The Ohio Department of Health has rejected variance requests from both Women’s Med Center in Kettering and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, asking that they be exempted from a law requiring abortion clinics to have written transfer agreements with a local hospital. They have been notified that their licenses will be revoked. The clinics, which perform 5,800 abortions per year, have 30 days to appeal.
According to WCPO.com:
State law requires ambulatory surgical facilities, like the two abortion clinics, to have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital “for the safe and immediate transfer of patients when medical care is needed beyond that which can be provided in the facility,” according to health officials.
Neither facility has such an agreement, according to state officials.
According to a lawsuit filed by the clinics, it’s difficult for them to meet the requirements because of “hospitals’ religious and political opposition to abortion” and “because of hospitals’ fear of the harassment and intimidation they and their doctors would face if they were to enter into a WTA with an abortion clinic.”
If the clinics do appeal the health department’s decision, they can remain in operation while the hearings take place.
As previously reported by Live Action News, the Women’s Med Center in Kettering, Ohio, operated by Martin Haskell, was ordered to close in June 2015 and appealed that decision. The latest decision from the Ohio Department of Health is in response to that appeal.
The Columbus Dispatch adds:
Closure of both clinics would reduce the number of abortion providers in Ohio to seven; eight have closed in the past five years.
Abortions dropped in Ohio to a 38-year low last year, a reduction partially attributed to the clinic closings. There were 21,186 abortions performed last year, an 8.7 percent drop from 2013 and the lowest number since 1976.