When Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin discovered a new Planned Parenthood clinic was doing abortions without a license in January, his administration moved quickly to shut down the abortion operation.
On Thursday, Bevin announced his next step to hold the abortion clinic accountable. The state filed a lawsuit this week against Planned Parenthood after it allegedly performed 23 illegal abortions at its new Louisville facility without a license, according to the Courier Journal.
The Louisville abortion clinic opened in December and applied for a license to do abortions from the state; however, in late January, Bevin’s office found out that the abortion clinic began performing surgical and medical abortions without a license, LifeNews reported.
The Courier-Journal reports that the abortion clinic stopped doing abortions after Bevin’s office sent a “cease and desist” order at the end of January. However, leaders of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky defended their abortion business by producing a series of emails between their lawyer and former pro-abortion Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration that they said gave them the OK to do abortions without a license, the report states.
“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,” Bevin said in a press release.
Here’s Governor Bevin’s full statement:
“Although I am an unapologetically pro-life individual, I recognize and accept that there are some laws on the books that I do not necessarily agree with. However, we are a nation of laws, and my job is to ensure that they are followed regardless of my personal opinion. 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. 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.”
The report includes more details about the lawsuit:
[T]he lawsuit claims Planned Parenthood tried to rush the license application through the cabinet in the final days of the Beshear administration, believing it would be more sympathetic than the incoming governor, a Republican and outspoken opponent of abortion.
It further accuses Maryellen Mynear, the cabinet’s former Inspector General, of trying to aid Planned Parenthood in a “scheme to accelerate the licensure process.”
The lawsuit alleges Planned Parenthood attempted to push the license application through “while Planned Parenthood still had someone in the cabinet who was willing to ignore or overlook the law.”
Mynear, a lawyer, now works for Attorney General Andy Beshear, son of the former governor. Terry Sebastian, the attorney general’s spokesman, said the office had no comment about the lawsuit.
… The Bevin administration has said the Planned Parenthood license application was deficient because the organization lacked proper agreements with a local hospital and ambulance service in case a patient needed to be transported to a hospital.
Such agreements are required as part of the license application. The Bevin administration has said the agreements Planned Parenthood provided were incomplete and inadequate.
As a result, patients could have been put at risk, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit is seeking fines of up to $684,000 for the violations. The abortion clinic illegally aborted 23 unborn babies from Dec. 3 to Jan. 28 without a license, according to the lawsuit.
Planned Parenthood responded Thursday that the lawsuit was “politically motivated,” according to the local news report.
Though the abortion group is now claiming it had permission from the state to do abortions, it had appeared to be hiding its abortion practices. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Maureen Manier told Business First that the new clinic 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, previously said the abortion clinic opened based on women’s needs, not politics.
After the initial discovery, Bevin expressed his outrage at the abortion group’s disregard for the law.
“It’s that brazen disregard for the law that is going to be hammered down,” Bevin said. “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.”
Kentucky Right to Life President Margie Montgomery said she was very upset when she learned that the Planned Parenthood was doing abortions. She said her pro-life organization will continue to work hard to offer women and their babies safe and loving alternatives to abortion.
“We are grateful to Governor Bevin and his administration for holding abortion providers in the commonwealth to established legal and medical standards. If Planned Parenthood in Louisville was performing illegal abortions without a license and subjecting women to grave risks by not having the hospital and ambulance transfer agreements, they should be held accountable,” said Margie Montgomery, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life Association.
“It appears to us that there was a rush to begin taking the lives of unborn children before the new administration was in place. Why else would the prior administration’s OIG allow Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky in Louisville to start performing abortions without an official license, or the required transfer agreements with local hospitals and ambulatory care. Officials in the prior administration entrusted with protecting the public health appear to have shirked their grave responsibilities when dealing with women’s health and innocent human lives” added Michael Janocik, Legislative Agent for Kentucky Right to Life.
Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter previously praised Bevin for taking action against the Kentucky abortion facility, which is under the Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky affiliate. Fichter said the abortion affiliate has consistently fought to block Indiana’s licensing and regulations for abortion clinics.
“We applaud Governor Bevin for stopping the killing of unborn children at this Planned Parenthood facility in Louisville,” Fichter said. “Licensing rules are put into place for a reason, including the protection and safety of women. This latest incident is one more reason why Planned Parenthood should not receive one penny of taxpayer dollars.”