>> This is Kentucky's last remaining abortion clinic and its future hangs in the balance Wednesday. A three day trial kicking off in Louisville in which the state will argue that EMW Women's Surgical Center does not have proper state required connections to hospitals and ambulance services and should therefore shut down, which would make Kentucky the first state in the nation without an abortion provider.
The clinic, which is the site of almost daily protests, says the state regulations are unnecessary and create an unconstitutional barrier to abortion. Arguing that hospitals are already legally bound to accept emergency patients, and that local EMS services will willingly transport them. EMW has filed a lawsuit to stop the state from revoking its license.
Reuters reporter, Chris Kenning.>> There's a real concern out there about the number of states with dwindling numbers of abortion providers. Kentucky is one of seven that has only one provider left after the state succeeded in shutting down another clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. So there's a lot of attention on this case, and the stakes are pretty high.
>> Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who calls himself quote, unapologetically pro-life, is one of many Republican governors who have continued to tighten regulations on abortion clinics. State legislatures enacted 41 new abortion restrictions in the first half of 2017. Pro-choice groups say that has reduced access to abortion services, particularly in rural areas of the south and Midwest.
The court case could test interpretations of last year's US Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of a Texas law that required clinics to meet hospital like standards. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky have joined the clinic's lawsuit and the American Civil Liberties Union is providing legal assistance.