The Kentucky Court of Appeals granted on Wednesday the Bevin administration’s request to temporarily close a Lexington abortion clinic, reversing an earlier Fayette Circuit Court ruling.
The appellate court said EMW Women’s Clinic on Burt Road is “temporarily enjoined from operating an abortion facility” until it receives a license from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or until a final judgment is rendered in this case, whichever comes first.
The appellate court said it agreed with Bevin’s argument “that the circuit court’s findings and conclusions are clearly erroneous.”
“As the cabinet points out, this case is not about a woman’s right to an abortion,” the court said in its 24-page order. “The cabinet is not seeking to prevent women from obtaining abortions. It is seeking, however, to enforce its right to regulate the manner in which abortions are performed in this commonwealth.”
In March, Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone denied the state’s request for a temporary injunction to close the clinic.
The state claimed the lower court misinterpreted and misapplied relevant state laws and relied on unwarranted assumptions and facts that were not in the court record.
Scorsone said the state cabinet failed to present adequate evidence during a hearing that it eventually would prevail in the lawsuit or that allowing the clinic to remain open as the lawsuit proceeds would cause “irreparable injury.”
Scorsone also said closing the clinic would be against the public interest because it is the only physician’s office that routinely provides abortion services in the eastern half of Kentucky.
The state sued the clinic in early March, alleging that it lacked a required state license. The clinic stopped performing abortions March 9 pending a judge’s ruling, but said it would resume offering the procedure after Scorsone’s ruling.
The state has said the clinic performed more than 400 abortions in 2015.
So at this point, there's a very good chance that between this closing and the Planned Parenthood clinics in Cincinnati still in limbo, that the part of the country I live in may not have an abortion provider within 100 miles, thanks to Republican TRAP laws.
But it's not about "seeking to prevent women from obtaining abortions". No, it's never about that.