesn’t have to defend itself from the woman’s body viewing it as a threat. Hmm, sounds to me like not even the woman’s BODY agrees with you. Oops. Also, suppressing a woman’s immune system, VERY dangerous and deadly. Gotcha..

          • Dez

            No we fought for our right to be free despite christians trying to keep us as second class citizens. Racists like you constantly imply black women are ignorant if they do not support your racist and unscientific agenda to take away our reproductive rights. Black chip? No that’s called being intelligent and knowing I am capable of making medical decisions without consulting you first. You advocate forced slavery of women and are no better than slave owners that raped and tortured us with unwanted pregnancy. There is nothing moral about you and your forced pregnancy agenda. You could care less about poor women or color that are being butchered at Gosnell type clinics because they don’t “value life” like you so they deserve to be maimed or killed. But thanks for “whitesplaining” to a black woman about how I should feel about my reproduction. F*** You!!

          • fiona64

            Little law by little law .now it’s time for you to take that black chip off your shoulder

            What a condescending, racist POS thing to say.

          • Max

            Oh your offended by “little law by little law”. Hmmm wonder why . THEE best way to rid the killing of children in the womb . It will happen my dear.

          • Arekushieru

            Nope, if you weren’t so IGNORANT and UNEDUCATED. like most anti-choicers are to keep them barricaded from reality by their pleasant thoughts of death towards women who have abortions and killing abortion providers and in their insulated little fantasy, you would KNOW that her problem was with the phrase ‘black chip’ proving who the REAL racists are.

          • Arekushieru

            Comparing abortion to a holocaust IS racist. Listen you ignorant fuck, Hitler and Slave OWNERS were both Pro-Forced-BIRTH for one simple reason, because, like you, they wanted to grant more rights to one group of humans and deny fewer rights to others. Oops.

            Precious? They believe women are breeding livestock, ESPECIALLY black women.

            Nope, you want only choice and dignity for rapists, fetuses, and OTHERS who violate a person’s rights.

            Thanks for slutshaming women, btw. Women should not enjoy non-procreative sex like their male counterparts may do, after all, WITHOUT impunity.

            Also, if death is a problem, then why aren’t you fighting to make sure that people will one day have immortality?

          • Max

            Oh boy ! You are to be pitied . I’m mean that in all sincerity whether you believe it or not . Good night my dear

          • Arekushieru

            Nope, YOU are to be pitied, because you are a hypocrite who wishes death on women (pregnancy IS the second leading cause of death worldwide for women, after all, and there is NOT a zero percent chance that a women will die during pregnancy, childbirth and delivery) and a misogynist to boot. Oh, btw, even if you ARE female, you can still be a misogynist. Which I highly doubt, though. Given the tone and age of your comments and inability to refute ANYTHING that’s been provided you. BUH-BAAAAIIII!

          • Max

            Night night

          • Arekushieru

            Okay, that was too cute. There is no way I’m going to get angry at that, sorry if anyone else disagrees with me. I am serious. That was just literally too cute.

            And here’s the but, though, that still does not mean I agree with you NOR does it mean that I will stop being so forceful in emphasizing my points to you.

          • fiona64

            Christine, er, Max? advocating enslavement of women is in your camp Really? How so? You’re the one demanding that a woman’s rights be restricted the moment she becomes pregnant … which is enslavement. So I’m keen to hear your explanation of how the pro-choice are the slavers.

        • Arekushieru

          No, TRAP laws treat ONE surgical procedure differently than other, even MORE dangerous, surgical procedures. That’s unconstitutional.

          Wilberforce effectively did the opposite of what you Pro-‘Lifers’ want to do. SFS.

          • Max

            Wrong!

          • Arekushieru

            Yup, here we go, again. No attempts to refute a well-made point. Get some life experience then come back, kid.