Judge Forces Kentucky to Allow Its Last Abortion Clinic to Stay Open

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 10, 2017   |   6:44PM   |   Louisville, KY

A federal judge in Kentucky signed an agreement Monday that will keep the last abortion clinic in the state open, despite state officials saying it is not adequately prepared to help patients if emergency complications arise.

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers signed an agreement between Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration and the EMW Women’s Clinic in Louisville on Monday, the Associated Press reports.

The agreement, reached last week after a judge blocked Bevin’s administration from closing the abortion clinic, says the state will allow the clinic to continue operating until the legal battle is resolved.

Bevin’s administration moved to shut down the Louisville abortion facility several weeks ago, saying it is not adequately prepared to help patients if emergency complications arise. Officials said the facility is not in compliance with a state law that requires it to have hospital and ambulance service agreements for patient emergencies, WPSD News 6 reports.

The abortion clinic filed a lawsuit with the ACLU to challenge the administration’s actions, arguing that its hospital and ambulance agreements have been the same for years and the state’s actions are a “politically motivated” attempt to restrict abortions.

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers temporarily blocked the administration from closing the facility two weeks ago while the lawsuit proceeds to court.

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While the agreement is a setback, ultimately state officials said they are confident that they will win the court battle against EMW Women’s Clinic in Louisville, the only abortion facility in Kentucky.

A trial is scheduled for Sept. 6, according to the Courier Journal.

Gov. Bevin’s administration shut down another EMW abortion facility in Lexington last year after state officials caught it masquerading as a doctor’s office and performing abortions without a license. State health investigators also found unsanitary conditions inside the facility, according to the Courier Journal.

In February 2016, his administration also sued a new Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Louisville after catching it performing 23 abortions without a license, LifeNews reported. Planned Parenthood’s lawyer contended that former pro-abortion Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration gave the abortion facility the OK to do abortions without a license, and wanted the lawsuit to be dismissed.

The Planned Parenthood facility has not performed abortions since then. Disputes about its license and transfer agreements for patient emergencies are pending, according to the report.

At the time, Bevin called out the abortion business for “callous and knowing violations of the law.”

“This administration will have no tolerance for the type of brazen disregard that Planned Parenthood has shown for both the safety of women and the rule of law,” Bevin continued. “We will hold Planned Parenthood accountable for knowingly endangering their patients by providing illegal abortions at a facility that was not properly licensed nor prepared to handle an emergency.”