The future of Cincinnati's only abortion clinic is in question after the state health director said the facility doesn't have enough backup doctors lined up. For now, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio remains open.
The clinic doesn't have an agreement with a nearby, private hospital to transfer patients in case of emergencies as required by law. But Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio has operated the clinic under a variance that requires a list of doctors willing to treat patients in emergencies.
Ohio's health director recently rescinded that variance, although the clinic continues to operate as normal for now. Last month, the clinic notified the state that it no longer had the four backup doctors listed on its previous variance.
The clinic is expected to request a hearing on the issue. Planned Parenthood has indicated it's looking for another physician.
In a written statement, clinic CEO Kersha Deibel said that Cincinnati patients need the facility.
"It is our position that the state’s requirements for a written transfer agreement or variance are medically unnecessary and just another strategy on the part of the state to place unconstitutional barriers on a person’s right to safe, legal abortion," Deibel said.
Two other Planned Parenthood locations in Southwest Ohio were shuttered last year after the Trump administration restricted funding for Title X funding recipients. However, those health centers did not provide abortions.
Last year, a Dayton clinic was under threat of being shut down before coming up with an agreement to comply with the law.