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Ohio News

Cincinnati Abortion Clinic Says It Now Has What It Needs To Remain Open

Supporters of legal abortion at Ohio Statehouse
Supporters of legal abortion at Ohio Statehouse

A Cincinnati abortion clinic that recently lost the variance it needs to operate thinks the problem is now resolved. 

Cincinnati’s only abortion clinic didn’t have a state mandated transfer agreement with a hospital. Recently, the Ohio Department of Health rescinded the variance that allowed the clinic to operate because it didn’t have enough physicians on standby in case of an emergency. But Kersha Deibel, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio region, 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.

A state law passed in 2013 mandates ambulatory care clinics have a written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital. It further states 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.

Clinics throughout the state have had difficulty complying with this law. Last year, a Dayton clinic was on the verge of being shut down before coming up with an agreement that complied.

There’s no guarantee the state will accept the application and award a new variance but the facility will stay open while the clinic 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.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau