Cincinnati’s only abortion clinic says it has again fulfilled the state requirements needed to continue operating.
Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio didn’t have a hospital transfer agreement as mandated by state law, but rather operated under a variance that requires a list of physicians on standby in case of an emergency.
But the Ohio Department of Health recently rescinded the variance after the clinic reported it no longer had four backup doctors, throwing the clinic’s future into question.
Kersha Deibel, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, says that issue has been addressed.
“We have found a fourth backup physician and have submitted all of the paperwork for our variance, as well as filed for an administrative hearing with our legal counsel," Deibel says.
There’s no guarantee the state will accept the application and award Planned Parenthood a new variance, but the facility will stay open while it waits for a hearing. Deibel says she expects the variance to be awarded.
“We jumped through every single hoop that politicians put in our way in order to insure patients continue access to safe, legal abortion," Deibel says.
A state law passed in 2013 mandates ambulatory care clinics have a written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. However, public hospitals are not permitted to participate in those agreements. Clinics can get a variance from the state health department, as the Cincinnati facility has done in the past, to continue to operate.
Nevertheless, abortion clinics often encounter difficulty complying with this restriction. Last year, a Dayton clinic was on the verge of being shut down, before coming up with an agreement that complied.