State Renews License for Cincinnati’s Only Abortion Clinic

Cincinnati’s last remaining clinic providing abortions will stay open, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio announced Nov. 20.

Cincinnati’s last remaining clinic providing abortions will stay open, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio announced Nov. 20.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has approved a variance request from Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center in Mount Auburn and renewed its license as a surgical center.

The clinic had been in danger of having to cease providing abortions after being cited by the state for not having a transfer agreement with an area hospital in compliance with Ohio law.

The surgery center had waited 14 months for the state to respond to its request for a variance to that law. The clinic employs physicians who have individual admitting privileges with area hospitals, allowing it to be exempted from the restrictions.

The Mount Auburn facility is the last in Cincinnati that provides abortions. Women’s Med, another clinic in nearby Sharonville stopped the procedure over the summer after losing a court battle over its license.

“We are pleased that ODH has approved of the emergency plan we have in place for patients,” said Jerry Lawson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, in a statement. “This ruling will ensure that women in Southwest Ohio continue to have access to safe and legal abortion.”

Planned Parenthood recently filed a civil rights lawsuit against the ODH in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of recent restrictions on clinics, saying they amounted to an undue burden on women, especially low-income women, seeking abortions. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood said they would drop the organization’s lawsuit following the ODH announcement.

The facility’s closing would have left Cincinnati as the largest metropolitan area in the country without direct access to the procedure and winnowed the number of clinics in the state down to seven.


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