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Access to abortion after 15 weeks still effectively off limits in Kentucky, as clinic seeks clarification on recent ruling

Josh James

Abortion services at Kentucky's two remaining providers in Louisville resumed on April 22, following a federal judge's temporary order stopping recently passed reforms from taking effect. But women seeking abortions after 15 weeks are still without access.

While US District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings pressed pause on House Bill 3 — containing Kentucky's newest abortion restrictions — she did so because she agreed that Planned Parenthood needed more time to determine which new provisions clinics were able to comply with immediately.

But the state's other abortion provider, EMW Women's Surgical Center, was left unclear on whether the judge's ruling also halted a 15-week abortion ban included in the legislation.

The Courier Journalreports that, for now, EMW, is turning away patients who are 15 weeks pregnant or more while they await clarification on whether the judge's hold applies to that portion of the law. EMW is the only provider that offers abortions after 15 weeks in Kentucky.

A separate law bans the procedure at 20 weeks.

EMW tells the Journal that so far it's denied abortion services to at least 23 patients since the new abortion restrictions cleared the General Assembly.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.