A Kentucky appeals court revived a legal battle between the state and Planned Parenthood on Friday after the abortion chain allegedly performed almost two dozen abortions illegally in 2016.
The Courier-Journal reports the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court was wrong to dismiss the lawsuit last year.
The three-judge panel noted that the state “may have a difficult time proving its allegations,” however, “we believe said allegations are sufficient to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
The governor’s office praise the ruling in a statement.
“We applaud today’s Court of Appeals ruling allowing this important case to proceed,” said Steve Pitt, Gov. Matt Bevin’s general counsel, in a statement.
According to the local news, Pitt said Planned Parenthood has shown a “disregard for both the safety of women and the rule of law” and “must be held accountable.”
In early 2016, Gov. Matt Bevin announced the lawsuit against the Louisville, Kentucky Planned Parenthood, alleging that the abortion facility performed 23 illegal abortions without a license. The abortion chain denied the allegations, claiming the previous governor’s administration gave them permission to begin abortions before their license was approved.
The Louisville abortion clinic opened in December 2015 and applied for a license to do abortions from the state; however, in late January 2016, Bevin’s office found out that the abortion clinic began performing surgical and medical abortions without a license, LifeNews reported.
The Courier-Journal reported at the time that the abortion clinic stopped doing abortions after Bevin’s office sent a “cease and desist” order at the end of January.
According to WKMS, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which filed the lawsuit, is seeking more than $900,000 in fines for the violations. According to the lawsuit, the abortion clinic illegally aborted 23 unborn babies from Dec. 3 to Jan. 28, 2016 without a license.
The suit alleges that Planned Parenthood tried to rush its abortion license application through former pro-abortion Gov. Beshear’s administration before pro-life Gov. Bevin took over. The suit also accuses Beshear’s former Inspector General Maryellen Mynear of trying to aid Planned Parenthood in a “scheme to accelerate the licensure process.”
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 wanted to avoid putting patients and staff at risk.
Women’s safety concerns are at the center of the matter. Bevin’s administration said it has not approved the abortion clinic’s license because Planned Parenthood does not have proper agreements with a local hospital and ambulance service for emergency situations, according to the report.
“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 statement at the time.
“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,” Bevin continued. “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.”