Waiting game begins as Kentucky's landmark abortion trial ends

Waiting game begins as Kentucky's landmark abortion trial ends

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Federal testimony wrapped up Friday as Kentucky's last abortion clinic fights to keep its doors open.

Planned Parenthood and Louisville's EMW Women's Surgical Center took on Governor Matt Bevin's administration over the necessity of transfer agreements.

The state decided not to call its second expert Friday afternoon, ending the trial earlier than expected in its third day.

Attorneys for Governor Bevin tried to show why the state's requirement for transfer agreements between the clinic, hospital and ambulance service is necessary. They say they felt confident in their top witness.

"We are very much on the side of the safety of women," Anti-Abortion court watcher Tamara Cesare said.

Anti-abortion court watchers were happy to see the state put on Dr. Richard Hamilton, an ER doctor and Drexel professor experienced in transfer agreements.

He testified those agreements put information and documentation in place with patients having abortion complications as they arrive at the hospital assuring a better outcome.

In cross examination, Dr. Hamilton admitted he is pro-life and said there is no academic study to prove transfer agreements medically improve patient outcomes.

"Not a single witness can point to an incident in Kentucky where woman would've been helped if there had been a transfer agreement between the abortion facility and the hospital," Brigitte Amiri, an attorney for the ACLU said.

Late Friday afternoon, Planned Parenthood called Steve Davis to the stand. The senior adviser for health and family services was questioned about why he denied a second transport agreement from Planned Parenthood in January 2016 after they corrected everything the cabinet asked for.

Davis said he found out abortions had already been performed at the site and wanted more information.

"I feel real good," EMW attorney Don Cox said at the conclusion of the trial. "I think our witnesses were terrific. They [the state] dropped another expert today. They have one expert today. He didn't know anything about Louisville. All these cases are tough cases."

Governor Bevin's general counsel felt good as well.

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"Our case involves transfer agreements, which most states in the union have," Steve Pitt said. "It's been upheld by the six circuit Court of Appeals. If this case makes it back up to the six circuit, there might be a good case that whoever loses could ask the Supreme Court to hear the case."

The sides have 60 days to file their briefs. Attorneys expect a ruling around the end of the year.

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