July 15, 2015 — Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) appealed a June decision that reversed a 2014 ruling by the state health department, allowing the sole clinic in Toledo to remain in operation, AP/WFMJ reports (AP/WFMJ, 7/13).
Last year, Lance Himes, then-interim director at the Ohio Department of Health, signed an adjudication order revoking the license for the clinic, called Capital Care Network. The order was based on a recommendation from a state hearing examiner that the clinic be closed because it does not have a valid emergency transfer agreement with a nearby hospital, which is required by state law.
In June, Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart said the health department's order was unconstitutional because the state overreached the limits of its regulatory authority of the clinic. He ruled that the state cannot enact laws that permit hospitals or other third-party institutions to veto women's abortion access. Further, Duhart said the state violated Ohio's single-subject rule by trying to regulate the issue in a proposed state budget.
The new budget provision, which was at one point rejected by the state Senate, requires clinics to have transfer agreements with a hospital within 30 miles (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22). The provision was added back to the budget before Ohio Gov. Jon Kasich (R) signed the measure (HB 64) into law (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/7).
Currently, Capital Care Network has a transfer agreement with a hospital 50 miles away (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/22).