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December 7, 2016 Health Department Revokes Dayton-Area Abortion Clinic License
Ohio Department of Health decision to revoke the license of a Dayton-area abortion facility, Women’s Med Center, license after it failed to meet the department’s health and safety standards due to a lack of a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital for emergencies.
Devin Scribner, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, said the move is “holding this abortion facility accountable to basic health and safety standards.” “This is the same facility that, according to the Ohio Department of Health, violated a woman’s right to refuse an abortion last June,” along with, “We’re grateful to see action being taken on this facility and are hopeful that it will spare thousands of lives in Dayton.”
The clinic had applied for a variance to the law, which was denied. It now has 15 days to appeal the license revocation. “For years, this abortion facility has operated without sufficient emergency back-up care for the thousands of pregnant women who come through their doors,” Mr. Scribner said. “The whole state of Ohio should be alarmed by this facility’s consecutive failures to either secure an agreement with a local hospital, or meet the department’s rules for alternative back-up care. The traditional medical community has rejected doing business with this facility, and the state of Ohio is doing the same.”
However, others suggested the department’s move to revoke the clinic’s license is unconstitutional. “Less than six months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that regulatory schemes against abortion providers are unconstitutional, John Kasich’s Department of Health is pushing to close Dayton’s only abortion clinic,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said. “Let me be clear, this clinic provides excellent and needed healthcare to the Dayton community and they will not back down. They will fight in the courts for justice on behalf of their patients. This clinic stays open.”
Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) said the clinic was unable to obtain a variance because it could not meet a threshold of four back-up obstetricians due to a campaign of doctor intimidation and harassment.
“Not only is the state of Ohio acting on likely-unconstitutional laws, but in doing so it is jeopardizing the health and safety of Ohio women for political gain,” she said. “The administration is also unilaterally and arbitrarily inventing new rules on the fly to thwart doctors and clinics who continue to meet Ohio’s restrictive laws. My colleagues and I have introduced legislation to eliminate the medically unnecessary transfer agreement and prevent the harassment against physicians, like those in Dayton. While we are forced to wait for action on these bills, Ohioans are losing access to yet another safe, medical facility to receive the care they need.