The abortion facility was declared “unsanitary” and closed down, but a judge says, “closing the clinic is against the public interest.” While state health inspectors described the facility as “filthy,” according to The Global Dispatch, Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone decided abortions would go on.
Scorsone’s ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. In January Bevin sent a letter to Planned Parenthood citing its lack of paperwork showing it has met the requirements to operate as an abortion facility. The Governor said it was knowingly running an illegal abortion facility and ordered Planned Parenthood to stop performing abortions.
A month later, Bevin sued Planned Parenthood for committing those illegal abortions. And then Bevin’s office also sued the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, saying it was also committing abortions illegally. The Courier-Journal reports:
The lawsuit said the cabinet’s Office of Inspector General visited the EMW clinic on Feb. 17 after receiving an anonymous complaint. It said inspectors found poor conditions including dust and grime in patient areas and expired or improperly stored medications.
It also said the clinic was operating as a physician’s office when it should have been licensed as an abortion clinic.
However, the attorney for EMW, Scott White, said, “If you do a procedure in a doctor’s office, you shouldn’t have to have one.”
Kentucky requires that abortion facilities be licensed.
White added, “It’s insulting. It’s a legal procedure.”
So is heart surgery, but it’s not performed in a filthy facility that could injure women with its improper, unsanitary conditions. That’s what state health officials testified in the hearing, but the judge still deemed leaving the filthy and unsanitary facility open to perform abortions was in the public interest because, as the judge wrote:
EMW is the only physician’s office that routinely provides abortion services in the Eastern half of the state, and both parties agree that a right to an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy is constitutionally protected. Closing EMW would have a severe, adverse impact on the women in the Eastern part of the state.
Being given medication that expired in 1997, or having an abortion procedure on an improperly sanitized table, or having ““cleaning instruments [that] revealed similarly filthy conditions ,” has a much more severe, adverse effect on women. But that isn’t something Judge Scorsone was willing to consider.