Future of Cincinnati’s only abortion clinic in question

CINCINNATI (AP) — The future of Cincinnati’s only abortion clinic is in question after the state health director said the facility doesn’t have enough backup doctors lined up.

Because the clinic doesn’t have an agreement with a nearby, private hospital to transfer patients in case of an emergency — an agreement required by state law —Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region has operated the clinic under an exception known as a variance. Ohio Health Director Amy Acton recently rescinded that variance.

To receive a variance, a clinic must provide a list of doctors willing to treat patients in case of emergencies. The clinic in Cincinnati informed the state in December it no longer had four backup doctors listed and requested 30 days to find a replacement physician. Acton then rescinded the clinic’s variance and notified the clinic its license was in jeopardy of being revoked.

The clinic, which remains open, is expected to request a hearing on the issue. It indicated it was seeking another physician.

Kersha Deibel, president and chief executive officer of the Planned Parenthood region, told The Columbus Dispatch that “we follow the law and are actively working to identify a new provider.”