A women’s clinic in Cincinnati, Ohio has lost its bid for a reprieve from new, restrictive anti-choice laws in the state and may be forced to close. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, this leaves the city one step closer to being the largest in the U.S. without any local abortion provider.
The state moved to revoke Women’s Med Center of Sharonville’s license to practice in the state based on its inability to comply with Republican-sponsored laws aimed at gutting women’s health options in Ohio. State health officials appointed by Gov. John Kasich (R) say that they are acting to protect women’s safety, but Kellie Copeland of the Ohio chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) told the Enquirer that the state’s motivations are ideological.
“Governor Kasich and his political appointees at the Ohio Department of Health are abusing their regulatory authority by moving to close an abortion clinic without any medical justification,” charged Copeland.
At issue are so-called transfer agreements with local hospitals. Clinics that provide abortions are required to partner with a local hospital. While most abortions are simple outpatient procedures, sometimes there are complications and a patient must be transferred to a hospital.
Republican lawmakers made it illegal for women’s clinics to partner with hospitals that receive state money. Private hospitals, on the other hand, are reluctant to partner with women’s clinics, creating a Catch-22 in which clinics must meet requirements that they are unable to fulfill. This is one of the many ways in which state-level Republicans are attempting to make abortion illegal in the U.S. by default.
Women’s Med has been operating under a variance request as it searches for a partner hospital. On Friday, Health Department Director Theodore Wymyslo — a Kasich appointee — denied the clinic’s request to renew the variance.
There are a grand total of two abortion clinics in Cincinnati. One is about to close. The other, the Planned Parenthood clinic in Mt. Auburn, is about to run out of time on its own transfer agreement on October 1. If that happens and this clinic closes as well, by the end of the year, you will not be able to get an abortion in Cincinnati, period.
Or at least, a safe and legal one. I'm betting you'll be able to get an unsafe and illegal one still.