Last abortion clinic in KY can stay open - for now
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The last abortion clinic in Kentucky is fighting to stay open.
A judge granted an order on Friday allowing the EMW Surgical Center on West Market Street in Louisville to temporarily remain despite the state sending them notice of their license being revoked.
According to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the EMW Women's Surgical Center the license would be revoked on April 3. Now a judge will determine if the reasons for the state revoking the clinic's license are constitutional or not.
"It would be shameful if Kentucky were the first state in the country without an abortion clinic to provide that right," Heather Gatnerak, with the ACLU, said.
Gatnerak said the lawsuit makes the case that the state cannot revoke the clinic's license without reason and that their reasons that ambulance and hospital agreements not meeting state standards are unconstitutional.
"There needs to be access in Kentucky like we can't be shuffling women out of state for these procedures," patient escort Ashley Jacobs said.
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Jacobs has been a patient escort for about a year and half. Hearing that the last abortion clinic in the state could close made her think of all the women she has helped walked through the doors, shielding them from protestors.
"I've seen how hard it is for women in Kentucky to be able to access abortion just with the Lexington office closing," Jacobs said.
Outside of the EMW, a group prayed against the services provided inside.
"I would be proud that our state is taking the lead as a pro-life state," Zoe Krauskopf said.
Krauskopf is with 40 Days for Life and hopes the state will be able to revoke the clinic's license.
"I believe many people feel like this is an answer to our prayers," Krauskopf said.
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But supporters said there is no good reason to shut down EMW.
"They are doing everything they are supposed to do they should be there the women of Kentucky deserve the right to access," Jacobs said.
Doug Hogan, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, provided a statement in response the temporary restraining order filed Friday afternoon.
Hogan's statement read in part, "The Cabinet is surprised by the court. The Cabinet had informed counsel for EMW no final decision would be made regarding the abortion facility's license until the administrative due process hearing required by Kentucky statutory law was complete."
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