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.
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.
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.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently asked Planned Parenthood facilities in the state to submit transfer agreement and admitting privileges information, even though the state currently does not require clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. A spokesperson said a department employee was acting on his or her own.
Roughly two months after one of the city’s two abortion clinics closed, the second clinic has been informed that its license will be suspended. In both cases, the clinics were unable to secure a hospital transfer agreement at a facility that meets new state criteria.
The governor has until Sunday to veto anti-choice amendments in the budget; now there are even more to choose from. Meanwhile, activists are planning a rally Thursday to tell Kasich “that Ohio’s Budget should not be the ‘Abortion Budget.'”
By adding amendments into the state budget, the anti-choice majority in the house and senate has turned the bill into an anti-choice omnibus bill.