A local state representative and a group of anti-abortion activists are urging a local judge to swiftly move to close an abortion clinic in Kettering after the state supreme court’s decision to uphold restrictions on the facilities.
State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, and Dayton Right to Life directors Paul Coudron and Margie Christie, urged Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Wiseman to shutter the Women’s Med abortion clinic in Kettering.
“We’re hoping for a quick and speedy trial,” Antani said. Added Christie, “It’s time that women’s health care takes a precedence and this facility is shut down.”
The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday issued rulings on two cases that solidify the state’s restrictions on abortion clinics and could lead to further efforts to close more clinics, including Women’s Med. The state has tried to close the Kettering clinic using transfer agreement requirements that are central to the two cases that were decided by the court in the state’s favor.
In 2016, Wiseman allowed Women’s Med to remain open as it fought the state’s effort to take its operating license. The clinic had filed an administrative appeal after the state health director revoked the Women’s Med license for alleged violations of transfer agreement and backup physician rules. Wiseman issued an emergency order to stay and suspend the revocation, pending the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision in the Toledo abortion clinic case.
Restrictions adopted by the Ohio legislature mandate that abortion clinics have written transfer agreements with hospitals in case of emergencies.
“I expect further litigation in her court,” Jennifer Branch, the attorney for Women’s Med and Capital Care, told the Dayton Daily News this week. “I don’t believe the Supreme Court decision will have much impact on the Women’s Med case because Women’s Med has been able to obtain a variance, or an exception to the rule.”
Women’s Med did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
“It’s a service that women rely on every day for safe and legal care,” said Gabriel Mann, communications manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
“It’s the only clinic serving Dayton,” Mann said. “Once a woman makes a decision to end a pregnancy, she needs access to safe and legal health care in her community.”
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Staff Writers Lynn Hulsey and Laura Bischoff contributed reporting.