The controversy over Kentucky’s only abortion clinic continues to draw national attention. The latest development is that Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General filed a 'friend of the court' brief on April 4, supported by 21 attorneys general from across the U.S. in the effort to keep the clinic open.
The filing is related to a regulation requiring a 'transfer and transport agreement' that would have necessitated the EMW Women’s Surgical Clinic in Louisville have an agreement with an ambulance service to 'transport' a patient to a hospital in case of an emergency. A 'transfer' agreement would mean a hospital agreed to treat a patient of the EMW Clinic who shows up at an emergency room.
Republican Governor Matt Bevin, who is opposed to abortion, used that requirement in an effort to shut down the clinic, claiming the EMW Clinic did not adequately meet transport and transfer agreement regulations, something he says is necessary to protect women’s health.
U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers found the transfer and transport regulation unconstitutional. A spokesperson for the ACLU of Kentucky, which represents the clinic, said when a patient calls 911 emergency responders are required to transport the person and emergency rooms are required to treat a person who shows up. So the ACLU said Stivers’ decision confirmed their view.
Governor Bevin appealed the Stivers decision to the U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals.
Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear filed the 'friend of the court' brief in the 6th District asking that Judge Stivers’ decision be upheld.