Ohio's unnecessarily severe abortion restrictions have forced yet another clinic to close its doors permanently — leaving women in the Cincinnati area with only one abortion provider, which is also in danger of being shut down. And thus the pro-life mission to deprive women of control over their own bodies continues its horrible march across the country.
In addition to some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, Ohio has also erected byzantine and needless operation requirements for providers. In order to remain open, Ohio abortion doctors are forced to obtain patient-transfer agreements from local hospitals ("in case of complications," according to proponents of such laws, even though surgical abortion is one of the safest medical procedures). However, the state's public hospitals are forbidden from entering into these agreements to "protect the conscience of pro-life taxpayers." Apparently, it is more important to protect the consciences of some taxpayers than it is to protect reproductive health of others.
On Thursday, Women's Med in Sharonville stopped giving abortions, unable to obtain a patient-transfer agreement and incapable of affording to appeal to the Ohio Dept. of Health for a legal variance that would exempt it from the patient-transfer agreement requirement.
"Abortion access is now severely endangered for Cincinnati area women with only one provider remaining," Val Haskell, who owns Women's Med and another facility in Ohio, said in a statement. "This sole provider is also soon to be closed if Governor (John) Kasich has his way."
Since 2013, four of the original fourteen clinics in Ohio have been forced to close, and an additional three are in danger of shutting down. If the clinics in Mount Auburn and Dayton aren't able to obtain patient-transfer agreements or variance from the Health Department soon, the Cincinnati metropolitan region will become the largest in the country without a single abortion provider. Women will be forced to travel long distances to terminate unwanted pregnancies — an especially daunting obstacle for low-income women who can't afford the transportation costs — and, as clinics shut down, it's likely that resources will become dangerously tight.
Another victory for the "pro-life" camp, another loss for women.
Image via Getty.