Cincinnati may soon have its only abortion clinic closed by state regulators for not following a law requiring facilities to have an agreement with nearby hospitals to send patients to if an emergency occurs.
Under this law, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, the clinic in question, has operated under a variance agreement since this patient-transfer law passed four years ago; however, State Health Director Amy Acton recently rescinded its variance, according to the Associated Press.
To receive a variance, clinics must have a list of backup doctors to treat patients if an emergency happens.
Last year, Planned Parenthood received the variance from Ohio’s health department because it had four backup doctors lined up, yet going into 2020 Planned Parenthood saw one of its backup doctors drop out, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
As a result of this, Cincinnati attorney Jennifer Branch, who represent Planned Parenthood, notified the state health department of the doctor backup shortage on December 23 and asked for 30 days to seek a replacement.
Acton responded in an email to Branch three days later:
“Because I find that three backup physicians are inadequate to provide the same level of patient health and safety that a written transfer agreement with a local hospital provides, I am rescinding the variance issued to (the clinic) effective as of the date of this letter.”
Furthermore, Acton told Planned Parenthood that its operating license was in “jeopardy” of being removed, and that the clinic could request a hearing about this matter, according to the Dispatch.
Kersha Deibel, president and chief executive officer of the Planned Parenthood region, told the Dispatch that it is seeking a “new provider.”
Last year, Ohio signed the “heartbeat bill” into law in April that bans abortions as early as six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Despite passing this law, a federal judge blocked the law from taking place three months later.
This week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America released its 2018 fiscal year annual report where it disclosed that it aborted 345,672 babies.
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