Cincinnati’s last abortion clinic faces closure

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Access to abortion. The Columbus Dispatch’s Cathy Candisky is reporting that Cincinnati’s last abortion clinic could close.

    “Ohio Health Director Amy Acton wants to revoke the Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region’s license for failing to have a written agreement with a local hospital to transfer patients in case of emergency. The clinic remains open pending a hearing on the matter. A date has not been set…

    “State law enacted in 2013 requires an ‘ambulatory surgical facility,’ including abortion clinics, to have a written transfer agreement with a nearby hospital unless it is granted a variance by the state health director. Public hospitals are not permitted to participate in transfer agreements.

    “Abortion opponents say the agreements ensure patient safety. Abortion-rights supporters say they are unnecessary because hospitals don’t turn people in need of care away.”

    No local gun laws. Cleveland.com’s Robin Goist is reporting that Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty has denied a request from Akron, Cleveland and four other Northeast Ohio cities to block a state law preventing local municipalities from regulating the possession, sale and manufacture of firearms and ammunition.

    “The provision, part of an amended ‘right to bear arms’ law, went into effect Dec. 28. In addition to restricting what communities can do to regulate firearms, the provision allows gun owners who believe their rights have been violated to sue a municipality.

    “Attorney Stephen Funk — representing Akron, Barberton, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls, Norton and Tallmadge — argued in the lawsuit that the law infringes on municipalities’ home-rule authority to adopt and enforce gun laws, including those that don’t conflict with state laws.”

    Sticky icky wicket. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles is reporting that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine doesn’t think Ohio should legalize adult recreational cannabis use.

    Ingles reports DeWine “was adamantly opposed to the marijuana legalization plan that was on the ballot in 2015. And the fact that neighboring states, like Illinois and Michigan, are allowing it hasn’t changed his mind now.

    “‘It would really be a mistake for Ohio, by legislation, to say that marijuana for adults is just ok,’ DeWine said.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.