Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Judge blocks governor from closing Kentucky's only abortion clinic

Judge blocks governor from closing Kentucky's only abortion clinic

In response to the order, EMW protested that the surgical center's agreements with these facilities hadn't changed in several years, and that they'd never been notified of any issues with these agreements before.

Cabinet spokesman Doug Hogan said officials were "surprised and disappointed the court entered a temporary restraining order without input from the cabinet and without first ascertaining the status of communications between both parties".

The ACLU filed a lawsuit last week to stop the closure, and on Friday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order keeping the clinic open for now.

Though it's rare that women seeking abortions need to be hospitalized, Kentucky requires abortion providers to have agreements with a local hospital and ambulance company to transfer patients in case of an emergency.

While the abortion facility was soon able to obtain a signature from the interim president, he pulled out of the agreement and "asked that the amended agreement not be sent to the cabinet".

The ACLU has called the attempted enforcement action "an attempt to ban abortion in Kentucky".

The state also argued that Planned Parenthood's agreement with Louisville Emergency Medical Services to transport patients is deficient because it doesn't specifically identify the hospital to which it would transport patients. "Today's court decision recognizes the devastating consequences of closing the last abortion clinic, and of robbing Kentucky women of their ability to access abortion in our state". The state approved these agreements a year ago when it renewed EMW's license.

The ACLU made its case for the EMW Women's Surgical Center on the same grounds, stating in a press release that the nation's highest court has already decided Bevin's mandate serves no other objective than to pose "real harm to women".

At the national level, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday cast the tie-breaking vote on Senate legislation to roll back an Obama administration regulation that blocks states from withholding federal family-planning money from Planned Parenthood clinics and other health centers that perform abortions.

Gov. Bevin's administration has been cracking down on the abortion industry in Kentucky since he took office a year ago.

"The revocation suspension shall become final conclusive thirty (30) days after notice is given, unless the applicant or licensee, within the thirty (30) day period, shall file a request in writing for a hearing with the cabinet", continued the March letter. Laws requiring admitting privileges, which exist in almost a dozen states, have caused many clinics across the country to close down.

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