BREAKING: Louisville Metro installs Safety Zone outside of Kentucky's only independent abortion clinic
On May 20, 2021 the Louisville Safety Zone coalition celebrated the passage of a buffer zone law after years of work. The 14-11 vote created a common sense and constitutional law which establishes a narrow path for people entering and exiting the healthcare facility while preserving protester's rights to free speech and assembly.
After a failed attempt to prevent the zone from going into effect by local sidewalk bullies, the lines were painted today, and public safety advocates are breathing a small sigh of relief while remembering that our work is not finished until abortions are accessible on demand regardless of anyone's zip code, or economic status.
Louisville Safety Zone Coalition members are: Kentucky Health Justice Network; EMW Women's Surgical Center; Louisville Clinic Escorts; Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates East; Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Primary Sponsor, Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D8) said "These simple lines will make a big impact on people's ability to access healthcare safely. I am thankful to all of those that have helped advocate for a safety zone. It is an honor to stand with you in support of patient dignity and safety."
September 10, 2021
For immediate release -
On Sunday 9/12/21 at 4pm, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett will attend an event with Mitch McConnell in downtown Louisville.
Locals will meet at 3pm to march along Broadway & 4th street to deliver a clear message for the powerful pair:
All communities need safe, affordable, and accessible abortions. Denying individuals and families reproductive freedom is an assault on our communities and we refuse to give up this fight.
During a pandemic, we should be fighting to be healthy and safe - not against one another and definitely not against our reproductive choices.
It is a reproductive injustice to sideline housing support, food security and accessible medicines during this time to focus on abortion bans! Cancel Rent and provide safe housing to prove you're prolife! Support reproductive justice now!
Advocates for reproductive rights across the country are fiercely vigilant and skeptical, wondering whether Justice Barrett's judicial legacy will promote the rule of law or pay back political deals struck behind closed doors in a court that is also increasingly working in the shadows.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates is deeply concerned that similar legislation will be introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly. The lengths that the Texas legislature has gone is unprecedented, dangerous and overwhelmingly harms Black and Latinx people, people with low incomes, and people in rural areas, who already face immense barriers to health care access. This is not the future we want for Kentucky.
Justice Barrett needs to hear Kentuckians saying, loud and clear, that the new Texas law is WRONG -- wrong for Texans, wrong for Kentuckians and women around the country. The Supreme Court needs to pull their heads out of the sand and protect our right to control our own reproductive lives.
Louisville Safety Zone Advocates’ Statements on LMPD Refusal to Discipline Armed, Uniformed Officer Who Protested Outside Abortion Clinic
Regarding the breaking news that the Louisville Metro Police Department won’t pursue action against a uniformed, armed police officer who protested outside an abortion clinic, Dr. Ernest Marshall and Marshall, owners of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, and the advocacy group Kentucky Health Justice Network released the following statements.
Statement from Dr. Ernest Marshall and Ona Marshall, owners of the EMW Surgical Center:
“Disregard for current laws -- including noise, harassment, assault, and trespassing codes -- has contributed to a dangerous environment on the streets surrounding the EMW clinic. The Metro Council and the people of Louisville have spoken by passing a Safety Zone to protect access to the EMW clinic. It’s time for LMPD to take the public safety risks on the sidewalk seriously, follow the law, and do their job to ensure safety, not encourage more harm to Louisville residents and all who come here for care. Everyone deserves equitable enforcement of the law and not holding this officer accountable for breaches of policy does not instill public confidence in LMPD for any citizen or situation in the Louisville community.”
Statement from the Kentucky Health Justice Network:
“Kentucky Health Justice Network is frustrated and disappointed that LMPD has chosen to endorse participation in anti-abortion activities by an armed, uniformed LMPD officer, who parked an official LMPD vehicle in the front of the clinic.
The LMPD’s failure to hold this officer accountable defies its claims that ‘for a cop, there’s no such thing as off-duty.’ Instead of upholding their oath to serve and protect they have chosen to allow more harm, contributing to ongoing obstruction, harassment, and assaults on our sidewalks. If sworn officers of the law will not enforce public safety policies, who will? This is a question we have been asking ourselves for some time now. The Department of Justice, currently investigating the LMPD for misconduct, will ask the same question.
It’s time that the LMPD be true partners in creating safer roads, sidewalks, and communities in Louisville. When the zone is established, LMPD needs to recognize and follow the law.”
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The KHJN Support Fund Coordinator supports our Practical Support & Abortion Funding direct service program.
