Kentucky Trial Could Make State First In US With No Abortion Clinic

by Abel Hampton September 9, 2017, 0:07
Kentucky Trial Could Make State First In US With No Abortion Clinic

Still, the state maintains the clinic's claims are overblown, that regulators are seeking to safeguard patient safety - not shutter the clinic - and that even if it were to close, women would still have access to abortions.

Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with the ACLU, says what's at stake is whether Kentucky becomes the first state where abortion is banned.

In opening statements, attorneys for the EMW Women's Surgical Center said the state was imposing unattainable, arbitrary regulations about transfer agreements with an ambulance company at a hospital.

EMW and Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky, which also is involved IN the lawsuit, are arguing that the state just wants to shut them down, and the regulations are not necessary because abortion complication rates are low.

Attorneys for EMW and Planned Parenthood said the requirement is not necessary and is simply a ploy by Governor Bevin to shut down the clinic.

Planned Parenthood joined the lawsuit because it alleges that Gov. Matt Bevin and "his administration waged a "campaign of fear and intimidation"-including a threat to block millions of dollars in public funds from University of Louisville Hospital-to prevent Planned Parenthood from getting a license", the Courier-Journal reports".

The state's lawyers took aim at claims the requirements aren't medically essential.

It's an issue that is likely to continue to come up as states pass legislation known as TRAP laws, for "targeted regulation of abortion providers".

Because of him and his administration, hundreds of Kentucky women could be heavily limited in their health care choices and many unsafe, "at-home" abortions could occur, some of which may kill the women who use them.

The clinic has been on the defensive since Bevin's election in 2015.

The socially conservative governor said he's "not a proponent of killing unborn children".

"[The requirements] are important measures for ensuring women have the proper life-saving procedures in place in the event of an emergency", said Bevin's spokeswoman Amanda Stamper. "There will be no abortions in Kentucky if they win". The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists weighed in on the issue in a 2014 opinion, writing that rules passed in some states "under the guise of promoting patient safety, single out abortion from other outpatient procedures and impose medically unnecessary requirements created to reduce access to abortion". The other lawsuit is challenging a new Kentucky law requiring doctors to conduct an ultrasound exam before an abortion, then try to show fetal images to the pregnant woman.

EMW gained an ally in its licensing fight when Planned Parenthood of in and Kentucky was allowed to join EMW's lawsuit.

The lawsuit is the first to test a US Supreme Court ruling that previous year gave abortion clinics added protections - prohibiting regulations that subject them to an "undue burden". It is not clear when the court will reach a decision.

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