Protest held against ProMedica's refusal to sign transfer agreement with Toledo's only abortion clinic

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - 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.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has required that abortion clinics in the state need a transfer agreement with a private hospital within 30 miles if a patient needs emergency care. Currently, Toledo's clinic has an agreement with a hospital that is 50 miles away, which is why they want ProMedica to sign a transfer agreement.

"What we'll start to see is that abortion will not go away, more people will flee to Michigan, those who can't afford to go to Michigan will either have to contend with an unwanted pregnancy or as we've seen in our country before, result to dangerous and unsafe methods," said Krol.

In a statement, ProMedica says they do not have transfer agreements with abortion clinics. They say that the hospital is committed to providing care to patients regardless of an agreement, but that they find the issue to be between the clinics and lawmakers and do not want to choose a political side.

"They have essentially attempted to stay as apolitical as possible, in talking about this. They say they don't want to pick sides by signing the agreement, picking the "pro-abortion side," but obviously by not signing an agreement you force capital care to close and that's picking a side," said Krol.

While a few people honked their horns in support of the group's message, one person threw an open can of beer at the group.

The issue of keeping Toledo's abortion clinic open is still in the courts, but if the clinic is unable to appeal and can't get a transfer agreement, it will close.