Protest held against ProMedica’s refusal to sign transfer agreement with Toledo’s only abortion clinic
On Wednesday, the group Keep Abortion Safe and Legal in Toledo held banners and signs on the I-475 overpass near Toledo Hospital in protest against ProMedica’s refusal to sign a transfer agreement with the Capital Care Network Abortion Clinic.
Not signing an agreement may cause Toledo’s only abortion clinic to close. A spokesperson for the group says the protest was held to continue to hold ProMedica accountable as they say the hospital is the one party that would allow abortions in Toledo.
“ProMedica is ultimately accountable for whether or not our clinic stays open due to current laws,” said Annie Krol, spokeswoman for the group.
Grassroots organization Keep Abortion Safe and Legal in Toledo will make a second effort Wednesday to appeal to ProMedica for a transfer agreement for the Capital Care Network abortion clinic. Gov. John Kasich has required all abortion providers to obtain a medically-unnecessary transfer agreement from a private hospital. There is no financial cost to sign a transfer agreement. The transfer agreement simply says that an abortion provider may send a patient to that hospital’s emergency room. By law, all emergency rooms must accept any patient regardless of whether or not their doctor has a written agreement on file with the hospital.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Field Organizer Annie Kroll said:
Our goal is to hold the board of trustees at ProMedica accountable, as they have been made aware that their refusal to sign a transfer agreement will leave Toledo without an abortion clinic. We will continue to protest and hold ProMedica accountable to the people of Toledo.
The campaign for a transfer agreement has already received support from the Toledo Blade. Columnist Marina Bolotnikova wrote an op-ed: ProMedica has medical, moral duty to keep city’s only abortion clinic open
It shouldn’t be that hard for abortion clinics, especially those in major cities such as Toledo, to find hospitals that are willing to uphold a legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure. Hospitals are in the business of promoting the availability of medical care, particularly the kind that a great proportion of patients need.
Between one-fourth and one-third of American women will have an abortion in their lifetime, numerous research studies estimate. Most of these women are poor, and have limited ability to travel long distances for medical care.
The Blade editorial board followed with a concurrent editorial: ProMedica’s public duty
Toledo area women’s access to safe, legal, local abortion services shouldn’t depend on extremist politics or the preferences of a single corporation. Yet that’s the situation anti-choice activists and their allies in the Statehouse have forced in northwest Ohio, where the region’s only abortion provider will have to close unless it can obtain a so-called transfer agreement with a private hospital.
ProMedica appears to be the only hospital system able to prevent that outcome. But to avoid the political controversy of abortion, the region’s largest health-care provider is refusing.
Last week, abortion-rights advocates protested outside ProMedica Toledo Hospital, calling on the company to honor its commitment to public health and uphold abortion access for northwest Ohio women who may need it. The protest helped draw badly needed attention to the threat to reproductive rights in Toledo.
But persuading ProMedica to change its policy will take much more than isolated actions from a small group of activists. To protect abortion access, all pro-choice Toledoans must participate in a long-term, public campaign that calls on ProMedica to reverse its stance.
Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.