Reps. Fedor, Clyde Announce Bill To End Restrictions On Women's Healthcare
Legislation will lift red tape transfer agreement requirement for clinics
October 20, 2015
[ Teresa Fedor Home | Teresa Fedor Press ]

State Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today announced the introduction of House Bill 370, legislation to lift the requirement for written transfer agreements between women’s health clinics and hospitals.

“Transfer agreements are completely unnecessary and deceive women and the public into believing that clinics can only work with the hospital that has signed this government-mandated paperwork,” said Clyde. “In the rare case that a woman would ever have to be transferred to a hospital, clinics would move the patient to the nearest facility that could care for them and the facility would openly accept the patient without any pre-arranged agreement. Our bill would remove the confusion and deception from our laws and help stop the shaming of women and their healthcare choices.”

The transfer agreement requirement was passed into law as part of the 2013 state budget. Additionally, this year’s budget has made it more difficult for clinics to obtain a variance from the requirement,  through a new law that automatically  denies a clinic’s variance application if the Ohio Director of Health does not act to approve or deny it within 60 days. House Bill 370 would also eliminate this provision.

“Needless red tape is only meant to shame and discourage women and close down the clinics they rely upon in their communities,” said Fedor. “Fortunately, a federal court has – once again – come in at the last possible minute to keep these clinics open. But this kind of uncertainty over women’s constitutional rights has got to stop. This legislation will end the litigation and lift the bans.”

Last month, a federal court halted the closure of two women’s clinics in Cincinnati and Dayton after finding that the automatic variance denial provision was likely an unconstitutional deprivation of due process. Gov. Kasich’s health director denied the clinics their variance last month, putting them in danger of closing. Should the two clinics close, Cincinnati would become the largest metropolitan area in the country without an abortion clinic. The case will likely go to trial sometime next year.

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