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Southwest Ohio abortion clinics fear a new Ohio law could force them to close their doors

 Kersha Deibel, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, says the new law complicates what abortion providers have to do to be able to provide care for patients.

A lawsuit filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas late Friday seeks to stop a new state abortion law from going into effect. And without the lawsuit, advocates for legal abortion fear some Ohio women won’t have access to it anymore.

Current Ohio law requires abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with a nearby hospital. And if clinics can't get a written agreement with a hospital, it allows clinics to get a variance from the state health department if a consulting physician can provide the coverage. Currently, the Women's Med Center in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio near Cincinnati is operating on a variance. But the new law, signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in December, blocks doctorswho work for public hospitals or universities from signing on as consulting physicians for abortion clinics.

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, Kersha Deibel, says the new law gives the state health department a medically unnecessary vehicle to unfairly revoke licenses for abortion clinics.

“It overcomplicates the process and creates additional hoops and loops that abortion providers here in Ohio have to go through in order for patients to get care," Deibel said.

That's why the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the two Southwest Ohio clinics. Deibel says those two abortion clinics could be forced to close if the court doesn't intervene. The law doesn’t go into effect until March 23, but the ACLU of Ohio says it is already being enforced against one of them, the Women’s Med Center in Dayton.
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.