Alabama health regulators have tried since 2012 to close an abortion clinic that was cited for rampant health violations.
Now, a judge has set a hearing for Monday on whether the facility can remain open.
Officials say a woman with deep ties to abortion clinics, Diane Derzis, is playing a legal shell to keep the center open.
Derzis and an associate own the Birmingham building. They agreed last year to surrender their license after being cited for violations including inadequate patient care.
Now Derzis argues the building is not her abortion clinic but a doctor's office. She says she has nothing to do legally with a physician who rents from her and performs abortions there.
Separately, Derzis is fighting laws in Mississippi and Virginia that could shut down her clinics there.