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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A key health care regulator in Kentucky is being questioned at a federal trial about the circumstances that led to a licensing fight threatening to shut down the state’s last abortion clinic.

The regulator, Robert Silverthorn Jr., on Thursday defended the use of emergency regulations that the clinic claims are meant to make it harder to get a license for abortions.

Silverthorn denied communicating with Gov. Matt Bevin’s office regarding EMW Women’s Surgical Center. Clinic attorney Donald Cox says emails show the matter was discussed at the “highest levels” of state government.

Bevin’s administration claims the Louisville clinic lacks proper transfer agreements with a hospital and ambulance service in case of emergencies.

Clinic lawyers say if the state prevails at trial, Kentucky could become the first state without an abortion clinic.

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