Day one of EMW Women's Clinic trial

EMW Women's Clinic fighting to stay open

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Both sides are feeling confident at the end of day one of a trial being watched around the country. 

Day one saw the owner of the EMW Women's Surgical Center, Dr. Ernest Marshall, take the stand describing the frustration of trying to land transfer and transport agreements after the state changed its regulations. 

“That is the right of the legislature to pass acts that will protect the health and safety of women,” said an attorney for Governor Matt Bevin, Stephen Pitt. 

But Marshall claimed none of five Louisville area hospitals would sign on to the agreement which would be used in an emergency. 

He and other witnesses on his side claimed those agreements were not necessary anyhow.

The Louisville Metro Chief of Public Services, Doug Hamilton testified that regardless where a person calls 911 from, they are required to respond to any emergency, transport agreement or not.

EMW attorneys claim the governor is trying to regulate out abortion. 

“A transfer agreement is made up out of whole cloth in order to try to stop abortions in this,” said Don Cox, one of the attorneys for EMW. 

“It's about picking off abortion clinics one by one in the state basically doing what Governor Bevin has said he wants to do which is make abortion illegal in Kentucky,” explained Brigitte Amiri, also representing EMW.

But the real reason many across the country are watching this trial is that EMW is the last abortion provider in Kentucky, and if they lose this case they'll be closed for good.

Pitt told WHAS11 News that would not mean access to abortions would be completely blocked.

“That's just simply not true. There are 13 cities, 18 or 20 abortion clinics within 125 miles of the vast majority of most women in the Commonwealth.”

Both sides seemed confident with the first day in the courtroom and are preparing for day two.

“I think there are going to be some more Planned Parenthood witnesses on tomorrow and I think we're going to make a lot of progress,” said Cox.

The trial is expected to last at least three days and it could be months before the judge makes his decision.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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