Battle Lines Outside the Door of the Last Abortion Clinic in Kentucky

In Healthcare, WOMEN'S ISSUES -- articles only On

“We used to have people who lived in Bowling Green; the Nashville clinic was closer than Louisville,” said Patricia Canon, who volunteers with the Kentucky Health Justice Network, a nonprofit that helps women pay for abortions and transports them to clinics. “But then Tennessee decided to enact a 48-hour, in-person waiting period. That means two trips, two days.”

Yet until recently, advocates hoped abortion services would expand in Kentucky.

When Mr. Bevin’s Democratic predecessor, Gov. Steve Beshear, was in office, Planned Parenthood built a new health care center in Louisville. After Mr. Bevin became governor, the center briefly offered abortions, following standard state procedures to obtain a license, said Tamarra Wieder, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood here.

The Bevin administration promptly sued, claiming the center was performing abortions illegally. A judge dismissed the case, but the state appealed. So while the Planned Parenthood center is open and offers an array of reproductive health services, it is obeying the state’s “cease and desist” order not to perform abortions.

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