Anti-abortion groups wants disciplinary action taken against a Kettering doctor who performed an abortion on a woman suspected of being high on heroin.
Both Dayton and Ohio Right To Life groups have filed a complaint with the State Medical Board based on information they received from an Ohio Department of Health report. It indicates that in 2015, the Women’s Med Center in Dayton performed an abortion on a 31-year-old woman who was physically unstable and incoherent, possibly due to a mix of pain pills and heroin.
After the abortion was completed, the woman was given the anti-overdose medicine Narcan, then sent to a local hospital for possible overdose treatment.
Paul Coudron is the executive director with Dayton Right to Life. He says there is no indication in the report that the Women’s Med Center tried to reassess the woman’s consent for the abortion.
“Informed consent is a very vital principle in the practice of medicine, no matter what the procedure, and the woman seeking the abortion was not in a condition where she would be able to give that informed consent,” said Coudron.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has issued a statement claiming the right to life organizations are “painting a false picture” of the incident. They say the Ohio Department of Health already investigated the matter in 2015, clarified the consent policy with the Women’s Med Center, and found no other objections to the incident.
One potential conflict that could arise from this is that a current member of the Ohio Medical Board, Michael Gonidakis, is also president of Ohio Right to Life, which has joined Dayton Right to Life in filing the complaint. However, Gonidakis has indicated that he would recuse himself from the case.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Deputy Director Jaime Miracle said in the statement, "The State Medical Board cannot be impartial while led by Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life. The board should reject the complaint. This is a political witch hunt. This is not how medical professionals should be treated in Ohio."
Gonidakis was appointed to the State Medical Board by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2013. That same year, Ohio created a law stating that an abortion clinic had to have an active transfer agreement with a local hospital in case of emergency situation as a result of the abortion.
The Women's Med Center's transfer of the allegedly overdosing woman does not fall into that category but since the law went into effect, many clinics in the state have struggled to remain open.