Kentucky abortion clinics do not need to have written agreements with an ambulance service and hospital for patient care in the event of an emergency, because such restrictions are unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers undercuts Gov. Matt Bevin’s efforts to eliminate legal abortion in the state.
Abortion providers argued Bevin “was using the law unfairly to try to shut down the state’s only abortion clinic and block another from opening,” reports Deborah Yetter of the Louisville Courier Journal. “The ruling involves a 1998 state law requiring abortion clinics to have so-called ‘transfer’ agreements with an ambulance service and hospital in the event of a medical emergency at the clinic, a provision opponents argued was unnecessary but one that lawyers for Bevin said is necessary for patient safety.”