The building housing the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, one of only two abortion facilities remaining in Kentucky, is on the market for $3,500,000. Coincidentally, the clinic was Reprotection’s first official test case, and the investigation by our CEO Missy Martinez-Stone exposed the facility’s lies about one of its employee’s credentials and violations of informed consent laws.
Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Kentucky outlawed nearly all abortions, and the EMW clinic closed its doors as a result. However, the facility continued to answer patient phone calls.
Then, in February 2023, Kentucky’s Supreme Court denied a request to halt the ban as legal challenges against it persist, making it all the more imperative that the public know what Reprotection uncovered about the clinic.
If more people knew about the blatant disregard for the well-being of women happening behind closed doors at clinics like this one throughout the country, then perhaps they’d be more inclined to see abortion for what it is: Violence against women and their unborn children.
In 2019, Martinez-Stone spearheaded the investigation into the Kentucky abortion facility by researching the state’s informed consent laws. Reprotection’s CEO had just read a news article about the facility in which Anne Ahola, the facility’s administrative director, shared that part of her job is to counsel women online the day before their abortion appointment.
One part of the law that stood out to Martinez-Stone during her investigation was the section that stated only a physician, physician’s assistant, licensed nurse, or licensed social worker can obtain informed consent from an abortion-minded woman.
Our CEO immediately submitted an Open Records Request with the Kentucky Board of Social Work, discovering that Ahola was not a licensed social worker, nor was she a licensed nurse, physician, or physician’s assistant.
But we still wanted further proof of the facility’s wrongdoing, so Martinez-Stone recruited a young woman to schedule a fake abortion appointment and go through EMW’s informed consent process.
Ahola met with the young woman through a video conference, and even though she was not licensed as such, the administrative director identified herself as the “counselor.” She then proceeded to review the informed consent information, skipping over a few topics Kentucky’s law required her to discuss with patients before their consent can be considered valid.
If this meeting with Ahola is how a normal “counseling” session with her went, then EMW likely performed abortions on women for years without proper consent.
Reprotection acted quickly, filing multiple complaints with the Office of the Inspector General against Ahola and with the Kentucky Medical Licensure Board against all of the doctors that entrusted her with the role of counselor.
After submitting the complaints, the Reprotection team noticed that EMW’s website falsely informed prospective patients:
“Our counselor is a licensed social worker with a training certificate in marriage and family therapy. She is compassionate and dedicated to each individual patient. She is always available to talk to you before, during, and after your visit.”
Due to the claims made in this statement, Martinez-Stone followed up with the Kentucky Board of Social Work and, guess what? Ahola still wasn’t licensed. Our CEO even searched the database of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and submitted an Open Records Request with the Department of Professional Licensing.
The research revealed what Reprotection already knew to be true: There was no professional license of any kind for Ahola. Reprotection filed another complaint with the Board of Social Work, the Board of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and the Department of Professional Licensing against the administrative director for misrepresenting her credentials.
An investigation followed, and Reprotection later received a letter from the Board Of Social Work stating that Ahola had “ceased the unauthorized practice.”
While we’re thankful for the outcome, the fact that the facility allowed an unlicensed Ahola to counsel abortion-minded women without obtaining valid informed consent proves why Reprotection’s work is necessary. Unless an organization like ours pulls back the curtain and exposes violations like this, the abortion industry will only continue exploiting and victimizing women.
We will continue monitoring the situation until we can confidently say that our community is free from dangerous abortion facility practices.