by Steven Ertelt
September 21, 2005
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — A new state abortion law requiring abortion practitioners to give women information in person about abortion’s risks and alternatives prior to an abortion will close down an abortion business in Cincinnati. The director of the center says she doesn’t have enough staff to devote to providing the women the information.
Debi Jackson of Cincinnati Women’s Services told the Akron Beacon Journal that the facility "would have to essentially become an abortion mill" if she had to dedicate non-abortion related staff to meeting with women in advance to give them the information.
She says she’d rather close up shop than do that.
"I am choosing to close my door,” Jackson said, "because I’m not willing to offer my services in a lesser way than I have before.”
The Cincinnati abortion business has been open since 1973 and Jackson told the Akron newspaper she employs two abortion practitioners and four people who counsel women to have abortions. Under a new state law, she would have to hire another abortion practitioner and she can’t afford to do that.
Jackson also said the cost of an abortion there would rise from $450 to $550.
Other abortion facilities say they will adjust to the new law, which also requires parental consent before an abortion can be performed on a minor teenager.
Carol Westfall, executive director of the Akron Women’s Medical Group abortion facility and a related abortion business in Cleveland, told the Beacon Journal that the new law "is not hampering" its business.
Jackson’s abortion business filed a lawsuit to stop the new law form taking effect and U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith found the law constitutional but agreed to delay its implementation until Thursday.
Ohio law already required that abortion practitioners give women the information they otherwise wouldn’t receive, but it did not ask them to do that in person.
Cincinnati attorney Al Gerhardstein, who represented the Cincinnati abortion business, has filed a request to appeal Judge Beckwith’s decision and to stop the law from taking effect until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can rule on it. That appeal has not yet been granted.
Pro-life groups say the new law is important and helps women and teens.
“The portion [of the law] dealing with in-person meetings with a physician 24 hours before the procedure will give a woman more information with which to make a decision,” Mark Lally, legislative director for Ohio Right to Life, told the Toledo Blade.
“Being able to ask questions, rather than get a prerecorded message over the phone, brings the process of informed consent more in line with the standard informed consent in place for other medical procedures,” he said.
“We believe that the more information with which to make a decision before actually being in the room to have the abortion, the greater the chance she might decide to pursue other options,” he said.
Abortions in Ohio declined 15 percent from 41,673 to 35,319 from 1993-2003, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Pro-life lawmakers approved the new law seven years ago to see that number decrease further.