Last week the Center for Choice in Toledo shut its doors. The abortion clinic, one of two abortion clinics in the Toledo area, had been open since 1983. It was forced to shut its doors after the center was unable to obtain a transfer agreement with any of the area hospital systems. The University of Toledo canceled negotiations in April in order to keep the University out of controversy. Capital Care Network, the other clinic which performs abortions in Toledo, will lose its transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center in July.
If the language currently in HB 59, the Ohio budget, is enacted this scenario will likely be mirrored across the state, greatly restricting women’s ability to make medical decisions for themselves. As we’ve mentioned before, HB 59 currently contains language that requires abortion clinics to have transfer agreements in place with local hospitals. The Senate took this language one step further and added language that would prohibit clinics from have a transfer agreement with any public hospital or from entering into a contract with any physician who has privileges at a public hospital. As we are seeing in Toledo, this language will have a real impact on women’s access to abortions in Ohio.
The budget is now headed to conference committee, which gives the legislature one last chance to remove this language from the bill. After the bill moves through conference committee it will head to Governor Kasich’s desk where he will have the option of using a line-item-veto to remove this dangerous language.
The Toledo Blade reported that Kasich was asked if he would veto this language at a budget event yesterday and said the following:
“We’ll have to see how this proceeds through the House and the Senate conference committee and have just got to wait and see how it goes, then I’ll make a decision as to whether I think it goes too far or doesn’t, but keep in mind that I’m pro-life.”
You can let Governor Kaisch know how you feel about this issue by calling his office at 614-466-3555.