Kentucky's only abortion clinic fights to stay in business

Abortion showdown in Federal Court

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Today, the court heard from two OB/GYN professors and the owner of EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville. All took the side that transfer or transport agreements are not needed.

These agreements are between clinics and hospitals or clinics in an ambulance service in case of an emergency. 

But one witness admitted under oath she did not understand what a transfer agreement is.

Attorneys for EMW the ACLU and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky argue those agreements create an undue burden on women seeking abortions. 

Attorneys for Governor Matt Bevin argue this case is not about limiting the right to have an abortion rather a state right to regulate abortion clinics in order to protect a woman's health.

The key witness of the day was the clinic owner Dr. Ernest Marshall who claimed medical complications resulting from an abortion or rare and his clinic only one in 2000 patients suffered complications. 

Dr. Marshall estimated his Louisville clinic performed 3000 abortions per year. He described frustration trying to get any of five Louisville area hospitals to sign a transfer agreement after state regulations changed.

On cross-examination, the doctor treated tense moments with an attorney for the state, with the doctor saying of the agreements, "When I have a patient who is bleeding to death, I don't need a piece of paper to tell me what to do! I've been trained what to do!"

The head of Louisville EMS testified late this afternoon that regardless where a person calls 911 they are required to respond to any emergency.

BMWs attorneys have suggested throughout the day during opening arguments and exchanges with witnesses that calling 911 in an emergency is the quickest way to get an ambulance to the clinic. 

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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