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New Ohio law threatens future of two Southwest Ohio abortion clinics

Planned Parenthood supporters rally at Ohio Statehouse on July 29, 2021
Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Planned Parenthood supporters rally at Ohio Statehouse on July 29, 2021. Now a new bill signed into law could put the ability of abortion clinics to operate in jeopardy.

Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill into law known as the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act" that requires doctors to provide medical care to an infant in the case of botched abortions.

Ohio already bans abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, and opponents say infants are not viable before that point.

But supporters of legal abortion are concerned about another part of the legislation. It prevents doctors with privileges at public hospitals from working at abortion clinics if those facilities require a variance from the Ohio Department of Health to operate. And they say two Southwest Ohio abortion clinics are now threatened with closure because of this new law.

Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio says this new law threatens abortion clinics in Cincinnati and Dayton. Both of them operate under a variance from the Ohio Department of Health that provides an exception to state law to keep their doors open. She worries about the limits that continue to be put on clinics.

“We work very hard to overcome each obstacle and stay open, but we have seen an abortion provider close in Cincinnati and in Toledo,” Blauvelt-Copelin said.

There were 16 abortion clinics in Ohio in 2011. Now, there are eight. Blauvelt-Copelin isn't ruling out a lawsuit to keep the new law from going into effect. Democrats running for governor next year have spoken out against the new law.

 A Planned Parenthood facility on the west side of Columbus
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
A Planned Parenthood facility

But backers of the new law praise Republican state leaders for passing laws that make it harder for abortion clinics to operate.

"It will also hold abortionists accountable by establishing a much-needed reporting requirement to document when a child is born alive after an attempted abortion," says Allie Frazier with Ohio Right to Life. And Nilani Jawahar, Legislative Liaison for the Center for Christian Virtue (CCV), says “The Born Alive Infant Protection Act, with all its life-affirming provisions, is a declaration that Ohio will fight back wherever we can to keep our beautiful state from becoming a dark place where the weak and helpless are discarded to serve the interests of the powerful.”

And Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik praised the new law as well.

 Statement from Bob Paduchik, Ohio Republican Party
Ohio Republican Party
Ohio Republican Party
Statement from Bob Paduchik, Ohio Republican Party

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.