Kettering abortion clinic files appeal to state closure order

Abortion debate

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Abortion debate

The Women’s Med Center of Dayton has filed an appeal in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to the state’s decision to revoke its license earlier this week.

The clinic’s lawyers also asked for an emergency motion to stay the order, which would allow the clinic to stay open while the court hears its appeal.

The Ohio Department of Health has until Dec. 8 to file a response. The clinic’s attorney, Jennifer Branch, said she expects a judge to rule on the motion for a stay before Dec. 15, when the Stroop Road clinic would have to close its doors.

On Wednesday, ODH revoked the clinic’s operating license on the grounds that it failed to obtain a required transfer agreement with a nearby hospital for emergencies.

The appeal argues that the state’s decision is arbitrary and that the clinic has satisfied all requirements of the law by contracting with three local physicians as emergency backup.

The Kettering clinic is the only abortion provider in the Dayton area. The 2013 law requiring transfer agreements has caused numerous abortion clinics in the state to close because public hospitals are forbidden from entering into such agreements.

Both abortion rights advocates and opponents responded to the state’s order this week.

Ohio Right to Life issued a statement thanking Director of Health Richard Hodges for “holding this abortion facility accountable to basic health and safety standards.”

State Rep. Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton, said women have the constitutional right to make personal health care decisions.

“Not only does this decision jeopardize that fundamental freedom and right, but it stands on shaky legal ground by using questionable policies that have been drawn into constitutional question by Ohio courts and the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said in a statement.

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