Kentucky potentially could become the first state without any abortion providers. The last remaining location, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, is struggling to satisfy legal requirements that Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin is actively enforcing. If the jury decides to go along with the state, the location may be forced to close.
Under current state law, abortion providers are required to have transfer agreements with a hospital in the event of a mess-up or any other medical emergencies. EMW Women’s Surgical Center has sued Governor Bevin after it received a notice from officials that their current abortion license violated state standards. A federal judge granted the clinic a temporary order to stay open until further conversations could be had with the judge.
If EMW Women’s Surgical Center is forced to shut down for not complying with state standards, this does not mean that Kentucky would be absolutely abortion free. Current Kentucky law permits licensed hospitals to perform abortions without being separately licensed as an abortion facilities. Additionally, Kentucky women could also get to abortions at nearby facilities across state lines. However, it’s closure would mark a huge step in the right direction.
EMW Women’s Surgical Center has been struggling to perform satisfactorily in the eyes of state regulators since March.
Rusty Thomas, the director of Operation Save America told Western Journalism: “Kentucky literally stands on the verge of making redemptive history… It could be the first surgically abortion-free state in the United States of America.”
According to Live Action, Steve Pitt, an attorney for the state, told the court on Wednesday that the state showed interest in protecting women’s health, and is pursuing the enforcement of a 20-year-old law.
Pitt said: “The governor and the secretary of the cabinet are attempting to enforce the law that requires – for the safety of women – for abortion providers to have transfer agreements with hospitals, every state in this area has those statutes.”
Conservative states across the nation have enacted new rules and regulations that have made it more difficult for abortion facilities to continue operating. Kentucky is just one of seven states that also include North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, Wyoming and West Virginia, that only having one abortion facility currently in operation.