Martin Haskell

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Martin Haskell

Dr. William Mudd Martin Haskell is an abortionist who performs abortions in Dayton, Ohio and Indianapolis, IN. He is known for popularizing the dilation and extraction (D&X) abortion method, commonly referred to as partial birth abortion.

Early Life

Martin Haskell graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1972. [1]

Partial Birth Abortion

In 1992, Haskell presented a paper on a late-term abortion method known as dilation and extraction at a National Abortion Federation (NAF) meeting.[2]. The National Right to Life Committee coined the term “partial birth abortion” to describe the procedure, which involves partially delivering a fetus alive before using a scissors to puncture the child’s skull and then vacuuming out the child’s brain.[2] In his paper, Haskell describes this portion of the procedure thusly:

"…lifting the cervix and applying traction to the shoulders with the fingers of the left hand, the surgeon takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand. He carefully advances the tip, curved down, along the spine and under his middle finger until he feels it contact the base of the skull under the tip of his middle finger. Reassessing proper placement of the closed scissors tip and safe elevation of the cervix, the surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull or into the foramen magnum. Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents. With the catheter still in place, he applies traction to the fetus, removing it completely from the patient."[3]

While Haskell has claimed to have invented partial birth abortion[4], he did not in fact invent the procedure, admitting as much in an interview with ThinkProgress.[5]. His 1992 presentation to the NAF, however, is largely responsible for popularizing the procedure.

After eight years of debate, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. The law was challenged in court, but the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law in the 2007 cases Gonzales vs. Carhart and Gonzales vs. Planned Parenthood.[6]

The Abortion Provider’s Declaration of Rights

Both Martin Haskell and his wife Valerie Haskell are signatories to the Abortion Provider’s Declaration of Rights.[7]

Women's Med Center

Previously, Haskell performed abortions at three of his Women’s Med abortion facilities: Women’s Med Center Dayton; Women’s Med Cincinnati—also known as Lebanon Road Medical Center or Lebanon Road Surgery Center; and Women’s Med Center in Indianapolis, IN. However, because of an Ohio law requiring ambulatory surgical facilities to have a written transfer agreement (WTA) with a nearby, privately funded hospital, Haskell was forced to close his Cincinnati abortion facility. Haskell’s Cincinnati facility did not have a WTA; Haskell applied for a variance from WTA requirement but was denied. The facility owners challenged the WTA requirement in court, but eventually abandoned the legal struggle because of the cost.[8]

Women’s Med Center in Dayton

Haskell’s Women’s Med Center Dayton does not have a WTA. However, it has been granted a variance due to a patient transfer agreement with Dr. Sheela M. Barhan and Dr. Janice M. Duke, both of whom are professors of obstetrics & gynecology at Wright State University. In November of 2013, Wright State Physicians Women’s Health Care Group, of which Barhan and Duke are members, signed a Back-Up Physician Service Agreement with Women’s Med Center Dayton.[9]

Botched Abortions

Haskell’s Women’s Med Center facilities have been involved with multiple botched abortions. In March of 2009, two 9-1-1 calls were made from Haskell’s Women’s Med Center facilities within one week. A call from Women’s Med Center Dayton revealed that a patient was unconscious and actively seizing.[10] On March 28, 2012, an apparent abortion complication at Haskell’s Sharonville abortion facility resulted in a woman being rushed to a hospital via ambulance.[11] A recording of a 9-1-1 call placed from Haskell’s Dayton abortion facility in August of 2012 reveals a medical emergency that resulted in a woman “bleeding quite bad.”[12] On December 11, 2014, two 9-1-1 calls were placed from Haskell’s Dayton abortion facility. The first call was made as the result of a 23 year-old patient with vaginal bleeding; the second call reported that a 29 year-old patient was experiencing abdominal pain.[13]


  1. Dr. Martin M. Haskell, MD (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1 'Partial-Birth Abortion:' Separating Fact from Spin (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  3. Dilation and Extraction for Late Second Trimester Abortion (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  4. Haskell Letter Claiming Invention of D&X (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  5. One Doctor’s Fight To Do His Job After Becoming The ‘Poster Child’ For Late Term Abortion (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  6. High Court Upholds Curb on Abortion (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  7. The Abortion Provider's Declaration of Rights (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  8. Sharonville clinic halts abortions, quits court fight (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  9. Wright State Abortion Connection Website (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  10. 9-1-1 Calls Show Haskell’s Mill Remains A Danger (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  11. Paramedics Seen Giving Abortion Clinic Patient Life Support Before Rushing Her to Hospital (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  12. New 911 Call from Haskell’s Abortion Clinic: “She’s Bleeding Quite Badly” (accessed on January 12, 2015)
  13. 911 Recordings Reveal Two Serious Injuries in One Day at Haskell’s Late-Term Abortion Facility (accessed on January 12, 2015)