Rally drums up support ahead of abortion clinic hearing

Rally drums up support ahead of abortion clinic hearing”

Kentucky's lone abortion clinic is bracing for a legal fight against health regulators and the state's anti-abortion governor.

State regulators defend those conditions as "important safeguards" to protect women's health.

The clinic is arguing that there is no medical justification for the law, and that it infringes on constitutional protections.

It's an issue that's likely to continue to come up as states pass legislation known as TRAP laws, for "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers".

"The stakes in this case couldn't be higher: the very right to access legal abortion in the state of Kentucky is on the line", said Dr. Ernest Marshall, who opened the clinic in the early 1980s.

Pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin's administration said EMW Women's Clinic in Louisville is not adequately prepared to help patients if emergency complications arise.

The clinic disagreed and filed a federal lawsuit to keep their license. U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers blocked the clinic's closure until the dispute could be heard at trial. The clinic called the move "blatantly unconstitutional" in a lawsuit seeking an injunction, and said, if EMW was forced to close, "Kentucky women would be left without access to a critical and constitutionally protected medical procedure".

If the EMW Women's Surgical Center's lawsuit is successful, abortion rights advocates say it would also pave the way for other Kentucky clinics to resume or begin providing abortions.

The center has been the site of several recent protests by anti-abortion-rights groups seeing the potential for both a real and symbolic victory for their cause. He has been at odds with EMW since his election in 2015. "The transfer agreements are important measures for ensuring women have the proper life-saving procedures in place in the event of an emergency". "Essentially all health-care facilities in Kentucky are required to have such agreements, and it is telling that the abortion industry believes that it alone should be exempt".

In another twist, Bevin's administration added new requirements to transfer agreements amid the legal wrangling. Kentucky is among seven US states with just one clinic left. The law says she can avert her eyes.

Planned Parenthood, which no longer performs abortions in Kentucky, has also joined the case. This is the same Planned Parenthood facility that Bevin's administration caught doing abortions without a license in 2016.

"This is absolutely just another attempt to ban abortion in Kentucky", EMW attorney Donald L. Cox told NBC News at the time.

Donald Cox, the clinic's attorney, says the requirements are created to give the state a way to "prohibit abortions".

We will be there as it plays out in court. "All you have to do is dial 911", Cox said.

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