The city’s last abortion clinic will remain open for now after state health inspectors granted an exemption to an anti-choice state law that requires all abortion clinics to have a transfer agreement with local hospitals, but also bans public hospitals from entering into those agreements with providers.
Cincinnati is a metropolitan area of more than two million residents, and if state Republicans get their way, it will become the nation’s largest urban area without a single abortion clinic.
The only remaining abortion clinic in the greater Cincinnati area, which serves an estimated 2.1 million people, was hit with a citation this month from the Ohio Department of Health for failing to have a written transfer agreement with a local private hospital.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday asked an Ohio judge to strike down several provisions in a law that has restricted access to abortion and closed clinics in the state.
The clinic decided not to appeal a Hamilton County judge’s ruling that the Ohio Department of Health was within its rights when it revoked the clinic’s license earlier this year.
The judge said that he doesn’t have the jurisdiction to overturn the Ohio Department of Health’s decision revoking the clinic’s license, thereby forcing it to close. The clinic will have to shut down in five days unless it appeals the decision.
According to the lawsuit, the Ohio Department of Health arbitrarily revoked the clinic’s variance permit, which it needed by law, and then revoked the clinic’s license to operate because it no longer had a variance.
On Monday, an Ohio judge issued a stay allowing the Capital Care Network abortion provider to remain open while the state court decides its appeal.
The last abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, will be forced to close because, it was told by the state health department, its transfer agreement with the University of Michigan Health System does not fit the criteria of state law, which requires the transfer hospital to be “local.”
Ohio state Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) introduced a bill Thursday that would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant.