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Dayton Abortion Clinic Denied Appeal By Ohio Supreme Court

The Kettering clinic is the region's only abortion provider still in operation.
Samuel Worley
The Kettering clinic is the region's only abortion provider still in operation.

The Ohio Supreme Court won't hear an Ohio abortion clinic's challenge to the state's increasingly stringent operational rules, placing the facility's future in question even as it remains open for now.

Abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said the Women's Med Center, the Dayton area's last abortion clinic, "will continue to pursue options to continue to provide safe and legal abortion" after Wednesday's decision.

Women's Med has been unable to secure the waiver and written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital, required by law. The Ohio Department of Health revoked its license in April after a lower court upheld the order. A Montgomery County court blocked that revocation while the clinic appealed.

Dayton commissioners urged two local health systems to step in, but neither did.

Justices sided with Ohio's Republican attorney general Dave Yost, who argued licensure is now resolved.

Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis said the state's high court got it right.

"Today is a day of reckoning for them, and it's just a matter of time before they are going to have to close their doors," Gonidakis says.

Attorney Jennifer Branch, who represents the Women's Med Center says the clinic is not closing.

“The clinic is still open and will remain open," Branch says. "We still have further appeals pending."

Branch says federal courts in other states with similar cases have allowed clinics to remain open. She says shutting down Dayton’s only abortion clinic would violate the terms of "Roe v. Wade," the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.