The Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center was last inspected in June, but the health department waited until last week to notify the clinic that it was out of compliance with acontroversial state law passed last year. That could be the first step in moving to revoke the clinic's surgical license, which would make Cincinnati the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. without an abortion clinic, according to an Enquirer analysis.
Abortion clinics in Ohio now must have agreements with private hospitals willing to take abortion patients in an emergency. Many private hospitals are religious and have declined to form agreements with abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood found itself in such a situation and asked the health department to grant an exception to the rule -- a so-called "variance," which is allowed by law.
The clinic placed the request more than a year ago and has yet to receive a response, Planned Parenthood spokesman Rick Pender told The Enquirer.
"We have received the letter, and it is accurate in its statement that we do not have a transfer agreement," he said. "But what we have pending, for more than a year, is our variance request, which the health department has not acted on."
The other two clinics in southwest Ohio are in the same boat. Mercy Health, formerly Catholic Health Partners (I bet you're seeing where this is going) is the largest hospital chain around. They've basically bullied everyone in the area to revoke their transfer agreements or face their wrath, and everyone folded, most notably the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Now it's looking like the Campbell Center has until next week to come up with a plan or risk being shut down. In fact, it's looking really, really grim for all three clinics.
But Ohio keeps electing Republicans, and the horrific anti-choice bill "moderate" Gov. John Kasich signed into law may get rid of all Ohio clinics.
Which of course was the point.