Key health care regulator takes stand in EMW trial

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Day two’s testimony focused on members of the Kentucky Inspector General's office with attorneys for EMW the ACLU and Planned Parenthood questioning who was behind decisions to deny the clinic licenses in agreements for Planned Parenthood and EMW. [See Day One here.]

Planned Parenthood's chair described 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.

Planned Parenthood would stop the practice after conducting 23 abortions before learning that their license was not officially valid. 

Their side has argued that if EMW is to close, women in Kentucky will be forced to go out of state to seek an abortion.

Inspector General Robert Silverthorn testified about mapping information he looked up showing most major population centers in Kentucky are within 150 road miles from an out-of-state abortion clinic. 

Some in the gallery groaned when he testified that he asked women in his office to call those out of state abortion clinics for information because he thought those clinics would be more upfront giving information to female voices. 

The trial is getting national attention because at stake is whether those transport and transfer agreements are upheld as needed. If so, EMW the final Kentucky abortion clinic will close.  EMW has had difficulties finding partners for those agreements.

While they and Planned Parenthood have suggested that the Bevin administration has pressured hospitals away from those agreements.

UPDATE:

Testimony suggests a hospital lobbyist was warned by Governor Bevin's attorney not to enter into an agreement with an abortion clinic.

Read more on the lobbyist's testimony on day two of the trial here

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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