It’s been a long road since 2013 when a state budget bill introduced new abortion-related restrictions that required abortion clinics to have a patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital that was not a state-funded public institution.
Impeding the right to choose
At the time, Capital Care Network, Toledo’s last abortion clinic, had a transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center. However, the 2013 bill, packaged as “protecting women’s health,” brought the agreement with UT to an end.
A few months later, Capital Care penned an agreement with the University of Michigan Health System hospital in Ann Arbor. In 2014, the Ohio Department of Health revoked the license due to the over 30-mile distance to the Michigan hospital.
Since then, activists have fought to keep Capital Care open, now one of only eight abortion clinics in Ohio. The efforts came to a head on Tuesday, February 6 when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 5-2 to uphold the state order and shut down Capital Care because it no longer had a valid patient-transfer agreement.
Winning the fight
The fight seemed lost but, ProMedica Toledo Hospital, only 2.9 miles away, was urged to sign a statement of intent to enter into a patient-transfer agreement.
After protests, rallies, public statements from activists like Gloria Steinem, and other local efforts, on Monday, February 12, ProMedica announced that they would authorize a transfer agreement with the Capital Care Network.
According to a statement from ProMedica spokesman Tedra White, the agreement “formally puts in writing an existing practice to provide emergency medical care to all who need it to our community… Entering into this agreement aligns with ProMedica’s mission and values, including our focus on being a health system dedicated to the well-being of northwest Ohio and our belief that no one is beyond the reach of life-saving health care. Furthermore, we believe that all individuals should have access to the best care in their neighborhoods.”
Looking to the future
Now that this fight is (at least temporarily) over, we look to the future knowing the past: more battles are likely on the horizon.
Help lay the groundwork for the future by sharing your story about Capital Care’s impact on our community and you. Whether a patient, a friend, a family member, an activist or just a community member, let us hear how having access to the right to choose has made a difference in your life.
Submit your story
Help us share with the larger community why having access to pro-choice health care providers, like Toledo’s last remaining abortion clinic, preserves our legal right to choose.
- Your name does not need to be included: anonymity will be guaranteed if requested.
- To maintain your voice and story, we are asking for entries to be limited to 150 words (with a 200 word limit on the submission form).
- Spelling and grammar will be edited as needed, but your story will not change.