Sunday, July 23, 2017

Protesters ramp up activity against state's only remaining abortion clinic, prompting national news coverage

Protesters at clinic (AP photo by Dylan Lovan)
The battles over Kentucky's only remaining abortion clinic have prompted national stories about the prospect that the state could become the only one with no place to get a legal abortion.

"Both sides in the abortion fight raging in Kentucky agree on one thing: The stakes are as high as ever," reports Bruce Schreiner, a Louisville-based writer for The Associated Press. He details Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's "licensing fight" with EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville and the start of organized protests there by Operation Save America, "a Christian fundamentalist group."

"The group's leaders state their purpose unequivocally: to rid Kentucky of its last abortion clinic," Schreiner reports. "Some of the group's followers were arrested during a protest outside EMW in the spring. The group has said it won't use those same tactics in the coming days, but a federal judge on Friday ordered the creation of a 'buffer zone' to keep protesters out of an area in front of the clinic. The pre-emptive move was requested by federal prosecutors to prevent protesters from blocking access to the surgical center."

Anna Werner of  CBS News reports that the group plans to protest at "other locations, including the doctors' homes." The clinic has been the scene of protests since soon after it opened in the early 1980s, but "We have never been under siege like this," Dr. Ernest Marshall, a co-founder of the clinic, told AP. "We have never had any question as to whether we would exist."

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