Ohio pulls li­cense of 1 of state’s last few abor­tion clin­ics Failed to ob­tain a re­quired trans­fer agree­ment

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Ohio has re­voked the oper­at­ing li­cense of one of the state’s few re­main­ing abor­tion clin­ics on the grounds that it failed to ob­tain a re­quired trans­fer agree­ment with a nearby hospi­tal for emer­gen­cies.

Women’s Med Cen­ter of Day­ton has 15 days to ap­peal the or­der, which was signed Wed­nes­day by Rick Hodges, the di­rec­tor of the De­part­ment of Health. The clinic said it will do so. Hodges said the li­cense is be­ing re­voked be­cause the fa­cil­ity failed to name an ad­e­quate num­ber of physi­cians to pro­vide the backup care nec­es­sary to qual­ify for an ex­cep­tion to the hospi­tal rule. His or­der fell in line with the rec­om­men­da­tions of an in­de­pen­dent hear­ing of­fi­cer.

Ohio Right to Life spokes­woman Katie Franklin said the state’s largest anti-abor­tion group is grate­ful to Hodges and the de­part­ment for hold­ing Women’s Med ac­count­able. Right to Life and its lo­cal af­fil­i­ate called last week for the state med­i­cal board to re­open its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case of a wo­man there who the state found had her preg­nancy ter­mi­nated with­out proper con­sent. “We’re very grate­ful to see that ac­tion is be­ing taken on this fa­cil­ity, and we are hop­ing it will spare thou­sands of lives in Day­ton in the long run,” Franklin said.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio deputy di­rec­tor Jaime Mir­a­cle said that the group will stand be­hind the Day­ton cen­ter and the med­i­cal ser­vices it pro­vides to lo­cal res­i­dents and that it will go to court if nec­es­sary. “We will not let pol­i­tics get in the way of health care,” Mir­a­cle said. Ohio re­quires am­bu­la­tory sur­gi­cal fa­cil­i­ties to have emer­gency backup agree­ments with nearby hos­pi­tals or to ob­tain a vari­ance from that re­quire­ment.

In­tim­i­dated by abor­tion op­po­nents

Pub­lic hos­pi­tals may not par­tic­i­pate in trans­fer agree­ments and Day­ton-area ob­ste­tri­cians have been in­tim­i­dated by abor­tion op­po­nents as the clinic sought ad­di­tional backup doc­tors.

That and other re­stric­tions have prompted clo­sures of clin­ics around Ohio. An As­so­ci­ated Press re­view last year found that the num­ber of abor­tion providers in Ohio had shrunk by half amid changes to the law over the pre­vi­ous four years. Nine clin­ics, mostly in big cities, now pro­vide com­plete abor­tion ser­vices, and two oth­ers of­fer limited op­tions to women seek­ing the pro­ce­dure.

Jen­nifer Branch, the clinic’s at­tor­ney, said the state Health De­part­ment al­lowed Women’s Med to op­er­ate with two backup doc­tors for emer­gen­cies for many years. In 2015, the de­part­ment re­quested three doc­tors and the clinic com­plied. Weeks later, she said, they said four would be re­quired.

The anti-abor­tion group Cre­ated Equal had launched a cam­paign aimed at call­ing out doc­tors in­volved in abor­tions, which in­cluded posters, mail­ers and ve­hi­cles cir­cu­lat­ing through the doc­tors’ neigh­bor­hoods pub­li­ciz­ing their names.

“Other ob/gyn’s in the com­mu­nity saw what was go­ing on and didn’t want to be part of it,” Branch said. “Since then, they’ve op­er­ated with three back-up doc­tors and haven’t had any prob­lems.”

Hodges’ jour­nal en­try said the trans­fer agree­ment re­quire­ment is in­tended to pro­vide for “the safe and im­me­di­ate trans­fer of pa­tients when med­i­cal care is needed be­yond that which can be pro­vided in the fa­cil­ity.”

This story has been cor­rected to show the name of the clinic is Women’s Med Cen­ter of Day­ton, not Women’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter of Day­ton, and to show that two, not three, Ohio fa­cil­i­ties of­fer limited abor­tion ser­vices.

— AP

KANSAS CITY: In this Sept. 29, 2015 file photo, peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in a rally to show sup­port for Planned Par­ent­hood, or­ga­nized by MoveOn and called “Pink Out Kansas City,” as an anti-abor­tion de­mon­stra­tor stands amongst them, at the Coun­try Club Plaza.

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