abortion

Lisa Gillespie | WFPL

It was surprisingly quiet outside of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville Saturday.

Hundreds of anti-abortion activists were expected in front of Kentucky’s last remaining abortion clinic Saturday as far-right fundamentalist Christian group Operation Save America began its weeklong conference with the stated goal of shutting down the clinic. U.S. District Judge David Hale granted a temporary restraining order on Friday establishing a buffer zone around the clinic to keep protesters from blocking its entrance.   


Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has dropped its efforts to shut down Kentucky’s last abortion clinic pending the outcome of a federal lawsuit aimed at preventing its closure.

An agreement between lawyers for the Republican governor and the Louisville clinic, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, has been submitted to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers, who has not yet signed off on it.

As part of the agreement, Bevin’s administration agreed to renew EMW’s license until the federal suit is resolved.

capitol.ky.gov

Lawmakers transformed the legal landscape of Kentucky during this year’s General Assembly.  The state has new laws restricting abortions and allowing charter schools.  Legislators also passed pro-business measures that forbid mandatory union dues and add a hurdle for people suing doctors and hospitals for malpractice.

Capitol reporter Ryland Barton has this report on what passed the General Assembly and how the new laws might affect Kentuckians.    


A federal court on Thursday heard testimony and arguments over a challenge to the state’s new ultrasound abortion requirement.

U.S. District Judge David Hale will decide in the next few days whether to temporarily block the law.

The law, signed by Gov. Matt Bevin on Jan. 9, requires doctors to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions, narrate a description of the fetus and play audio of the fetal heartbeat for the woman.

A federal court will hear arguments Thursday over whether to temporarily block Kentucky’s new ultrasound abortion requirement.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state over the new law on behalf of the last abortion provider in Kentucky, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville.

The new law, which has been in effect since Jan. 9, requires doctors to perform ultrasounds on women seeking an abortion and narrate a detailed description of the unborn fetus while performing the procedure.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

Dona Wells walked through what’s left of the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Boxes fill what use to be offices. Sterilized medical supplies are in disarray. A light flickers on and off in the back hallway. She doesn’t see a point in fixing it. At 75, she still runs 25 miles a week, but Wells is tired.

“I was going to retire anyway, probably this year,” she said. But I wanted to do it on my terms, not Gov. Bevin’s terms.”

 

Abortion Bills Prompt Debate, Protest

Jan 9, 2017
Stu Johnson

Debate and action on two abortion measures received attention in Frankfort during the opening 

week of the 2017 legislative session.  ​

 The observers included two people with completely different perspectives.

Stu Johnson

In an extremely rare Saturday meeting of the Kentucky General Assembly, legislators took final action on abortion and labor-related bills.  Both the House and Senate voted to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require an ultrasound prior to any abortion. 

During debate on the ultrasound measure, Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas said some Kentucky children face extreme trauma every day.  “We see children that are unattended.  We see children who will suffer. We see children who are harmed and permanently damaged.”

Ky. Appeals Court Orders Lexington Clinic to Halt Abortions

Jun 16, 2016
wbko.com

A Kentucky appeals court Wednesday ordered a Lexington clinic to stop performing abortions until it gets a license from the state.  Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says EMW Women's Clinic has been performing abortions without a license.      

The clinic's owner says he is exempt from the licensure requirement because the clinic is a private physician's office. Bevin sued, asking a judge to force the facility to close.

kentuckyonehealth.org

KentuckyOne Health, which operates the University of Louisville Hospital, has backed out of an agreement to provide Planned Parenthood patients emergency care in case complications arise during an abortion.

Planned Parenthood attorney Thomas Clay says the organization was told Tuesday by hospital officials they were under incredible pressure from the state to terminate the agreement, and that the hospital's state funding was threatened if they didn't cancel the agreement.

The state requires clinics that provide abortions to keep a transfer agreement with a local hospital in case of unexpected complications.

Jacob Ryan / WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has filed a lawsuit against a second Kentucky abortion provider, alleging the facility provided abortions without a license.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Eubanks & Marshall of Lexington, PSC, which does business as EMW Women’s Clinic. It alleges the clinic wasn’t properly licensed, and didn’t have proper transfer agreements in place with a hospital and ambulance service. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services filed the lawsuit.

Legislative Research Commission

A legislative committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor at least 24 hours in advance of the procedure.

Since 2001, women seeking an abortion have been able to have the so-called “informed consent” meeting over the phone.

The Kentucky Senate has once again voted overwhelmingly to modify the state informed consent law regarding abortions.  As in years past, the senate approved a measure to require a face-to-face medical consultation at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed.  Lexington Senator Reginald Thomas voted no.