Cincinnati judge: Abortion clinics must stay open

The facilities in question may continue committing abortions while they appeal a safety decision by Ohio's Department of Health.
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Fr. Mark Hodges By Fr. Mark Hodges

Fr. Mark Hodges By Fr. Mark Hodges

CINCINNATI, Ohio, September 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – On Friday, the Ohio Department of Health (DOH) denied surgical license exceptions for Planned Parenthood in Mount Auburn and Women's Med in Dayton, because they do not have the required ambulatory agreement with a local hospital, to save the lives of women in cases of botched surgical abortions.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett ordered that the two businesses may stay open and continue committing abortions while they appeal the Department of Health's decision. You may read the judge's order here.

If the two facilities close, the number of surgical abortion businesses in Ohio will be down to seven, from 14 in 2013. If Planned Parenthood in the Cincinnati suburbs closes, the city will be the largest metropolitan area in the nation without an abortion business.

"Cincinnati Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny for not following health and safety laws yet is permitted to remain open and see patients," Paula Westwood, executive director of Greater Cincinnati Right to Life, commented to LifeSiteNews. "What other medical facility would be granted such a pass? For that matter, what hair salon, or restaurant?"

"The continued coddling protection of a facility that preys upon women and their unborn children is stunning," Westwood added.

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Ohio law requires surgical facilities to have an ambulatory patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital. This year, the Ohio legislature passed a law requiring that no tax-funded hospital enable the abortion industry, so abortion businesses must contract with private hospitals. However, most private hospitals are religiously affiliated, and abortion is, according to Christian teaching, murder.

Abortionists are challenging another law that requires the hospital agreement to be within 50 miles or less of the surgical abortion facility.

The legal requirement of a hospital agreement is for the protection of women, and it came into law after a woman in Cleveland died from a botched abortion because EMTs could not get to her in time, and she could not be gotten to a hospital in time. 

Abortion restrictions passed by the Republican-led Ohio legislature have closed several Ohio abortion businesses in recent years. Gov. John Kasich, who is running for U.S. president, has signed most pro-life bills into law. The one glaring exception is the Heartbeat Bill, which Kasich and his allies in the Ohio Senate refuse to allow to be voted on.

The Heartbeat Bill would stop the abortion of children whose heartbeat can be heard, which is at about eight weeks' gestation. Ohio senate president Keith Faber and other self-described pro-life Republicans have effectively stop that pro-life bill in its tracks.

Gov. Kasich has courted less conservative voters lately in his bid for the presidency. In an interview with CNN, he said Republicans should not be "put in a box" by focusing on the abortion issue, and he listed other "really critical" issues he would focus on in a Kasich presidency.

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