Deadline to apply: April 9, 2021
Projected start date: May 10, 2021
Position type: Part Time (20-25 hours per week)
Salary: $20 per hour
Benefits: $50 monthly cell phone stipend
Location: Remote work option. Preference for a resident of Kentuckiana. Employee must be able to travel to Louisville KY 2-4 times per year.
Schedule: Flexible hours; some co-working hours required
Reports to: Support Fund Director
KHJN supports Kentuckians towards achieving autonomy in our lives and justice for our communities. We advocate, educate, and provide direct services to ensure all Kentucky communities and individuals have power, access, and resources to be healthy and have agency over our lives.
KHJN’s Abortion Support Fund is a Caller Facing Practical Support Abortion Fund. This staff supported, volunteer powered direct support program provides our Abortion Support Fund callers with accompaniment, funding, transportation, lodging and more.
TO APPLY: Submit a one-page cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “SF Coordinator” in the subject line.
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a devastating loss to everyone dedicated to human and reproductive rights. It's easy to create many scenarios in our minds on how her passing could be the end of Roe v. Wade but the truth is, we could have lost that with her still alive because if abortion isn't accessible, legal doesn't mean much if you can't get to the clinic.
As long as our metaphorical doors are open we are dedicated to continuing to make abortion access, truly accessible, to making sure our trans friends and family members are uplifted and supported and that folks seeking any form of reproductive healthcare are able to access that care.
This weekend we grieved, today we fight.
Kentucky Health Justice Network
“Justice is not achieved by trespassing on private property,” said KY’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday, July 14. This response followed the arrest of 87 protesters, who were demonstrating in front of Cameron’s home as part of the demands for the release of the long-awaited investigation into the wrongful-death of Breonna Taylor.
According to WHAS 11, the protesters were removed, arrested, and temporarily charged with felonies per the Attorney General’s request. On Friday, July 17, all felony charges to the protesters were dropped. This happened nearly two months after right-wing protesters hung Governor Andy Beshear in effigy, and demonstrated at the Governor’s house as an attempt to reopen the economy, enacting a very small police response. It also follows decades-long protests at Louisville’s independent abortion clinc, EMW Women’s Surgical Center.
The Black Lives Matter protesters are outraged by centuries of oppression to the Black community that has been manufactured by public systems. Following Breonna Taylor’s wrongful death by the hands of LMPD, and in conjunction with the response to George Floyd’s murder, protesters took to the streets to demand an end to sanctioned violence by the hands of the police.
After over a month of protests, two out of the three murderers that killed Breonna Taylor are still employed by the LMPD. In late- May, Mayor Greg Fischer turned over the Breonna Taylor investigation to Attorney General Daniel Cameron after Jefferson County Attorney, Mike O’Connell, recused himself from the case. Attorney General Cameron has not made the findings from the investigation public.
Protesters occupied Cameron’s front yard to demand the release of the Breonna Taylor investigation. It didn’t take long for 87 protesters to be removed from the property and arrested. To abortion clinic staff, escorts, and advocates; the response to this protest activity is baffling when considering the dangerous and violent environment posed outside of the clinic.
During the state-wide shut downs due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases, as many as 63 protesters crowded the sidewalk of EMW Women’s Surgical Center. Many people reported this crowd to Metro 311, in fear that patients may risk exposure to COVID-19. No action was taken by the police or any city official to disperse the crowd, or mandate social distancing practices take place among the protesters.
In Louisville, anti- abortion protesters regularly stalk, harass, and trespass on private property during hours of business. Patients are forced to face a traumatic experience and invasion of their privacy as they visit their doctor. On some days, LMPD cruisers are parked across the street, and sometimes around the corner, but even with their presence, they regularly ignore anti abortion protesters when they trespass, stalk, harass with contact, and more. There have been very few times where anti-abortion protesters have been arrested, where they are apprehended in a very gently by LMPD.
Furthermore, the gross negligence of the LMPD in front of EMW furthers more trauma and violence inflicted to patients, with a lot of that occurring because the anti- abortion protesters are trespassing on private property.
In response to the Attorney General’s position on protecting private party: where is that same consideration to the abortion clinic?
Certainly I am not advocating for the protesters at the clinic to be hauled away to an already overcrowded jail like the protesters at Cameron’s home were; but, it is extremely clear that the attitude towards these two different protests are staunchly different.
While protests addressing violence and brutality to Black and brown folks are met with militarized police in riot gear, tear gas, and pepper bullets: anti-abortion protesters continue business-as-usual unless something egregious enough happens to garner some response from LMPD.
Does the Attorney General believe that private property has tiers of importance to justify swift police intervention?
