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Ohio Is Cracking Down On Abortion Clinic Inspection

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Grace Carr Reporter

Ohio is cracking down on abortion clinics to make sure they are clean and safe.

The state has seen 17 times as many abortion inspections per year since Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, took office in 2011, compared with the number of inspections during his predecessor’s tenure, records from the state’s Department of Health show.

Abortion clinic standards weren’t high on Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland’s list, but that changed when Kasich won the incumbent’s seat in the 2010 election and was reelected again in 2014.

Few clinic violations were reported under Strickland, but the violations increased notably under Kasich. The health department has reported instances of safety and sanitation violations, including an oral-suction machine covered in dirt, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The health department has reported, since Kasich took office, 149 violations during 62 inspections at Ohio’s eight clinics that opened under both governors.

Strickland’s four-year term saw nine inspections and five violations in the state. “I have no recollections of this event being a topic of discussion in the governor’s office, nor did the governor’s office give guidance or direction to the health department on how to carry out inspections of abortion clinics,” said Strickland’s former press secretary, Amanda Wurst, the Dispatch reports.

“Since the Kasich administration took over, we seem to be held to a different standard than other clinics are,” Dr. David Burkons, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center owner, told the Dispatch.

“We definitely feel like there’s been a lot more scrutiny,” said Jamie Miracle, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s deputy director.

Ohio’s increase in inspections comes after a myriad of Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) abortion clinics failed inspection reports between 2011 and 2017, the Free Beacon reported in conjunction with the nonprofit And Then There Were None (ATTWN). Inspectors found medical instruments were not sterile and were rusty, medication had expired, staff were inadequately trained, and the facilities were dirty enough to constitute health hazards, according to the inspection reports. (RELATED: Abortion Clinics Are Crawling With Dirty Health Violations, Report Finds).

More than 220 abortion clinics between 2008 and 2016 — including six WWH clinics — were also cited for 1,400 health and safety violations, according to a 2016 Americans United For Life (AUL) report.

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