Cincinnati's Last Abortion Clinic Once Again Faces Closure Over State Regulations

Cincinnati's Last Abortion Clinic Once Again Faces Closure Over State Regulations
Nick Swartsell
Cincinnati's last remaining women's clinic providing abortions, a Planned Parenthood facility in Mount Auburn, could lose state authorization to perform the procedure soon.

The Ohio Department of Health is seeking to revoke the facility's license for surgical abortions because ODH director Amy Acton says it does not have an agreement with a nearby hospital allowing admittance of patients in an emergency situation. Such an agreement is required by a state law Republican lawmakers passed in 2013.

The facility hasn't had a so-called transfer agreement in the seven years since that law went into effect, but has received waivers on the requirement because it has agreements with four individual physicians who have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

One of those physicians stepped out of that role late last month, however, and Acton says that three doctors isn't enough for a variance. Thus, the clinic's license will be revoked pending a hearing on the matter that has yet to be scheduled.

Planned Parenthood has had to fight legal battles to keep the facility open before in response to state regulations.

The organization says it is operating the clinic as usual.

“Nothing changes,” Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio CEO Kersha Deibel said in a statement yesterday. “Planned Parenthood stays open, we continue providing abortion services and all other services. In the meantime, our attorneys will be requesting an administrative hearing on ODH’s proposed actions.”

As of last year, the local chapter of Planned Parenthood operated six health clinics in the region, but two that did not provide abortions were shuttered in 2019 after state and federal lawmakers ended funding for non-abortion health programs given to abortion providers. Those moves cost the organization roughly $470,000 in funds for sex education, cancer and HIV screenings and other programs. The two clinics served roughly 6,000 people a year, according to Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, most of them low income.
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