Kentucky government officials are vowing to shut down an abortion facility that recently began perform abortions without a license.
On Thursday, Gov. Matt Bevin said his office discovered that a new Planned Parenthood opened last month in Louisville, Kentucky and began doing both medical and surgical abortions without being licensed by the state.
“They are openly and knowingly operating an unlicensed abortion facility in clear violation of the law,” Bevin said in a statement. “We will use the full force of the commonwealth to put a stop to this. There is no room in Kentucky for this kind of blatant disregard for proper legal procedure.”
The new abortion clinic on Seventh Street opened on Dec. 11, 2015 and began offering abortions. A Kentucky statute prohibits providing abortions without a license, and provides for penalties ranging from $500 to $10,000 for each violation, according to the governor’s office.
“It’s that brazen disregard for the law that is going to be hammered down,” Bevin continued. “There is no tolerance whatsoever for people in the Commonwealth of Kentucky disregarding the law. They are unlicensed. They are doing it knowingly, and they are going to brought to justice on this front.”
A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman did not confirm or deny if the facility has a state license, according to the Courier-Journal. She told reporters that her group “applied for an abortion facility license and commenced services under the guidance of the Office of the Inspector General, the state office that is responsible for licensing health facilities.”
It appears that the abortion group tried to hide the fact that it began doing abortions without a state license. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Maureen Manier told Business First the group opted to not publicize that it was doing abortions yet, but her excuse was that the facility wants to avoid putting patients and staff at risk.
Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of the Kentucky abortion affiliate, added that the abortion clinic opened based on women’s needs, not politics.
Kentucky Right to Life President Margie Montgomery said she was very upset by the news. She said the pro-life organization will continue to work hard to offer women and their babies safe and loving alternatives to abortion.
“There are going to be more aborted babies,” Montgomery said. “We pity the women who will be enticed when there are crisis pregnancy centers that will provide them help a woman might need.”
Bevin, a pro-life Republican, made the announcement Thursday in Louisville during an unrelated event.
“I’ve always been a very strongly unapologetic pro-life individual,” Bevin said. “To that end, that has not changed. What I tell you is interesting, and this is just breaking news even today, is that Planned Parenthood is illegally performing abortions in Kentucky.”