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Dayton's Only Abortion Clinic Continues Legal Fight To Stay Open

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.

Attorneys for the Dayton area’s only abortion clinic are continuing to fight to keep the facility open, despite the Ohio Supreme Court’s refusal to hear their latest appeal last month.

The case began when the Ohio Department of Health declined to renew Women’s Med Center’s license because the clinic didn’t have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital, as required by state law. Two lower courts and the Ohio Supreme Court have all since upheld that decision.

Now, attorneys for the clinic are asking the state Supreme Court to take another look.

Kellie Copeland of NARAL Pro-Choice says efforts to lobby area health care systems to sign a transfer agreement with the clinic have so far been unsuccessful.

“They don’t want to be involved in arbitrating whether or not clinics are open or whether abortion should be available in a community and yet that’s where these politicians have placed them," Copeland says. "So although we [sympathize] that hospitals don’t want to be in the middle of this, the fact of the matter is they are.”

Copeland says the transfer requirement is politically motivated and doesn’t boost patient safety. Anti-abortion activists have argued the agreements are medically necessary.

It’s unclear when the Ohio Supreme Court will review the appeal. Copeland says the clinic will stay open through the legal proceedings.

April Laissle is a graduate of Ohio University and comes to WYSO from WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a weekend host and reporter. There, she reported on everything from food insecurity to 4-H chicken competitions. April interned at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she focused on health reporting. She also worked on The Broad Experience, a New-York based podcast about women and workplace issues. In her spare time, April loves traveling, trying new recipes and binge-listening to podcasts. April is a Florida native and has been adjusting to Ohio weather since 2011.