There are only two abortion clinics in the highly populated Ohio city of Cincinnati (2.1 million), but that number may soon drop to zero. A new Ohio law prohibits abortion clinics from having patient-transfer agreements with public hospitals because they are taxpayer-funded. Therefore, abortion clinics would have to strike agreements with private hospitals, many of which simply won’t accept abortion clinic patients.
Women’s Med of Sharonville had been operating without a hospital transfer agreement since 2010 with a variance from the Department of Health allowing it to continue to perform abortions because the clinic doctors were able to admit patients at Cincinnati hospitals. However, in 2012 the clinic failed to request approval for the addition of two back-up doctors, and according to Health Department Director Theodore Wymyslo, there were “credentialing and disciplinary issues” surrounding those doctors as reported by Cincinnati.com.
The decision to deny Women’s Med the variance could very well mean that they will have to shut their doors, although they are appealing the ruling. If Women’s Med is to close, Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center in Mount Auburn will be the last abortion provider in Cincinnati. However, they are facing their own troubles. That clinic lost its transfer partnership with the University of Cincinnati Academic Health System on October 1 and has been attempting to receive its own variance ruling.
If neither clinic is allowed to operate without a transfer partnership, Cincinnati will become the largest metropolitan area without a single abortion provider. In addition, at the start of 2013, Ohio had fourteen abortion clinics overall. They may soon be down to just seven.