US

Abortion Clinic Scrambles To Meet Regulations After Supreme Court Ruled To Shut It Down


An Ohio abortion clinic scrambled to meet regulatory standards after the state’s Supreme Court revoked its license, managing to establish a patient-transfer agreement with ProMedica hospital in Toledo on Monday.

Capital Care of Toledo abortion clinic formally put in writing the patient-transfer agreement necessary to operate on Monday, according to ABC News.

“Thank you to ProMedica for stepping up and taking care of the women of northwest Ohio,” said Cincinnati lawyer representing the clinic, Jennifer Branch. The agreement with the Toledo hospital comes after the Ohio Supreme Court revoked the license of the Toledo abortion clinic on Feb. 6 after years of inspection violations and a failure to meet the state’s abortion clinic standards.

The Supreme Court upheld the Ohio Department of Health’s order revoking the license of Toledo’s Capital Care abortion clinic last Tuesday because it repeatedly failed to produce a written transfer agreement with a hospital for emergency cases where women undergoing abortions need immediate transportation to a nearby hospital. The clinic did have an agreement with the Ann Arbor University of Michigan Health System, but the Ann Arbor hospital is more than 50 miles away and is therefore not considered local under the Health Department’s requirement.

“We must not allow a political regulatory scheme to close Toledo’s remaining abortion clinic,” feminist and Toledo-born Gloria Steinem said regarding the case, ABC News reports. “Its absence would not diminish the number of abortions but would increase the injury and death of women in my home city and state. Democracy begins with each person’s control of his or her own body. Without reproductive freedom, there is no democracy for America women,” she added.

State inspectors also found 24 violations at the abortion clinic in the past 10 years, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The Toledo clinic will now wait for a determination from the state regarding its operational function, given that the Supreme Court already revoked its license and now must reinstate a license for the abortion clinic.

The ruling comes after the state health department ordered the clinic to close in 2014 because it didn’t have the proper patient-transfer agreement, according to ABC News. The clinic sued the state, however, insisting the agreement placed an undue and unnecessary burden on abortion providers in an effort to prevent them from operating. Capital Care won in Ohio’s lower courts, after judges determined that agreement requirements were unconstitutional and said that the clinic could continue operating while the legal battle continued until Tuesday. (RELATED: Survival Of Last Abortion Clinic In Ohio At Stake In Court Case)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, also signed House Bill 214 in December, effectively banning doctors from aborting babies testing positive for Down syndrome and making Ohio the fourth state to ban Down syndrome abortions. The bill will take effect in late March.

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