A battle to close down Kentucky's last abortion clinic by Governor Matt Bevin's administration has spilled over to the corridors of justice. Bevin, who is a self-proclaimed pro-life supporter, claims the clinic; EMW Women's Surgical Centre, does not have a state required agreement with a hospital and ambulance service in case of an emergency.

The clinic which is based in downtown Louisville, on the other hand, wants the court to do away with the regulations, terming them as unconstitutional, unnecessary and a barrier to abortion.

Claims and counter claims

The legal showdown began on Wednesday with the main focus being that the clinic does not have an agreement with a hospital and Ambulance Service provider. This is meant to cater for any emergencies that may occur at the hospital and is a federal law which the State Of Kentucky says must be adhered to.

The clinic in a rejoinder, says that it has had an agreement for years which is on file with a hospital and ambulance service, but the state told them, with no prior notice, that the agreement was not sufficient.

EMW clinic is thus seeking an injunction to stop the state of Kentucky from closing its doors. The clinic claims such action would deny the women of Kentucky access to a crucial and constitutionally protected service.

The Bevin administration countered the above argument by the clinic in court by saying, that the required agreement was meant to safeguard women's health care.


The trial, which is expected to last between 2-3 days will be heard and determined by a US District Judge in Louisville. This is not the first time though that Bevin's administration and EMW clinic are fighting it out in court.

Earlier this year, the clinic was forced to file a suit to compel the state to stop revoking its license. The court ruled in the clinic's favor, but despite the ruling, the Kentucky administration has continued to push for the clinic's closure.


In defending the state's actions, a spokeswoman for Governor Bevin said that the safety measures put in place should be followed by all stakeholders.

In 2016, a Lexington clinic was shut down after a similar court battle in which the state won.

Abortion right groups say that access to abortion has been on the decline especially in rural areas and Kentucky is one of only seven states, which has only a single clinic left.

In a 2016 ruling concerning abortion in Texas, the Supreme court ruled that access to abortion must be guaranteed and is a women's right. What is not clear is, if closing down all clinics in one state is a violation of that ruling.