An equally foggy explanation for departing was given Tuesday in Columbus, when Gov. Kasich, who is expected to file his official reelection papers today, announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Ted Wymyslo has decided to return to private medical practice and will step down at the end of February.
The lawyer for the clinic says it will appeal the decision, and it will stay open till a final resolution, which might not happen for months, maybe more than a year. In the meantime, pro-choice activists are asking their backers to show support for the clinic, which Kellie Copeland with NARAL Pro Choice Ohio says has an excellent safety record. “Gov. Kasich and his political appointees are moving to close a clinic not based on any medical reasons, not based on some sort of complication rate or anything like that, but on bureaucratic paperwork that they’re refusing to approve.”
The decision from the Ohio Department of Health puts 2.1 million people in the Cincinnati metropolitan area – Ohio’s most populous – closer to losing local access to an abortion clinic. If both Cincinnati-area clinics closed – the other is Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center in Mount Auburn – the region would become the largest metropolitan area in the country without an abortion clinic, according to an Enquirer analysis cross-referencing U.S. Census data and abortion providers.
Cincinnat Enquirer | Cliff Peale & Chrissie Thompson
Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said, “Governor Kasich and his political appointees at the Ohio Department of Health are abusing their regulatory authority by moving to close an abortion clinic without any medical justification. Fifteen months ago this clinic filed the required paperwork to comply with Ohio law, and on Friday (the department) refused to accept this paperwork. Clearly this is about politics and ideology, not patient safety.” Copeland called on Kasich “to stop his regulatory witch hunt and quit interfering in women’s medical decisions...On the eve of the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, anti-choice forces are moving to make abortion inaccessible in Ohio—regardless of the law.”
“Ohio women need leaders that will fight for our right to make our own personal, private health care decisions,” NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said in a news release. “Neuhardt has been standing up for Ohio women her entire career.”