LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Testimony suggests a hospital lobbyist was warned by Governor Bevin's attorney not to enter into an agreement with an abortion clinic. The EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the last abortion clinic in Kentucky is suing to prevent closing down over state regulations connected to those agreements.
As testimony wrapped up on day two, a lobbyist for Kentucky One Health was on the stand.
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood revealed documents between the lobbyist and his client and text messages explaining it was implied to him that state funding cuts were in store if the hospital signed a transfer agreement with the abortion clinic. State regulations require the agreements for licensing.
Planned Parenthood's chair testified about a meeting in early 2016 in which officials with Kentucky One Health informed the group that the hospital would withdraw from a transfer agreement—something required by Kentucky regulators in order to obtain a permit to conduct abortions.
She claimed Kentucky One officials said they were concerned about some of their funding buckets, but those officials would not explain what was meant by that.
While attorneys for EMW and Planned Parenthood have suggested that the Bevin administration has pressured hospitals away from those agreements, this was the first direct testimony.
The governor's attorney is denying political motivation insisting that this case is to protect women's health.
"As we've said all along that argument is bogus. The testimony that has been presented in the courtroom is that there is absolutely no political or religious connotation here. This is a question about women's safety and health,” Attorney Stephen Pitt said.
The last testimony in this case including witnesses on the governor’s side are expected to testify on day three. The judge and tends to wrap the trial by tomorrow and he could take months for him to rule.
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