| March 30
March 30 The last abortion clinic operating in
Kentucky has sued a state health and family services agency,
accusing it of retaliating against the clinic for another
lawsuit and trying to use a technicality to shut the facility.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville on
Wednesday by the EMW Women's Surgical Center seeks an emergency
restraining order that would block the state Cabinet for Health
and Family Services from revoking its license.
"Their goal and the governor's goal is to make sure women in
Kentucky can't have abortions, period full stop," attorney
Donald Cox, who represents the clinic, said in an interview.
Representatives for the Cabinet for Health and Family
Services and for Governor Matt Bevin, an anti-abortion
Republican who took office in 2015, did not returns calls
According to the lawsuit, the state agency sent the clinic a
letter "out of the blue" on March 13 claiming its license
renewal was in jeopardy because certain agreements with
ambulance companies were out of compliance.
The letter threatened to shut down EMW Women's Surgical
Center, Kentucky's sole operating abortion clinic, within 10
days if those agreements were not rectified.
The lawsuit called the action "deeply suspicious," saying it
came after the clinic sued the state in January over a new law
that would require women seeking an abortion to first undergo an
ultrasound and hear a description of the embryo or fetus. The
lawsuit was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
That law, passed swiftly after Republicans gained majorities
in the state legislature and signed by Bevin, is part of a
renewed push by abortion opponents in the United States to
restrict access to the procedure.
Some 25 states have laws regarding ultrasounds and
abortions, but only three states require medical staff to
display and describe the images, according to the Kaiser Family
Foundation, a non-profit group focusing on health issues.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb)