LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has filed emergency regulations that some abortion providers say are designed to shut them down.

The Courier-Journal reports the Kentucky Health and Family Services Cabinet filed the regulations June 15. They took effect immediately because they were filed as an emergency.

State law requires abortion clinics to have agreements with hospitals and ambulance services to transfer patients in case of a medical emergency. The new regulations say those agreements have to be a legal contract with a hospital within a 20-minute drive of the clinic.

Documents filed with the regulations say they are needed to “minimize risks” in an emergency.

“The e-reg simply establishes written standards for transfer agreements so that facilities will have even more certainty as to what the law requires of them,” Health and Family Services Cabinet spokesman Doug Hogan said.

But Donald Cox, an attorney for the only abortion clinic operating in Kentucky, says the regulations are designed to shut it down.

“It’s my view that these are illegal,” said Cox, who represents EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

The Bevin administration tried to shut EMW down earlier this year. EMW sued in federal court, and the Bevin administration agreed to renew the clinic’s license until after the lawsuit was resolved.

Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana is also seeking a license to perform abortions at its clinic in Louisville. Attorney Karen G. Johnson-McKewan said there is no emergency requiring these new regulations.

“This is just an after-the-fact justification of these actions they’re taking against abortion facilities in Kentucky,” she said. “There is no medical reason for this. There is no public safety reason for this.”


Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com