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Trial to determine fate of Kentucky's lone abortion clinic

Trial to determine fate of Kentucky's lone abortion clinic

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

Kentucky law requires an abortion clinic to have transfer agreements with a hospital and ambulance service in case of an emergency.

In opening statements, attorneys for the EMW Women's Surgical Center said the state was imposing unattainable, arbitrary regulations about transfer agreements with an ambulance company at a hospital.

The clinic argues the requirements are an unconstitutional barrier to abortion, because they lack "medical justification".

The number of abortion-restricting state laws has skyrocketed in the last seven years, according to the institute, and the number of clinics has dwindled to where seven states - including Kentucky - have only one each. They argue that while the Kentucky law may not explicitly deem abortion illegal, the closure of EMW would effectively do just that, making the procedure impossible to legally obtain in the state. A later Supreme Court Case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, adds that states can not place an "undue burden" on a woman seeking an abortion. The state's abrupt "about-face" - finding the clinic non-compliant - came "out of the blue", the lawsuit said. "If this law is not struck down, access to safe, legal abortion for women in Kentucky will be virtually eliminated", McDonald-Mosley said.

The EMW clinic has been on the defensive since Bevin's election in 2015.

A reason, but more importantly, the group said, a right.

"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", she added. "It could be the first surgically abortion-free state in the United States of America".

Planned Parenthood Federation of America's chief medical officer, Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, tells POPSUGAR the Kentucky law must go.

The landmark Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, which gives women the right to have an abortion has not been overturned.

The case centers around the question of whether it is reasonable for the government of the southern state to demand an abortion provider be connected to a hospital in case of emergency. Marshall said. "Or will Kentucky be the harbinger of a future where the right to abortion only exists if you live in the right zip code?"


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