The ACLU is trying to keep the last abortion clinic in Kentucky from closing



The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit to keep the only remaining abortion clinic in Kentucky from shuttering.

Gov. Matt Bevin's administration ordered the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville to be shut down earlier this month, arguing that the center lacked "proper agreements for patient care in the event of a medical emergency," according to the Courier-Journal.

The requirement that abortion clinics essentially function as hospitals was the same one that threatened to close most of the 41 abortion clinics in Texas, and was eventually deemed unconstitutional in the Supreme Court's June Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt landmark ruling.

The ACLU plans to make its case for the EMW Women's Surgical Center on the same grounds, stating in a press release that the nation's highest court has already decided Bevin's mandate serves no other purpose than to pose "real harm to women."

EMW became the last abortion clinic when Bevin filed a lawsuit against the state's Planned Parenthood in February, claiming the facility had violated state law by performing abortions without a license.

Planned Parenthood representatives denied the allegations, maintaining that former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's cabinet had given the facility the green light to begin offering abortions and all other reproductive health services.

Bevin nonetheless went on to ban the Planned Parenthood from providing abortions until it received admitting privileges at local hospitals — the same stipulations threatening EMW's closure.

Should Bevin succeed in shuttering the surgical center, attorney Don Cox said it would have "devastating consequences" for women in Kentucky, whose ability to access an abortion would mean having to cross state lines.

Cox said, "The state is hiding behind sham justifications when its true intent is to shut down this clinic and prevent a woman from making a real decision about her pregnancy."