Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) says his state has filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood, claiming the organization performed abortions illegally without a license at its new location in Louisville.
“This administration will have no tolerance for the type of brazen disregard that Planned Parenthood has shown for both the safety of women and the rule of law,” Bevin said in a statement. “We will hold Planned Parenthood accountable for knowingly endangering their patients by providing illegal abortions at a facility that was not properly licensed nor prepared to handle an emergency.”
Bevin was elected last November and took office as governor on December 8.
On November 19, near the end of former Gov. Steven L. Beshear’s (D) administration, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) filed an application with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for a license to operate a new abortion facility in Louisville.
The governor’s website explains that Planned Parenthood did not have in place a means for emergency transfer via ambulance to a local hospital in the event a patient experienced complications during an abortion. These safety requirements are often framed as “restrictions” to abortion by supporters of Planned Parenthood.
The governor’s office states that PPINK began performing abortions on December 3 without both “transfer agreements” with local hospitals and a license to perform them.
Bevin’s office continues:
On December 7, 2015, one day before the Beshear Administration left office, the then head of the Cabinet’s Office of Inspector General [OIG], Maryellen Mynear, ignored or overlooked these facts and retroactively confirmed to Planned Parenthood that it was a “long standing OIG policy” that abortion clinics could begin operations without a license. The reality, however, is that the Cabinet had never had such a policy relating to abortion facilities. Mynear’s actions ignored clear statutory law and were without authority.
In addition, Planned Parenthood was seeking to accelerate the licensure process to be completed before its sympathetic advocate willing to ignore the law, Mynear, left the Cabinet for a new job in early January, 2016.
Between December 3, 2015, and January 28, 2016, when the Cabinet learned Planned Parenthood had been operating an unlicensed abortion facility without hospital and ambulance transfer agreements, Planned Parenthood performed twenty-three (23) abortions, placing its patients at extreme risk to their health, safety, and lives had an emergency occurred. Because of its blatant violations of law, Planned Parenthood should be required to pay fines in the maximum amount allowed by law in order to punish it for its callous and knowing violations of law and to deter it and others from such violations in the future.
“It looks like the previous pro-abortion administration tried to pull a fast one by getting Planned Parenthood into the abortion business before a new administration could realize that it did not meet the requirements of the law,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “This is political corruption at its worst. Planned Parenthood has very powerful political allies that will do anything, including committing crimes and endangering women, to benefit or cover up for Planned Parenthood.”
Planned Parenthood countered that it had complied with instructions from the OIG and began to offer abortions as part of the state’s standard licensure procedure.
“We ask that the executive branch continue the licensure process rather than continue to make politically motivated accusations,” PPINK said, reports the Courier-Journal.
PPINK claims cabinet officials under the Beshear administration directed the organization to begin providing all its services – including abortions – prior to being issued a license because an unannounced inspection would occur before the final license is authorized.
Nevertheless, the lawsuit alleges Planned Parenthood actually rushed the license process in the final days of a more supportive Beshear administration. It also charges that Mynear attempted to assist Planned Parenthood in a “scheme to accelerate the licensure process.”
Mynear – an attorney – now is employed by Attorney General Andy Beshear, the former governor’s son.
The state is seeking nearly $700,000 in fines from Planned Parenthood.