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Capital Care Network of Toledo v. State of Ohio Department of Health

In 2014, abortion provider Capital Care appealed an adjudication order issued by the State of Ohio Department of Health which revoked Capital Care’s license on the grounds that Capital Care had not maintained the requisite written transfer agreement as required by the TRAP provision in Ohio’s budget bill, HB 59. That provision  (1) requires an ambulatory surgical facility (ASF) to maintain a written transfer agreement with a local hospital; (2) permits the director of the department of health to grant a variance from the transfer agreement requirement should the ASF apply for one; and (3) prohibits public hospitals from entering into a transfer agreement with an ASF that performs “nontherapeutic abortions.”

The Department of Health rejected a written transfer agreement that Capital Care had entered into with University of Michigan Health Systems after Capital Care was unable to find a hospital near Toledo that would enter into a transfer agreement. The Department of Health claimed that the agreement with University of Michigan Health Systems was not “local” as required by the statute, and revoked Capital Care’s license.

Capital Care sued the state, claiming that the TRAP provision in HB 59 imposed an undue burden on access to abortion care, that the provision violates due process because it unconstitutionally assigned state authority to third parties (by requiring a doctor with admitting privileges at a hospital to agree to provide “back-up coverage” before the director of the Department of Health may issue a variance, the law grants a third party the right to make a final licensing decision), and that the provision violated Ohio’s requirement that legislation be limited to a single subject.


On June 19, 2015, Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart ruled in favor Capital Care and reversed the department of health’s order revoking Capital Care’s license.

On July 29, 2016, the court of appeals affirmed Judge Duhart’s ruling.

On May 10, 2017, the Ohio Department of Health appealed to the Supreme Court.

On February 6, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the Department of Health’s order.


**last updated February 12, 2018