Third in the License to Abort Little Ones series
There is a little confusion in the Transfer Agreements term. Sometimes it is used in the singular and other times as plural. There are two agreements, one with a hospital and one with a local ambulance service.
It was brought out in the Kentucky Transfer Agreements (TA) trial in September 2017, that the crucial feature of any TA with a hospital is the “protocol for transferring medical records.” This was restated in an Appellant (Ky.) brief last October explaining to the Cincinnati Appellate Court why the TA case is far from being resolved.
Kentucky’s brief was in response to an ACLU brief stating that a new policy issued September 30, 2019, by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) eliminates the requirement for Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) to have
- doctors with admitting privileges on staff,
- a written transfer agreement with a hospital,
in order to participate in the Medicare program.
The CMS states that
- the enactment of EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) regulations, and
- the small number of transfers, and
- the burden that ASCs incur when faced with local hospital competition issues
are good reasons why no TA is needed.
They are banking on ‘911’ calls and city/county EMS to do the job.
This brings up a point: Abortion clinics in Kentucky are not required to be licensed as ASCs. Since they are not ASCs with more stringent hospital standards, the TAs are essential to the current licensure standards. Are we willing to say that Medicaid rules that key in on saving money and the low numbers of potential fatalities should define the new standard?
But, why not require that any Kentucky abortion clinic be licensed as an ASC? Isn’t abortion a surgical procedure? Yes, of course.
There are two types of surgical abortion: aspiration abortion and dilation and evacuation (D&E - dismemberment) abortion. Women up to 14 to 16 weeks pregnant can have an aspiration abortion (except for the baby’s skull which may need to be crushed before aspiration). D&E abortions are performed at 14 to 16 weeks or after.
Gov. Beshear has issued a license for PP to begin doing abortions in March. This is not legal unless PP has a TA which has not yet been publicized.
If they do not have a TA, they will be operating illegally.
So, why does the Guttmacher.org website which favors abortion, claim that the “Transfer Agreement with Hospital” requirement in Kentucky is permanently enjoined and is not in effect?
The LawAtlas.org site, which pulls data from the internet, states that Kentucky Law does require TAs.
Pro-lifers have reason to think positive: Two of the three judges on the panel were appointed by President Trump. At the hearing last August, KRLA staff and friends heard their questions and thought they seemed genuinely impartial and willing to consider the importance of safety for the aborted woman.
If the Appeals Court reverses the District Court decision, as it did for Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law last year, then PP will be required to get TAs, as will EMW, or the case may be appealed to SCOTUS.
Like the Ultrasound Law, the TA Law does not oppose abortion. The former requires that the woman be informed and the latter that she be protected in the event of an emergency.