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Forced Closing of Capital Care Network Based on Politics, Not Medicine, Lawmaker says

August 1, 2014
Democratic Newsroom

The Ohio Health Department (ODH) on Wednesday refused to renew the health care facility license of Toledo’s last abortion clinic, Capital Care Network. The decision effectively closes the facility and cuts off medical care to thousands of Northwest Ohio women who will now have to travel out of state or over two hours to another major Ohio city for services.

“The decision to close Capital Care prioritizes a radical political agenda over medically-sound practice,” said Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon). “The Republican-controlled legislature and administration continue put themselves in the middle of healthcare decisions that are made by a woman, her doctor and her family. State changes to long-standing policies of local hospitals are obvious political attacks that chip away the rights of Ohio women.”

As part of a provision in last year’s biennial budget, ambulatory surgical centers such as Capital Care Network are required to have a transfer agreement with a local hospital in the event of a medical emergency. However, regardless of a transfer agreement, federal law requires that emergency medical responders must take patients to the nearest hospital, rendering the provision moot.

This section of the budget has been effective in allowing the Governor-appointed ODH Director to shut down clinics similar to Capital Care across the state, leaving thousands of women in Ohio without options for local care.