Where was that consideration when LMPD trespassed Breonna Taylor’s property, entered her apartment without consent or warning, and killed her while she was sleeping? If justice is not achieved by trespassing onto private property, like the Attorney General is asserting, the LMPD had no business to force themselves into Breonna Taylor’s home.
In light of the arrests made at the Attorney General’s home, he only exemplified what we already knew to be true: the police are targeting protests because of the content of their dissent rather than the actions they have made.
As we continue to see protest activity from different groups, with different goals, it's important to be aware of the implicit and explicit biases held by government officials. In comparing the response to protest activity, we can hold more of our officials accountable.
KHJN board member applications are open!
Please read over the board member expectations prior or applying!
Applications must be received by July 31, 2020. Apply here!
The mission of the Kentucky Health Justice Network is to build the power of Kentuckians to achieve reproductive justice. We support this mission through direct support, education and outreach.
The Kentucky Health Justice Network invites applications for up to 4 new Board members to serve three-year terms beginning in September 2020. Successful applicants must demonstrate their commitment to KHJN’s mission and core programming. Our current core programming includes advocacy for trans health issues, abortion access, and access to contraceptives. We believe reproductive rights are human rights, and that all people should be able to decide if, when, and how to parent.
As an organization committed to reproductive justice, we have a responsibility to create a pipeline of leadership and development opportunities for young people, low-income people, people of color, LGBTQIA people, people with disabilities, and others who are repeatedly and systematically affected by reproductive inequities. We believe people directly impacted by these issues are best positioned to design and lead solutions. People of color, young people, people who have had an abortion, and LGBTQIA people are strongly encouraged to apply. We are also particularly seeking individuals with financial and legal backgrounds. Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to apply.
KHJN is a statewide organization, our current Board members are primarily located in the Louisville area so we are also interested in recruiting board members from other areas of Kentucky. Some of the additional skills we are looking for include financial management, fundraising skills, organizing experience, legal expertise.
The responsibilities of KHJN Board members include
Attending and actively participating in monthly or bi-monthly board meetings. Currently our meetings are via Zoom, however as circumstances permit we will resume quarterly in-person meetings. These are currently based in Louisville.
Participating in projects and decisions as needed between board meetings.
Overseeing KHJN’s internal policies and the statewide mission
Building networks and allies throughout the state
Reviewing the organization’s financial statements and overall health
Participating actively in the fundraising and donor engagement activities of the organization.
Board membership offers opportunities to support positive social change, develop new expertise and working relationships, and further reproductive justice in Kentucky. Board members serve as volunteers, but KHJN pays mileage and other costs for meetings, on request. Child care and accommodations for persons with differing abilities are also covered (ie: interpreters, etc.)
Job Title: Bookkeeper
Reports to: Executive Director
Position status: Part time 15-20 hours per week
Hourly wage: $18
Purpose: To support the growth and development of Kentucky Health Justice Network’s financial systems
Job Responsibilities and Duties
Part time employees will receive two (2) weeks (10 days) of PTO per year effective immediately
To apply, please send application and cover letter to email@example.com with Bookkeeper application in the subject line.
It has been quite a year at KHJN, from a hectic legislative session full of anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ bills to wins and losses in courts from local to federal levels.
Your continued support through these ups and downs has made it possible for us to reduce barriers to Kentuckians seeking access to abortion care and fund more abortions than ever before! We've been able to increase our support for trans and gender non conforming Kentuckians to receive advocacy, support and gender affirming items to help them feel comfortable and validated in their lives. Through our partnership with Power to Decide and Appalshop our contraceptive access program All Access EKY has been able to provide knowledge and support about contraceptive options to Kentuckians across Eastern Kentucky.
Your support and donations mean so much to KHJN staff, volunteers, board members and folks all across the Commonwealth. If you would like to make an end of year donation you can do so online or mail it to us at PO Box 4761 Louisville, KY 40204.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
As many of us read yesterday the Supreme Court has refused to hear H.B 2, the narrated ultrasound law. This law requires doctors to describe in detail the ultrasound and play the sound of the fetal heartbeat even if it's against the patient's wishes. This law does not provide any improvements to abortion care in Kentucky, it's main purpose is to continue to shame and attempt to coerce people from having an abortion.
We urge you to read Kentucky’s Abortion Law Forces Me to Humiliate My Patients written by Dr. Ashlee Bergin from September where she explains the impact of this law on both doctors and patients in Kentucky.
While this ruling is disappointing to say the least, you CAN still get an abortion in Kentucky.
Thank you so much for your continued support for our mission
Friends of KHJN.