An Ohio judge issued a stay on Monday allowing the Capital Care Network abortion provider to remain open while the state court decides its appeal.
Capital Care Network (CCN), the only abortion provider in Toledo and one of the few remaining in northwest Ohio, had its license revoked by the state health department at the end of July. Without a license, the clinic was set to close this Tuesday, but CCN attorney Terry Lodge filed an appeal of the health department’s decision and asked the court to let the clinic remain open for the time being.
As RH Reality Check previously reported, the state Department of Health sent an adjudication order, signed by then-director Lance Himes, to revoke the clinic’s license to operate because it did not hold a transfer agreement with a local hospital.
By law, facilities that provide abortions in Ohio must have such agreements. Proponents of the law say that it ensures women getting an abortion will be swiftly transferred to a hospital in the case of an emergency. But, as pro-choice advocates point out, abortions are an overwhelmingly safe procedure, with only 0.05 percent of first-trimester abortions resulting in hospital visits.
The clinic in Toledo had a transfer agreement with the University of Michigan Health System, but the state Department of Health’s letter said the contract must be made with a “local” hospital.
In court documents, the clinic’s lawyer argued that its closure would hurt women’s health: “Thousands of women depend upon Capital Care for safe pregnancy termination services each year, however, if the state forces Capital Care to close its doors, women in the Toledo area will have to cross the border to Michigan or travel hours away to Cleveland or Columbus.”