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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Abortion clinic will no longer perform procedure

SHARONVILLE, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- The owners of Women's Med - also known as the Lebanon Rd. Surgery Center - announced Wednesday, August 20th, 2014, they will no longer appeal an order from the state of Ohio to cease performing abortions.

Instead, the clinic will stop performing the procedures two days before they were ordered to stop. Dr. Martin Haskell and his wife, Valerie, said through their attorney that they believe Gov. Kasich's administration is trying to end abortion in Ohio.

"Women's Med does strongly believe that the governor is targeting abortion clinics one-by-one throughout the state of Ohio to shut them down," said Thea Langsam, who represents the Haskell's and Women's Med.

Rick Pender, Vice President of Development and External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, said Wednesday the Mt. Auburn clinic is now the only place in the Greater Cincinnati area where a woman can get an abortion. Pender said the clinic will expand hours and staff to accommodate more patients.

"We expect there will be an influx of patients who can no longer receive services there," Pender said Wednesday.

Women's Med has been involved in a legal battle with the state of Ohio for two years. The clinic applied for an exception to a state law that requires abortion clinics to have a written transfer agreement with a hospital to accept a patient from the clinic in case of a medical emergency. The clinic's request was denied because a doctor listed as an admitting physician did not have the proper credentials.  Rick Pender said transfer agreements are difficult to obtain since a new provision in the state law bars publicly-funded hospitals from entering the agreements. Catholic hospitals will not take part for religious reasons.

"These transfer agreements are politically motivated by legislators who wish to end the process of abortion. They are not medically necessary. An abortion surgery is not a life-threatening surgery. In fact, it's a relatively safe surgery," Pender said.

Sophie Tang is a grad student at UC who supports abortion rights. She was disappointed to hear that Women's Med gave up the fight.

"I think it's wrong and unethical to kind of limit access of any kind. And also I'm sure the abortion clinic doesn't just perform abortions," Tang said.

But abortion opponents applauded the news Wednesday and encouraged the state to continue revoking licenses.

"Abortion is a business. It's not a service," said Joanne Kemmerer, a member of the Cincinnati Pro-Life Committee. Kemmerer would like to see all abortion clinics shuttered because she believes the procedure is murder.

"I am very glad that the Kasich administration is trying to protect life. Life begins at conception. We all know that a butterfly is not growing inside the woman's stomach or uterus," Kemmerer said.

Despite opposition, Rick Pender said Planned Parenthood will continue to help women. Planned Parenthood has also applied for an exception to the state law requiring it to have a transfer agreement. The Ohio Dept. of Health is still reviewing the application.

"Our concern is for the patients that need this kind of surgery. It will be harder for them to get it," Pender said.

A spokesperson for Gov. Kasich's office declined to comment because the matters are still considered "pending litigation."

An Ohio Dept. of Health spokesperson said of the Women's Med case:
"The Ohio Department of Health is committed to acting within its authority to uphold state laws and regulations designed to protect the health and safety of Ohio residents."
Women's Med has will still offer some health services at its Sharonville clinic. Abortions will still be performed at the company's Dayton clinic.

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