Abortion Clinic Will Remain Open
Ohio's Sixth District Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Capital Care Network
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 2, 2016 (Toledo, OH): On Friday, July 29, 2016 the Ohio's Sixth District Court of Appeals in a 3-0 ruling sided in favor of Capital Care Network, thus allowing Toledo's only abortion clinic to remain open.
"We are extremely saddened, but not surprised by the Appeal's Court ruling in light of the recent overturning of the Texas Transfer Agreement law by the US Supreme Court," said Ed Sitter, Executive Director of Greater Toledo Right to Life. "Not only does this decision perpetuate the slaughter of the innocent, but this is a real injustice to the women whose lives remain at risk by the second-rate health and safety standards these abortion mills are allowed to operate under."
Here is a breakdown of the court's ruling:
- The state law requiring abortion clinics to have a written transfer agreement with local hospitals created an undue burden on a woman's right to have access to an abortion.
- That burden, the court said, clearly outweighs the "virtually non-existent health benefits" created by the regulations.
- The requirement for the transfer agreement also represents an unconstitutional delegation of authority by the state, the court held, because whether a clinic can comply with the state's regulation hinges on the decisions of an outside party.
- Lastly, the court found the enactment of the regulations for the written transfer agreement unconstitutional because they violated the Ohio Constitution's requirement that legislation be confined to a single subject. The regulations were included in the state budget enacted in 2013.
Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court's Texas decision was, at its foundation, totally without standing. Here is a brief summary of an excellent article by Kenneth R. Craycraft Jr. a Mason attorney.
- The Court ignored the well-entrenched rule in American jurisprudence that a plaintiff cannot re-litigate a claim that has already been finally adjudicated without appeal. A litigant gets one bite at the apple on a particular claim. If a court decides against it, and the litigant does not appeal, it cannot bring the same claim again in that or a different court. Yet this is precisely what happened in here. Whole Woman's Health, an abortion provider, previously challenged H.B.2 in the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals, lost the challenge, and did not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Under normal rules of jurisprudence, Whole Woman's Health could not bring the same case a second time. Ah, but this is no normal case: this is about abortion. So, the Supreme Court ignored the settled rule, and gave Whole Woman's Health a victory in a claim that they had forfeited their right even to bring.
- The Supreme Court (and the inferior courts below) allowed a non-aggrieved party to bring a claim in which it has no standing. In order to file a case in federal court, a party must have an actual claim, with actual (or, in some rare cases, imminent) harm. In constitutional jurisprudence, this usually involves a party challenging a law on the basis that the law violates some right of the party. But that is not the case here. The Supreme Court has held that women have a right to abortion, not than anyone has a right to provide it. But Whole Woman's Health was not brought by a woman claiming that H.B.2 violated a woman's right to abortion. Rather, the case was filed by an abortion clinic, on behalf of itself and other clinics. It is not about a woman's right to choose, but an abortion clinic's "right" to generate revenue. With normal issues, the Court does not allow a party to assert rights it does not possess on behalf of those who do possess such rights. But, again, this is about abortion, which the Supreme Court has elevated to super-normal status.
- This is yet another troubling example of the Supreme Court's ever increasing willingness to render decisions based upon policy considerations rather than to apply the law to the facts before it. During oral argument, some justices who formed the majority in this case complained that the facts were insufficient to show that H.B.2 caused an undue burden on women seeking abortion. But, never mind.This case is about abortion; so only the outcome matters, not the "facts or law".