Southwest Ohio abortion clinics fear a new Ohio law could force them to close their doors
Abortion advocates say that's why they are suing the state.
A lawsuit filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas late on Friday seeks to stop a new state abortion law from going into effect. And without it, advocates for legal abortion fear some Ohio women won’t have access to it anymore.
Current Ohio law requires abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with a nearby hospital. And if clinics can't get a written agreement with a hospital, it allows clinics to get a variance from the state health department if a consulting physician can provide the coverage. Currently, the Women's Med Center in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio near Cincinnati is operating on a variance. But the new law, signed by Governor DeWine in December, blocks doctors who work for public hospitals or universities from signing on as consulting physicians for abortion clinics.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Kersha Deibel says the new law gives the state health department a medically unnecessary vehicle to unfairly revoke licenses for abortion clinics.
“It overcomplicates the process and creates additional hoops and loops that abortion providers here in Ohio have to go through in order for patients to get care," Deibel says.
That's why the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the two Southwest Ohio clinics. Deibel says those two abortion clinics could be forced to close if the court doesn't intervene. The law doesn’t go into effect until March 23 but the ACLU of Ohio says it is already being enforced against one of them, the Women’s Med Center in Dayton.