State grants variance request for Cincinnati abortion clinic

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Cincinnati abortion clinic has received state permission to continue operating despite not having a required transfer agreement with a nearby hospital for emergencies.

Ohio’s health director said Friday that he’s granting a variance for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Director Richard Hodges said he’s granting the special permission in part because the facility named four physicians to provide backup care. Planned Parenthood has to notify the state of any changes that affect the physicians’ ability to provide services.

The variance expires May 31 of next year, when the facility’s license expires.

Ohio requires surgical facilities in a certain category have agreements with nearby hospitals to take patients in an emergency, but it also blocks public hospitals from entering into those agreements.

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