Kentucky could become only state without abortion access

Taylon Baker

Depending on the outcome of a trial that began in Louisville today, Kentucky could become the only state in the nation without an abortion provider.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is attempting to revoke the license of The EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, based on its interpretation of a transfer agreement law from 1998, as reported by NPR and the Courier-Journal.

Many women face the decision of terminating a pregnancy. In fact, 664,435 legal induced abortions were reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016.

New laws in Kentucky may take away the option to have an abortion.

Bevin said the Louisville clinic did not meet health regulations and failed to provide transfer services and agreements with a hospital and ambulance in case of a medical emergency, which is required by state law, as reported by NPR.

The clinic responded by suing the Bevin administration in an effort to keep its license, according to NPR. The EMW Women’s Surgical Center’s sister location in Lexington shut down in 2016.

Louisville attorney Don Cox, who is representing the center, accused Bevin’s administration of focusing more on ideology than public health research, according to NPR.

The Bevin administration plans to argue that such regulations are needed to ensure women who seek abortions are safe and treated in clean facilities, according to NPR.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky was allowed to join the lawsuit on the side of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the Courier-Journal reported in June.

Abortion is an issue that deeply divides the state and causes emotions to run high. No matter the results of this case, it will set a precedent for the future. If EMW loses, there will be no more abortion access in the state, but if EMW wins, it might pave the way for other organizations and clinics to reopen and rebuild in Kentucky.

The case is expected to last through Friday.