Abortion clinic finds 4th backup doctor in bid to stay open

COLUMBUS (AP) — Cincinnati’s only abortion clinic has lined up a fourth backup doctor to meet state requirements and remain open, a clinic official said.

State law requires that such facilities have an agreement with a nearby, private hospital to transfer patients in case of an emergency, or get an approved variance by providing a list of backup doctors in case of emergencies. The state health director had moved to rescind the clinic’s variance after being notified last month that one of its backup doctors could no longer serve.

The clinic has since secured a fourth physician and re-filed its request for a variance, Kersha Deibel, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, told The Columbus Dispatch last week.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health wouldn’t comment on that submission except to say that regulators have two months to respond.

The clinic has remained open while the matter is pending.