Written by Samantha Lowe
Born and raised in Kentucky, I have seen how difficult it is to persuade the population on the necessity of in school and community based health education, where 25.2% of adults smoke cigarettes, with the national rate ranging from 9.3% to 26.5% across all states. Overall, Kentuckians tend to be less concerned with their health.
Kentucky residents were large beneficiaries of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, but this did not change residents understanding of its' worth. Kentuckians then proceeded to keep red state traditions alive and vote for a president who promised to replace the system. And, in 2015 the population voted in a Governor, Matt Bevin, who allows his conservative religious views to influence policy. Unfortunately, these decisions are beginning to elicit change, but not in the best interest of Kentuckians. Governor Bevin has described himself as “unapologetically pro-life” and is attempting to make Kentucky the first state to have residents without access to abortion services.
In the past year, the Bevin administration has impacted services offered to the community at two out of only three places in the state to receive women's reproductive healthcare. Planned Parenthood in Louisville no longer offers surgical services, while the administration forced theEMW Women's Clinic in Lexington to completely close its doors to the community. Governor Bevin then ordered the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, KY (the last clinic available in the state to receive abortion services) to close on April 3rd, 2017. Thankfully the ACLU and the EMW Surgical Center sued on the basis that the closure "will have a devastating impact on Kentucky women", while the ACLU has called the attempted action "an attempt to ban abortion in Kentucky." The clinic was granted the ability to stay open, but the fight for its longevity is not over. With two anti-abortion clinics on the same block the EMW Women's clinic in Louisville, KY has seen a lot of action, with volunteers lining up in orange vests to protect patients from harassment to protestors wearing the same vest attempting to redirect women into one of the pro-life clinics. The clinic has become the last battle ground for women's reproductive rights in the state.
Cairn Guidance believes that access to care, services and information is essential to all Americans.
As the clinics license is up for reevaluation in May, the next few months are pivotal times of support. If you are interested in expressing your voice please follow the link below:
Contact Matt Bevin here.