Case currently before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Media Contact: Nicole Burton
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team, seeking to protect the health and well-being of Kentucky women, last week filed their brief in the ongoing Louisville abortion clinic transfer agreement case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
At issue is the constitutionality of a 1998 state law requiring abortion clinics to maintain transfer agreements with local acute care hospitals and transportation agreements with ambulance services, as safeguards in the event of medical complications. The Bevin Administration is appealing a previous U.S. District Court ruling in favor of EMW Women's Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., which declared these commonsense safety measures to be an undue burden on the right to an abortion.
"The [transfer agreement] statute and regulation do not constitute an undue burden on the right to an abortion," notes the brief by Gov. Bevin's legal team. "The Commonwealth has a valid interest in protecting the health and safety of abortion patients."
"The record shows that transfer and transportation agreements benefit patients. The only emergency medicine physician to testify in this case testified at length about the benefits of transfer agreements, and even the National Abortion Federation recommends that abortion facilities have such agreements. If the Commonwealth cannot enact such beneficial requirements, then it is not clear what it can do to protect the health and safety of abortion patients."
Over the past three years, Gov. Bevin has worked with the General Assembly to enact several vital pieces of pro-life legislation, including:
- SB 4 (2016) – requiring informed consent (in-person or via real-time video)
- SB 5 (2017) – protecting children after 20 weeks of gestation
- HB 2 (2017) – requiring an ultrasound be shown to the mother before a pregnancy is terminated
- HB 454 (2018) – banning gruesome practice of live dismemberment abortion
In addition to the transfer agreement case, Gov. Bevin's legal team is also defending the Commonwealth against court challenges to the ultrasound law (HB 2) and the live dismemberment abortion ban (HB 454).
To download a copy of the Bevin Administration's filing in the transfer agreement case, click here.