Protect Our Rights

We Need You to Stand With Us Now

ACLU of Kentucky

ACLU Challenges Imminent Closure of Kentucky’s Last Abortion Clinic

***Breaking (3/31/17, 2PM) A Judge has GRANTED a temporary restraining order, blocking the state from shutting down EMW Women’s Surgical Center***

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the imminent closure of Kentucky’s last abortion clinic.

The ACLU and attorneys at Lynch, Cox, Gilman & Goodman P.S.C. filed the federal lawsuit aimed at blocking unnecessary and unconstitutional state laws. In a letter earlier this month, the state threatened to revoke the license of EMW Women’s Surgical Center. The letter alleged that the clinic’s agreements with a hospital and ambulance service contained technical deficiencies, even though the state approved those same agreements last year in renewing EMW’s license. 

“The state’s bureaucratic sleight of hand is fooling no one. This is an attempt to ban abortion in Kentucky, plain and simple. We are fighting to keep this from happening,” said Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

The law that Kentucky is using to attempt to shut down the clinic is very similar to Texas laws that the Supreme Court recently struck down in June in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In that case, the court held that requiring business arrangements with a hospital served no medical purpose and instead posed real harm to women.

The ACLU also represents the clinic in a challenge to a state law that requires doctors to display, and narrate in detail, an ultrasound to a woman prior to providing an abortion procedure, even if the woman objects and even if the doctor believes that it will harm the patient. A hearing in that case was held last week.

“With just one clinic to care for the women in need of abortion services, the forced closure of EMW will have devastating consequences for women in Kentucky. The state is hiding behind sham justifications when its true intent is to shut down this clinic and prevent a woman from making a real decision about her pregnancy,” said attorney Don Cox.

Click here to read a copy of the complaint