The executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio also verified the news. In a public statement, Kellie Copeland said, "For months, anti-choice extremists have targeted the doctors at Complete Healthcare for Women because they provided their patients with abortion care in addition to their other obstetric and gynecological services."
"I would not be surprised if this campaign of harassment played a role in their decision to stop providing abortion care to their patients,” she added.
The Samuels have faced difficulties from their own practices as well as from pro-life activists. In 2012, investigators found rusted and dirty IV equipment, improperly sterilized surgical tools, expired medications, and lax infection control standards at Complete Healthcare for Women. Likewise, in 2010 and 2012, women given abortions at the clinic required hospital care, and Operation Rescue discovered OSHA violations had garnered thousands in fines for the location.
A number of abortion clinics have closed their doors in Ohio due to a regulation from the administration of Ohio Gov. John Kasich that does not allow abortion clinics to enter into transfer agreements with public hospitals. Clinics require agreements with hospitals to exist under Ohio law. This has approximately halved the number of abortion clinics in Ohio in the last 18 months.
It was not immediately clear why the Samuels closed down the abortion portion of their operation. They have two satellite clinics that do not provide surgical and will also remain open ostensibly to continue performing chemical abortions with drugs like mifepristone (Mifeprex), IUDs, methotrexate, misoprostol and others.
On Thurs 28 August, a local Columbus pro lifer reported:
I checked this afternoon with the Ohio Department of Health's ambulatory surgical facility licensure division and learned that Complete Health Care for Women on Cleveland Avenue is currently renewing its license. The Samuels' abortion business in Pickerington just received its first license from ODH in July, 2014. This makes me wonder if the reports heard today could be inaccurate in some way. One would wonder why the Samuels would invest the time and money to obtain licenses for their abortion business if they were planning on renouncing abortion. Has there been an official statement from Mervyn and Milroy Samuel? I haven't heard that one has been issued. I definitely would be glad to hear of their renunciation of abortion but I do have to wonder why there was no official statement.
Well, most definitely, the Samuels' abortion facility in Picketington was just [recently] licensed for a 12 month term in July, 2014. This information is directly from the lawyer at ODH's ambulatory surgical facility licensure division. I spoke with her at about 6:15 PM ON 8/28/14.
Because his medical records are protected by HIPAA, no one of us has a menu of what he does day to day at the Pickerington location but that facility is an ODH licensed ASF (ambulatory surgical facility). The license is good for 12 months and it was issued by ODH in July, 2014. It is licensed to do more than a regular medical office. If he would like to commit abortions in the Pickerington location, his ASF license would permit him to do those procedures. I spoke just this minute with another ODH attorney in the enforcement division. She told me that there are no pending enforcement actions against the Cleveland Avenue location at this time. The Pickerington office is too new as an ASF to have yet been charged with any enforcement actions.
If a story is not vetted properly (as a professional reporter would do), and then the story has to be walked back at a later time, it could be harmful in the future to the cause of those who first reported the story. We are all in favor of getting all abortionists to stop killing children. No one doubts that but we can't take short cuts. It will pay dividends in the long run if stories are vetted thoroughly and fact checked before publication. I also want to know where a lot of the non-Catholic groups stand on issues other than surgical abortion.
The Hobby Lobby decision is a case in point. Hobby Lobby provides coverage for all sorts of "contraception." The Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby's position might end up jeopardizing the cases of the Little Sisters of the Poor and EWTN. The Supreme Court might tell those Catholic plaintiffs that they "at least" need to do what Hobby Lobby agreed to do.
We all think that Mervyn and Milroy Samuel should not be credentialed to practice at our local Catholic hospitals but what about the scores of other doctors who provide contraception and sterilization? Both contraception and sterilization are intrinsically evil and, if the Samuel's don't belong at a Catholic hospital, neither do these others. This includes lots of physicians in the specialties of pediatrics, family medicine, ob/gyn, internal medicine, emergency medicine, etc. If Mount Carmel Health really enforced its own rules, it would lose most of the physicians in these specialties unless of course these doctors would convert.