Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Platform sets anti-abortion agenda in Ohio



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Three of four speakers at Greater Toledo Right to Life’s sixth annual pro-life legislative briefing breakfast Friday in Maumee had words about the legal requirement for abortion clinics to have emergency-transfer agreements with local hospitals.

Their remarks at Parkway Place referred to Capital Care Network in Toledo. The fourth speaker, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green), focused on Supreme Court cases and other challenges intended to limit Affordable Care Act contraception and abortion insurance-coverage provisions.

Kayla Smith, director of legislative affairs for Ohio Right to Life, said that while Capital Care has a transfer agreement with the University of Michigan Health System, the Ann Arbor hospital might not meet the Ohio mandate, and Capital Care has no closer options.

“This is the only urban and suburban city in the state of Ohio where an abortion clinic is, where not one private hospital would sign a transfer agreement, to my knowledge,” Miss Smith said. That is one of many factors, she said, that are “such a reflection on the fact that Ohio is a pro-life state.”

She expects Capital Care will close, and then Ohio Right to Life will work with its Michigan counterpart to force the closings of seven clinics in Michigan within an hour of Toledo, she said.

State Sen. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green) said the “legal entanglements” of transfer agreements make the process last longer than it should.

“We’ve got to do a better job of providing timely hearings and results in resolution to what is certainly, I believe, breaking the law by not having these agreements,” Mr. Gardner said.

State Rep. Tim Brown (R., Bowling Green) said he will meet with the staff of Attorney General Mike DeWine “to find out whether we have the authority under the statute that was passed, the ability to set rules in place with regard to the time limits” of hearing and appeals processes for clinics that provide abortions. If not, he said, rules will be established through legislation.

He also spoke about revising adoption laws, such as shortening the time to contest adoptions from one year to 60 days, and raising the adoption tax credit from $1,500 to $10,000.

After speaking about court cases and health insurance in relation to abortion and contraception, Mr. Latta listed 11 House resolutions introduced by other members of Congress, with him as co-sponsor, that pertain to the right to life, when life is considered to begin, limitation of abortions, restricting abortion funding, and awareness of abortion coverage in insurance plans.

“We're doing everything we possibly can in the United States House of Representatives to protect life,” he said.

Contact TK Barger @ tkbarger@theblade.com, 419-724-6278 or on Twitter @TK_Barger.

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