The Latest: Trial ends in Kentucky abortion clinic case
Posted September 8
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Latest on a federal trial between Kentucky's last abortion clinic and Gov. Matt Bevin's administration (all times local):
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 Friday in federal court in Louisville. Attorneys will have 60 days to present post-trial briefs to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers. Stivers heard the case without a jury.
The case revolves around a licensing fight between the state and EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville. The clinic is challenging a Kentucky law requiring abortion facilities to have transfer agreements with a hospital and transportation agreements with an ambulance service.
ACLU attorney Brigitte Amiri says the state failed to offer a "shred of evidence" that transfer agreements protect patient safety.
The state's lead attorney, Steve Pitt, says the clinic didn't "come close" to meeting its burden of proof is asking that the law be struck down.
A federal trial that could determine whether Kentucky's last abortion clinic remains open is nearing a conclusion, but a ruling isn't expected for months.
The trial entered a third day on Friday as the state's legal team presented its case in defending a law being challenged by the clinic and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.
State law requires abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with a hospital.
Dr. Richard Hamilton, a professor of emergency medicine, testified that transfer agreements promote a "safe handoff" of patients between facilities and optimize patient safety.
During cross-examination, Hamilton said he was unaware of any academic studies showing that such agreements improve patient outcomes.
Instead of closing arguments, attorneys in the case will present post-trial briefs to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers within 60 days.