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Published: Wednesday, 3/27/2013

Ohio group accuses UT of supporting abortions

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
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An Ohio anti-abortion group and a northwest Ohio legislator on Tuesday accused the University of Toledo of supporting abortion by establishing a transfer agreement with Capital Care Women’s Center in West Toledo, a clinic that performed 1,033 abortions in 2011.

According to the Rev. John Coats II, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, ambulatory care centers, including abortion clinics, are required to have an agreement with a hospital to take patients who may suffer complications in out-patient surgery.

He distributed paperwork showing that the Ohio Department of Health in March, 2012, levied a fine of $25,000 and threatened to shut down Capital Care Network for having no transfer agreement in place.

The shutdown threat was canceled after Capital Care signed an agreement with the UT Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, in August, 2012.

“This abortion mill would not be able to exist without the University of Toledo and it’s time for the University of Toledo to get out of the abortion business, even if it’s indirect," Mr. Coats said.

Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon) said he believes Ohio law already prohibits the arrangement under its ban on state-funded entities supporting abortion, but said he would soon introduce legislation to make the ban more explicit.

“It is to me very clear in Ohio ... about the use of taxpayer money to help fund abortions. Clearly this legal agreement is an avenue for that to happen,” Mr. Wachtmann said.

“I will be introducing legislation as soon as I can craft it to make sure that under Ohio law these kinds of agreements with public entities such as the University of Toledo are indeed illegal,” Mr. Wachtmann said at the news conference held inside the hotel on the UTMC campus in South Toledo.

Asked if an abortion clinic which operates legally in Ohio should be allowed no services provided by the government, Mr. Wachtmann said he would draft the bill as broadly as possible.

Also speaking at the news conference was Jennifer Antonini, a UT law school graduate and board member of Greater Toledo Right to Life, who said the discovery of the transfer agreement was “shocking and disappointing.”

University of Toledo spokesman Jon Strunk said UTMC does not provide abortion services, but has signed a transfer agreement to provide emergency care to patients if complications arise and further treatment or advanced care is needed.

He said the university signed a similar agreement in February with Center for Choice, another Toledo abortion clinic.

"We gladly accept transfer patients across a wide range of specialties," Mr. Strunk said.

Calls to Capital Care Network were not returned Tuesday.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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