A Louisville, Kentucky Planned Parenthood abortion clinic shut down Friday after pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin discovered the abortion clinic was operating without a license.
The new abortion clinic opened in December and applied for a license to do abortions from the state; however, last week, Bevin’s office found out that the abortion clinic began offering surgical and medical abortions in January without a license, LifeNews reported.
The Courier-Journal reports that the abortion clinic stopped doing abortions Friday after Bevin’s office sent a “cease and desist” order. However, on Sunday the Planned Parenthood affiliate’s leaders 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.
Sunday, Stephen Pitt, general counsel for Bevin, said he is aware of the communications between Planned Parenthood and the Beshear administration. But Pitt believes the advice from the Beshear administration was wrong and said Planned Parenthood should have contacted the Bevin administration before proceeding to offer abortions while its license application was pending.
“The policy of the Bevin administration is that the law will be followed,” Pitt said.
…Emails last year between a Planned Parenthood lawyer and the top state official then in charge of licensing health clinics show that the official told the organization it must open without the license in order to get one.
That’s because the state won’t issue a final license until a state inspector makes an unannounced visit to the facility and inspects it after it has opened for business, Maryellen Mynear, the former inspector general with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said in an email to Planned Parenthood lawyer Carole Christian.
Mynear said Planned Parenthood must be providing “services for which it seeks licensure” in order to be inspected and receive a license.
Planned Parenthood filed the application Nov. 19, after Bevin, an anti-abortion Republican, was elected on Nov. 3 but before he took office Dec. 8.
Mynear assured Planned Parenthood such a licensure policy applied after Christian, in a Dec. 1 email, asked specifically whether that included an abortion facility, raising the concern someone might deem it unlicensed.
During his 2011 campaign, Beshear and his running mate accepted $4,000 in donations from two abortionists. In 2013, Planned Parenthood called Beshear “a health care hero.”
New acting Kentucky Inspector General Stephanie Hold, who serves on pro-life Bevin’s administration, said the state has not licensed the clinic because it found two deficiencies in Planned Parenthood’s application. The abortion clinic does not have adequate written agreements with an acute care hospital or an ambulance service in case of emergencies, according to a letter from Hold.
Suzannah Wilson Overholt, chief operating officer for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said the abortion group plans to send updated information to the state “as soon as possible.”
Betty Cockrum, president of the Kentucky abortion affiliate, said Planned Parenthood is committed to doing abortions in “a legal environment.” However, she also said her abortion group will consider a court challenge if Bevin’s administration denies them an abortion license.
Though the abortion group is now claiming it had permission from the state to do abortions, last week it appeared to be hiding its abortion practices. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Maureen Manier told Business First last week 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.
Last Thursday, Bevin called out the abortion business after his office discovered the violation. 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.
“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.”
“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.”