The Kentucky House Judiciary committee has approved a bill banning a certain type of abortion procedure after about 11 weeks. The measure now goes on to the full House for a vote.


The procedure some lawmakers want to prohibit is called dilation and evacuation. It involves removing the fetus using suction and surgical tools which some lawmakers say is brutal. The Courier Journal reports the legislation would ban abortions that result in the bodily dismemberment or crushing of a fetus that is 11 weeks old or more, except in medical emergencies. Republican senator Addia Wuchner of Florence supports the bill.

Mary Meehan

A small gaggle of reporters points their microphones at reproductive rights activist Marcie Crim as she bluntly decries  the shrinking access to abortion in the region. Crim stands just a few feet from the open door of the office of Governor Matt Bevin near the Capitol rotunda.

Crim and Bevin may be physically close in this situation, but they could not be further apart on the issue. They personify the opposing poles of the decades-old debate surrounding abortion.

Kentucky's Abortion Law Struck Down by Federal Court

Sep 28, 2017
Creative Commons

Kentucky's law requiring doctors to conduct an ultrasound exam before an abortion and then try to show fetal images as well as play the fetal heartbeat to the pregnant woman has been struck down by a federal court.

Judge David J. Hale said in the one-page ruling Wednesday night that the law violates the First Amendment rights of physicians.

The ACLU said in a statement that the court recognized that the law "appears to inflict psychological harm on abortion patients," and causes them to "experience distress as a result."

Lisa Gillespie

Testimony has ended in a federal trial that could decide whether Kentucky becomes the nation's first state without an abortion facility. The three-day trial ended today in federal court in Louisville. Attorneys will have 60 days to present post-trial briefs to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers, who heard the case without a jury.


The case revolves around a licensing fight between the state and E-M-W Women's Surgical Center in Louisville.

Lawyers for Kentucky’s only abortion clinic and Planned Parenthood on Thursday grilled a state official during the second day of a licensing battle taking place in federal court.

Robert Silverthorn, the inspector general for Kentucky’s health cabinet, defended the state’s aggressive enforcement of transfer agreements — contracts that abortion providers are required to make with a hospital and ambulance service.

Silverthorn said that the agreements ensure that emergency responders and hospitals are acquainted with an abortion clinic’s features.

Lisa Gillespie

Lawyers representing Kentucky’s only abortion provider squared off against Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team in federal court Wednesday amid a licensing battle that will determine if the state becomes the first in the nation without an abortion provider.

Bevin’s lawyer told a federal court that if EMW Women’s Surgical Center is shut down, abortion seekers could go to surrounding states to get the procedure.

Kentucky is down to only one clinic that performs abortions: the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville. A trial kicking off Wednesday morning in federal court in Louisville will decide whether Kentucky will become the only state without a single such clinic.

Kentucky's Last Abortion Clinic to Face Off Against Governor

Sep 5, 2017

Its survival on the line, Kentucky's last abortion clinic is bracing for a pivotal legal showdown with health regulators and the state's anti-abortion governor that could determine whether Kentucky becomes the first state in the nation without an abortion clinic.

The licensing fight, set to play out in a Louisville federal courtroom starting Wednesday, revolves around a state law requiring that EMW Women's Surgical Center have agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service in the event of medical emergencies involving patients.

Court Documents Claim Bevin Used Pressure To Block License

Sep 2, 2017
Jacob Ryan

A Planned Parenthood group says it uncovered documents showing Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration used “fear and intimidation” to block it from getting a state license to provide abortions in Kentucky’s largest city.

The allegations by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky — that political pressure kept it from getting approval to provide abortions in Louisville — surfaced in court briefs related to a lawsuit challenging the state’s licensing of abortion clinics.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Sean T. Evans

The new management of the University of Louisville Hospital is considering two local clinics' request for transfer agreements the state says they need to provide abortions.

The Courier-Journal reports hospital CEO Ken Marshall told members of the University Medical Center board Tuesday that Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc. and EMW Women's Surgical Center have requested agreements to transfer patients to the hospital in an emergency.

Rick Howlett

An anti-abortion group has dropped its challenge of a federal restraining order that keeps it from blocking the entrance to the only clinic still performing abortions in Kentucky.

Last week, a federal judge established a buffer zone to prevent protesters from assembling in front of Louisville’s EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

The group Operation Save America is holding anti-abortion protests at the clinic this week as part of its conference in Louisville.

Operation Save America had argued that the buffer zone was heavy handed and kept protesters from exercising their free-speech rights.

Lisa Gillespie

It was surprisingly quiet outside of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville Saturday.

Hundreds of anti-abortion activists were expected in front of Kentucky’s last remaining abortion clinic Saturday as far-right fundamentalist Christian group Operation Save America began its weeklong conference with the stated goal of shutting down the clinic. U.S. District Judge David Hale granted a temporary restraining order on Friday establishing a buffer zone around the clinic to keep protesters from blocking its entrance.

Kentucky’s last abortion clinic — EMW Women’s Surgical Center in downtown Louisville — is at the center of protests and public hearings that begin this week. Operation Save America, a far-right religious group, is coming to Louisville this weekend to kickoff a week-long conference.

In preparation, the city is holding a hearing Wednesday on creating a buffer zone that would limit anti-abortion protesters from coming into close contact with people going into the clinic.


Ahead of a large planned protest outside the EMW Women’s Surgical Center downtown, the Metro Council will continue debating the creation of a buffer zone that would block protesters from coming into close contact with women entering for abortions and their escorts.

Other cities such as Chicago, Portland, San Francisco and Phoenix have buffer zones, which usually include an 8-to-15-foot zone protesters are barred from entering. Three cities have bubble zones, which include several feet of space around a clinic patient, provider or escort walking patients inside.

Creative Commons

A federal judge sounded skeptical of a new Indiana abortion law Tuesday while hearing a request to block parts of the law that will make it tougher for girls under age 18 to get an abortion without their parents' knowledge.

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker heard arguments on a preliminary injunction being sought by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

The groups sued Indiana officials on May 18, seeking to block some provisions of the new law, and saying they would create "an unconstitutional undue burden on unemancipated minors."