Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Kentucky's last abortion clinic heads to court to keep its doors open

Kentucky's last abortion clinic heads to court to keep its doors open

So, why did the state try to force EMW close its doors after almost 40 years in the first place?

Six months ago, EMW Women's Surgical Center, an abortion clinic in Louisville, received a letter from the state's office of Health and Family Services stating the clinic would have to shut down within 10 days if it could not get the proper paperwork.

Pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin's administration said the Louisville abortion clinic is not adequately prepared to help patients if emergency complications arise.

On Wednesday morning, attorneys for the governor, the EMW Women's Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood began to hash it out in court.

With signs reading "My Body, My Choice, My Rights" and others declaring "Anti-choice is anti-Kentucky", dozens gathered Tuesday night at Louisville's federal courthouse.

District Judge Greg Stivers temporarily blocked Kentucky's effort to revoke the EMW's license in the spring, and he will now hear the clinic's case challenging the constitutionality of the state's requirements. Bevin is an openly and proud Christian, and there's nothing wrong with that, but failing to uphold one our nation's founding principles of separation of church and state is unacceptable.

State officials have denied trying to shut down the clinic.

"The plaintiff's self-serving statements about the rarity of complications from abortion gloss over the fact that such complications do occur and that transport agreements are important safeguards for women's health in the event of such complications", they said.

Governor Bevin's administration told the clinic it was not meeting state health regulations requiring abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with local hospitals and ambulance services in cases of medical emergencies.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America's chief medical officer, Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, tells POPSUGAR the Kentucky law must go.

EMW's legal team believes the case "falls squarely" within a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Texas regulations that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet certain standards for outpatient surgery.

The landmark Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, which gives women the right to have an abortion has not been overturned.

Kentucky is one of seven states with just one abortion provider left. The Supreme Court has found that access to an abortion must be guaranteed, but it remains to be seen whether eliminating every clinic in a single state would pass that test.

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