Judge to decide fate of U.S. state's only abortion clinic

The state argued that the clinic lacked "important safeguards" necessary in protecting women's health.

Planned Parenthood joined the lawsuit because it alleges that Gov. Matt Bevin and "his administration waged a "campaign of fear and intimidation"-including a threat to block millions of dollars in public funds from University of Louisville Hospital-to prevent Planned Parenthood from getting a license", the Courier-Journal reports". A later Supreme Court Case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, adds that states can not place an "undue burden" on a woman seeking an abortion.

A trial is underway in federal court to decide whether Kentucky will become the first state without a clinic that performs abortions.

The Bevin Administration's actions are just one of the numerous cases across the country of local and state governments using petty and obscure methods to try to shut down abortion clinics.

However, EMW did have an agreement - one the state said wasn't sufficient.

State officials have denied trying to shut down the clinic.

"Women don't wake up in the morning and say, 'I think I'll get my hair done and have an abortion, '" Adams said.

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The case will determine whether the state will force Kentucky's last abortion clinic to close its doors because it allegedly violates a state law that requires EMW Women's Surgical Centers to have valid contracts with a nearby hospital in case something goes wrong during an abortion procedure and the woman needs immediate emergency care, according to the Associated Press. The socially conservative governor calls himself an "unapologetically pro-life individual".

"[The requirements] are important measures for ensuring women have the proper life-saving procedures in place in the event of an emergency", said Bevin's spokeswoman Amanda Stamper.

"In that regard, that would be somewhat historic", Rusty Thomas, a religious leader and head of the anti-abortion group Operation Save America, told AFP. Seven other states also now have one abortion clinic left. The law says she can avert her eyes.

Now, both sides will argue over the validity of these agreements.

The lawsuit is the first to test a US Supreme Court ruling that previous year gave abortion clinics added protections - prohibiting regulations that subject them to an "undue burden".

The state claims it is guarding patient safety and women would still have access to abortions should the clinic be forced to close.


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