Kentucky health officials refused again to give Planned Parenthood an abortion license last week after they said the abortion chain illegally aborted 23 unborn babies without a license at its new Louisville facility.
Planned Parenthood has been challenging the licensing issue in court for years. The Courier Journal reports state Secretary of Health and Family Services Adam Meier sent a letter to the abortion chain on Friday, refusing to give it an abortion clinic license because of the violations.
Meier said Planned Parenthood showed a “substantial failure” to comply with the law when it aborted 23 unborn babies in late 2015 and early 2016 before being granted a license, according to the report.
With no license for Planned Parenthood and the only other abortion facility in the state, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, fighting to retain its license in court, Kentucky could be abortion-free someday soon.
However, the abortion industry is not giving up without a fight.
Leaders of the Kentucky Planned Parenthood affiliate 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.
When pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin took office in 2016, however, his administration shut down Planned Parenthood’s unlicensed abortion practice. The Louisville facility stopped abortions, but it continues to fight in court for a license to do so.
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Here’s more from the local news:
U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers in June ordered the state to expedite its review of Planned Parenthood’s license application and report back to him no later than Aug. 19 with a decision.
Earlier: Judge orders state to quit delaying on Planned Parenthood’s abortion license
Meier’s decision to refuse the license, filed three days before the judge’s deadline, was blasted by the executive who oversees Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.
“While Governor Bevin is once again on the wrong side of history, we will continue to fight this decision and the slew of unpopular decisions that take away reproductive health care and abortion access in the commonwealth,” CEO Chris Charbonneau said in a statement late Friday. “This decision shows the true motive, which is to purposefully place undue burdens on pregnant Kentuckians.”
The abortion chain also asked Stivers to hold state leaders in contempt of court for allegedly delaying its licensing application, according to the report.
State health officials also have said that Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center do not have adequate transfer agreements with local hospitals in case of patient emergencies. Both abortion groups are challenging the 1998 state health law in a separate lawsuit. A court allowed EMW to continue doing abortions while the lawsuit proceeds.
Previously, the Courier-Journal reported Planned Parenthood stopped doing abortions after Bevin’s office sent a “cease and desist” order at the end of January 2016. The governor also filed a lawsuit accusing the abortion group of illegally aborting unborn babies
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 abortion violations. According to the lawsuit, the abortion clinic illegally aborted 23 unborn babies from Dec. 3 to Jan. 28 without a license.
The suit alleges that Planned Parenthood tried to rush its abortion license application through 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 Planned Parenthood says it had permission from the state to do abortions, it appeared to be hiding its abortion practices. Planned Parenthood spokesperson Maureen Manier previously told Business First that the new clinic opted to not publicize that it was doing abortions in 2015.