A Kentucky abortion facility caught masquerading as a doctor’s office will close permanently on Jan. 27, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
In the spring of 2016, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration filed a lawsuit accusing the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington of illegally operating an abortion clinic disguised as a doctor’s office.
Bevin’s administration asked a court for permission to close the practice, saying it was not licensed as an abortion facility. State health investigators also found unsanitary conditions inside the facility, according to the Courier Journal.
The state Supreme Court sided with the governor in August. It has not been performing abortions since then, but it appeared to be offering other health care services and trying to get a license to perform abortions.
Last week, news broke that the entire facility would close permanently on Jan. 27. The Kentucky National Organization for Women (NOW) described it as “sad news for the women of Kentucky.”
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The [NOW] Facebook post quoted a statement from officials of the clinic that said:
“As you know, for the past 6 1/2 months we have diligently pursued obtaining a license to operate an abortion facility. Although we and our attorney believed we had fulfilled all the requirements to obtain the license, the Inspector General of Kentucky disagreed and denied us the license.
“Unfortunately, our landlord has also declined to renew our lease on the space we have occupied at 161 Burt Road since 1989.”
Clinic officials said, “There is, indeed, a chill wind blowing for women of Kentucky.”
Phone calls to the Lexington clinic were not answered Saturday afternoon.
In a second post, the pro-abortion group added: “’The state’s only abortion provider is the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville.’ This is unacceptable. It will have a huge impact on low-income women across the state who are unable to afford transportation to Louisville and back. We must have ACCESS to safe, legal, affordable abortions without interference by the government.”
According to the state’s lawsuit, the Lexington abortion clinic tried to pass itself off as a physician’s office, but state investigators discovered that its almost sole business was abortions and abortion-related procedures. According to state abortion statistics, the Lexington clinic performed 411 abortions on unborn babies in 2015.
Kentucky requires that abortion clinics obtain special licenses from the state, and EMW did not have one for its Lexington facility, according to the state.
EMW owner Ernest Marshall even admitted to a judge in March that the clinic primarily did abortions, though he said it used to do more gynecological work, the Herald Leader reports.
State investigators also said they found numerous health and safety violations at the abortion clinic, including a “significant quantity” of expired medication, medical equipment covered in dust, dirt and grime; and improper sanitation. It also did not have emergency agreements with a local hospital and ambulance service, as required by law, according to the state’s lawsuit.