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Attorneys Weigh Ohio Supreme Court Appeal After Latest Women’s Med Center Abortion Clinic Ruling

The Women's Med Center in Dayton's south suburbs is routinely picketed by abortion opponents.
Samuel Worley

The fate of Dayton’s last remaining abortion provider may end up in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court. Attorneys for Women’s Med Center say they’ll appeal a lower court decision that could threaten the clinic’s continued operations.

An attorney for the abortion provider says the latest court decision is not unexpected.

The Second District Court of Appeals rejected Women's Med Center’s appeal to continue operations, after the state Department of Health had previously revoked its license over not having a special patient-hospital transfer agreement and meeting other criteria -- requirements the clinic argues are arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Now, says Women’s Med Center co-counsel David Greer, attorneys are considering filing an appeal with the state Supreme Court, and in the federal courts.

“It'll be up to the courts as to how long the clinic remains open," Greer says. "We would hope that until all the federal issues are resolved and the state issues are resolved the clinic would remain open and available for patients who need it.”

But, some Miami Valley abortion opponents say they’ll continue to fight for Women’s Med Center to shut down permanently.

Margie Christie with the group Dayton Right To Life says state rules for abortion providers make sense.

“This facility is what is considered, in the eyes of the state of Ohio Administrative and Revised Code, an ambulatory surgical facility, like any other outpatient place where you would go and get a colonoscopy or something like that, and the state requires that these facilities have a hospital transfer agreement," she says. 

For now, it’s unclear whether or when the Ohio Supreme Court would decide to take up the Women’s Med Center case.

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.
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