Gov. Matt Bevin: ‘Planned Parenthood Performing Abortions in Kentucky Without License’

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Newly elected Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says the Planned Parenthood in Louisville has been illegally performing abortions at its new location without a license and admitted it had violated the law.

“They are unlicensed. They are doing it knowingly and they are going to be brought to justice on this front,” Bevin said.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said in a statement it has been performing both surgical and non-surgical abortions with the approval of the state since January 21 at its new location, WHAS11 reports. It denied, however, that the abortions were performed illegally.

“We did not perform illegal abortions,” said Betty Cockrum, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, reports Courier-Journal. “We worked in good faith … following Kentucky precedent,” regarding the licensing of the new Louisville facility.

Nevertheless, Bevin asserted Friday evening:

I am glad to report that Planned Parenthood in Louisville acknowledged it has no legal authority for its actions and has agreed to stop performing illegal abortions. This clinic brazenly set out to conduct abortions without a license in clear violation of Kentucky law. The commonwealth acted swiftly to end these unlawful procedures, and we will continue to investigate the matter thoroughly.

A state official said Planned Parenthood failed to provide adequate written agreements with a hospital and ambulance service – safety requirements in the event a woman undergoing abortion develops complications. Planned Parenthood reportedly responded by saying it would provide the agreements “as soon as possible.”

On Friday, Planned Parenthood claimed in a letter to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services that it began providing abortions “only after receiving assurance from your office, in emails dated Dec. 1 and Dec. 7, that it would be appropriate while we await a survey,” said Suzannah Wilson Overholt, chief operating officer for the Planned Parenthood affiliate.

Bevin took office on December 8.

Pro-abortion state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville said Planned Parenthood is following proper procedures.

“They are following exactly what they were told to do by the state and for him to say that I have no doubt that he is opposed to abortion or anti-choice,” Marzian asserted.

Bevin, however, said his pro-life stance is not an issue; rather, performing abortions without a license is not following the law.

“When I have people like Planned Parenthood intentionally not following the law that’s where the state will be involved,” he said.

The governor’s spokeswoman Jessica Ditto also said in a statement that Planned Parenthood was in the “process of being declined and regardless what the previous administration told them, Kentucky statute clearly states that any facility must have a license to perform abortions.”

The statute (216B.990) reads:

Any person who, in willful violation of this chapter, operates a health facility or abortion facility without first obtaining a license or continues to operate a health facility or abortion facility after a final decision suspending or revoking a license shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation.

Under Kentucky licensing procedures, officials must conduct a survey, or inspection, of a health facility after it opens before issuing a license. Kentucky officials have not yet conducted that inspection of the Planned Parenthood facility.

As Wave3 reports, Kentucky Right to Life spokeswoman Margie Montgomery said the decision to provide abortions undermines her group’s right to make women aware of other options.

“We pity the women who will be enticed when there are crisis pregnancy centers that will provide the help a woman might need,” she said.


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