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Dayton's Last 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 is again refusing to hear an appeal from the Dayton area's last abortion clinic as the facility fights to avoid closure. In response, the clinic is pursuing a new state license and intervention by a federal court.

The court in August decided against hearing the Women's Med Center challenge to the state's operational rules that put the clinic's future in question. The facility asked the court to reconsider. The court declined on Tuesday.

Ohio health officials had revoked a license for the center in Kettering because it couldn't get a written patient-transfer agreement from local hospitals as required by law.

The clinic has requested a new temporary restraining order from a federal court, saying the actions from the state's health department are unconstitutional because the clinic will be forced to close, thereby denying women their constitutional right to access to an abortion.

Attorney Jennifer Branch says the center has postponed surgical abortions but remains open for medication abortions. She also says it already lined up an additional backup doctor and applied for a new state license.

The clinic was told it needed arrangements with four such doctors as an alternative because it hasn't been able to get a written patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital as required by state law, she said.

The Ohio Department of Health wouldn't comment on the pending litigation. The agency didn't immediately provide confirmation regarding the license application when asked about it Tuesday.

Branch said she anticipates the federal court will rule quickly on the clinic's request for a temporary restraining order.

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.