The 10 Most Dangerous Places to be a Woman in America
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The law is already having an impact. In April 2013, the Hillcrest Clinic was forced to close its doors after 40 years in operation because meeting requirements set by the new law could cost nearly $500,000, money the clinic just did not have. “After 40 years of providing quality reproductive health care, Hillcrest Clinic is closing effective April 20, 2013. We have been honored to serve the women of Tidewater with safe, legal healthcare for four decades,” a statement on the clinic’s website read.
A two-year budget was the weapon of choice for Ohio lawmakers seeking to eradicate abortion from their state. Republican Gov. John Kasich signed the controversial budget in June, which, in addition to amendments to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect state funding from comprehensive reproductive health facilities to faith-based, antiabortion “crisis pregnancy centers,” includes a provision to block transfer agreements between abortion clinics and hospitals — an insidious little trick that could shutter several of the state’s 12 providers.
Here’s how it works: clinics in Ohio must have a transfer agreement in place with nearby hospitals to send patients to in case of an emergency, but the new budget bans public hospitals from entering into those agreements. The new provision then forces abortion providers to seek out agreements with private hospitals, which are often religiously-affiliated and antiabortion.
Even prior to the new regulations, securing such agreements in the state was already a challenge. Before the budget was signed in June, the Toledo-based Center for Choice shut its doors after each of the area hospitals refused to enter into a transfer agreement with the facility. Another nearby clinic, Capital Care Network, is expected to close after it loses its transfer agreement with the University of Toledo Medical Center, which bowed to political pressure from antiabortion activists, opting to stay “neutral” on a “controversial issue,” according to a statement from the hospital.
Reproductive rights advocates warn that the Toledo clinics are harbingers of what’s to come elsewhere in the state.
Like North Dakota, Mississippi is home to a single abortion provider, making that clinic the exclusive target of legislation to eradicate abortion access in the state.
The Mississippi Department of Health in February served the Jackson Women’s Health Organization a notice of intent to revoke its license, citing the clinic’s failure to comply with a 2012 TRAP law requiring that doctors at the facility have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. But the clinic had tried, repeatedly, to comply with the regulation.
Each of the seven area hospitals rejected the Jackson clinic’s petitions for admitting privileges. Mississippi law allows healthcare facilities to refuse any medical service on religious grounds, which extends to granting admitting privileges, leaving little doubt that these denials were politically motivated, advocates say.
“For years, we have been beating back Mississippi’s underhanded tactics to close the only abortion clinic in the state,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement last year about the state’s TRAP law. “This measure would force Mississippi women who are already facing difficult circumstances to travel hundreds of miles to a neighboring state to get an abortion. That is simply not an option for many poor and working-class women, and will certainly lead some to consider unsafe and illegal alternatives that pose grave risks to their health, lives, and reproductive future.”
But a judge has, once again, issued a temporary injunction against the law, preventing the state from revoking the Jackson clinic’s license — for now.
Oklahoma is already home to a number of restrictive abortion laws , including a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours, compulsory pre-abortion counseling and a 20-week ban on the procedure based on scientifically-disputed claims of fetal pain, but the latest frontier of denying women access to reproductive care in the state is the targeting of medicinal abortions.