State orders Ohio abortion clinic to close

JULIE CARR SMYTH AP Statehouse Correspondent Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio officials have ordered the closure of a suburban Cincinnati abortion clinic that has been unable to secure a required hospital transfer agreement made unattainable under recent state law.

The Ohio Department of Health refused Lebanon Road Surgery Center's request for a reprieve from the requirement in a letter Friday. The clinic's attorney says the facility remains legally open while the license revocation is appealed.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, an abortion-rights advocacy group, says it's the first license revocation ordered since Ohio lawmakers voted last year to prohibit publicly-funded hospitals from having transfer agreements with facilities that provide abortions.

State law simultaneously requires such transfer agreements to be in place, in what abortion rights groups have dubbed an effective state abortion ban.

The state's leading anti-abortion group praised the state action.

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