Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined 20 fellow attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of a Kentucky abortion provider.
EMW Women’s Surgical Center is Kentucky’s only licensed abortion facility, but in 2017 the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services informed the clinic that it had violated state law and its license was incorrectly renewed.
The abortion provider was later informed that its transfer agreements with a hospital and ambulance company were “deficient,” but the District Court for the Western District of Kentucky found that these agreements imposed an undue burden on women seeking abortions.
Last month, Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services appealed the lower court’s decision in federal court. Since EMW Women’s Surgical Center is currently the state’s only abortion provider, women seeking abortions would have to travel to a neighboring state.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford filed an amicus brief in support of the Kentucky abortion clinic, and was later joined by 20 fellow attorneys general, including Ellison.
According to a press release from Ellison’s office, the brief argues that “the availability of abortion services in neighboring states does not excuse a state from the Constitution’s prohibition on unduly burdening a woman’s ability to access abortion services in her home state.”
Additionally, the amicus brief suggests that “allowing any state to limit reproductive-health services by relying on neighboring states to provide them would have unintended consequences and harm neighboring states.”
“What happens to the women of Kentucky matters to the women of Minnesota,” Ellison said of the case. “Protecting access to comprehensive and affordable reproductive-health services as close to home as possible is one way we help women afford their lives and live with dignity and respect. I joined this coalition because the potential implications on the women of Minnesota, and all Minnesotans, are disruptive and dangerous.”
In March, Ellison joined a multi-state lawsuit against the Trump administration over its revisions to the Title X family-planning grant program, as The Minnesota Sun reported.
The U.S. Department of Health announced in late February that the Title X program would require “clear financial and physical separation between Title X funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning.”
“Title X programs improved the health and lives of more than 55,000 Minnesotans in 2017,” Ellison said in March. “Now the Trump administration is illegally trying to gag providers from offering women medically-sound, unbiased, and affordable healthcare, which will impose burdens on everyone in our state, especially Greater Minnesota.”
– – –