On Friday, Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich’s health department issued a waiver allowing a Cincinnati Planned Parenthood facility to continue performing abortions, despite lacking a legally required transfer agreement with a local hospital.
The news came just before Planned Parenthood’s previous variance for refusing to comply with the law expired. The new one will last until May 31, 2017.
Ohio Health Department Director Richard Hodges said he granted the waiver because the facility listed four doctors capable of providing “backup care.”
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati executive director Paula Westwood blasted the move: The Ohio Department of Health continues to enable Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati to operate despite no transfer agreement and without a license at risk to women’s health and safety,” despite the fact that “[n]o hospital in Greater Cincinnati, including Northern Kentucky, will enter into a transfer agreement with Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s abortion headquarters in Cincinnati.”
The decision stands in stark contrast to Kentucky Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s response to Planned Parenthood disregarding transfer and hospital agreement laws in his state. His administration ordered the abortion giant to stop performing abortions at the offending facility, blasting it for “openly and knowingly operating an unlicensed abortion facility in clear violation of the law” and pledging to “use the full force of the Commonwealth to put a stop to this.” When Planned Parenthood did not comply, his administration took them to court.
John Kasich, who was an unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate this year, has been a generally pro-life governor, though he drew the ire of pro-lifers on the campaign trail by stating “we focus too much on” abortion, declining to confirm whether he would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade, and vocally opposing the government shutdown strategy of defunding Planned Parenthood.