One of two abortion clinics in Kentucky to close January 27

By Dave Andrusko

When last we posted on the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, one of two clinics in Kentucky that performs abortions, the Kentucky Supreme Court had just upheld the decision of a unanimous Court of Appeals panel to reverse Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone’s decision to allow EMW-Lexington to remain open.

The clinic then closed and a follow up appeal to re-open the clinic was denied by the state Supreme Court in August 2016.

Now, posting on Facebook, the Kentucky chapter of the National Organization for Women says the abortion clinic will close effective January 27. NOW called it “a permanent casualty of Kentucky’s governor, Matt Bevin.”

Reporter Cheryl Truman of the Lexington Herald-Leader, explained the backdrop:

The clinic’s troubles centered on whether the clinic required a license; state law requires that a full-time abortion clinic be licensed.

In February 2016, the state received an anonymous complaint about the clinic, saying it solely provided abortions. Two state inspectors found the clinic was unlicensed and found what they termed unsanitary conditions, such as dust on equipment.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services filed suit for a temporary injunction to stop the clinic from performing abortions until it was licensed.

Actually what the inspectors found went far beyond “dust on equipment.” The inspectors noted “several unsafe and unsanitary conditions” during their visit, according to Jack Brammer of the Herald-Leader:

Those included multiple cuts in the tape covering the bottom portion of a procedure table that could breed bacteria; multiple expired medicines, or medicines that had no labels or expiration dates; and dust, dirt and grime on numerous plastic bags and a portable oxygen tank.

“Observation of the area for cleaning instruments revealed similarly filthy conditions,” the lawsuit [filed by the state] says.

In addition to the unsanitary conditions and whether EMW was, in fact, a full-time abortion clinic, Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, secretary of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said the EMW clinic “was operating without the required ‘transfer agreement’ with an ambulance service to take patients to a hospital in the event of an emergency,” according to reporter Deborah Yetter.