Cincinnati Planned Parenthood clinic faces closure

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

CINCINNATI, OHIO (Christian Examiner) -- Planned Parenthood's single remaining abortion clinic in Cincinnati may soon close its doors, following a non-compliance notice from the Ohio Department of Health received Oct. 14.

The citation indicates the Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center failed to obtain written agreement with a hospital willing to take patients from the clinic in an emergency.

The closure would impact Ohio-Indiana-Kentucky metropolitan areas and become the nation's largest metropolitan area without an abortion provider. According to CNSNews the Cincinnati clinic performed 2,613 abortions in the last 12 months.

The agreement is required as part of Ohio regulation which Governor John Kasich (R) signed into law last year.

New restrictions also prohibit publicly-funded hospitals from signing such agreements with abortion clinics. However, if an existing clinic demonstrates a pledge from individual doctors at hospitals that are willing to take patients in an emergency, they can apply for an exception or "variance" to the ruling.

The Planned Parenthood clinic said they obtained the necessary support from doctors and applied for the variance, but did not hear back from the state though more than a year had passed.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, has expressed frustration about the delay.

"This is the sort of behavior we expect from political hacks, not public health professionals. ... This is politicians playing games with women's health, and it is shameful," Copleand said.

But pro-life activists and lawmakers protest that the rules are for women's safety.

"With each passing month, we are seeing Ohio's abortion industry crumble because of their own inability to comply with the law," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, director of Ohio Right to Life, in a statement released on the organization's website. "Their failure to comply with basic health and safety regulations further demonstrates that Planned Parenthood and Big Abortion do not have women's best interests at heart."

According to a Cincinnati news source, a second Ohio clinic, the Women's Med in Dayton applied for and was denied variance and now joins a number of other clinics that remains open, but no longer performs abortion procedures.

Closure of the Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center would make it the seventh clinic to close since 2013 when the new laws were implemented.