Kentucky sues Planned Parenthood for performing 'unlicensed' abortions in Louisville
Governor Matt Bevin announced that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. for operating a facility in which 23 abortions were performed unlawfully from December 3, 2015 through January 28, 2016.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Planned Parenthood illegally performed 23 abortions at its new Louisville facility between Dec. 3 and Jan. 28, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by Gov. Matt Bevin's administration.
The suit, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, alleges that Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. was not properly licensed to perform abortions at the new clinic.
Planned Parenthood has previously said that it began performing abortions at the facility under the guidance of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services at the tail end of Gov. Steve Beshear's administration.
In a statement Thursday, Planned Parenthood said it "followed longstanding protocol and received necessary authorization from the appropriate authority, the Office of Inspector General (of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services), to perform abortions at its facility while awaiting a site survey. All conditions for a survey to occur have been met. We ask that the executive branch continue the licensure process rather than continue to make politically motivated accusations."
In the suit, Bevin's administration acknowledges that Maryellen Mynear, who headed the cabinet's Office of the Inspector General under Beshear, told Planned Parenthood on Dec. 7 -- Beshear's final day in office -- that it was "longstanding policy" that clinics begin providing abortions while seeking a license.
But the lawsuit says Mynear, who left the job in January, acted "without authority" and calls her a "sympathetic advocate willing to ignore the law."
"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 said in a news release. "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."
According to the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood filed an application for a license to operate an abortion facility in late November.
Attached to Planned Parenthood’s license application were purported "transfer agreements,” which are essential prerequisites for a license, but the documents submitted by Planned Parenthood were a "complete sham," according to the lawsuit.
Planned Parenthood did not have proper hospitals and ambulance transfer agreements for the facility, "placing its patients at extreme risk to their health, safety, and lives had an emergency occurred," according to the Bevin administration.
The lawsuit says Planned Parenthood should be required to pay fines in the maximum amount allowed by law to punish it for "its callous and knowing violations of law and to deter it and others from such violations in the future."
The lawsuit sparked a mix of reactions among lawmakers in Frankfort.
For the governor to insert himself into a lawsuit, it's going to cost taxpayer money," said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, (D) District 34. "All the documents have been filed, they have refiled their application and I'm sure all of the ducks are in a row and the papers are in order so what a waste of money."
Rep. Jonathan Shell, (R) District 71, is backing Governor Bevin.
"As a 100 percent pro-life legislator, I think it's appalling for them to be allowed to do abortions in the state to begin with but it's more appalling for them to it outside the legal bounds of the law," Shell told WDRB News.
Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the lawsuit could help find the truth.
"The court has rules of discovery that require that documents be produced so it's a fleshing out of the facts," Stumbo said.
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