LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has denied Planned Parenthood's downtown Louisville location a license to perform abortions.
In a letter dated Friday, Aug. 16, to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky obtained by WDRB News, cabinet Secretary Adam Meier cited the 23 unlicensed abortions the organization allegedly performed at the South 7th Street facility between December 2015 and January 2016 as the reason why the license application was denied.
The unlicensed abortions, which Meier called a "substantial failure to comply" with state law in his letter, led Gov. Matt Bevin to file a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky in 2016.
According to previous reporting, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has said it began performing abortions at the facility while it applied for a license under the guidance of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services at the tail end of Gov. Steve Beshear's administration. In a Jan. 29, 2016, letter, the cabinet ordered the organization to stop performing abortions and said that its license application was "deficient for multiple reasons."
In response to the cabinet's order, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky agreed to cease abortions until the inspector general’s office finalized its licensing.
"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," Planned Parenthood CEO Chris Charbonneau said in a news release Friday in response to the letter. "This decision shows the true motive, which is to purposefully place undue burdens on pregnant Kentuckians. Shame on Gov. Bevin and CHFS Secretary Adam Meier."
The cabinet "reserves the right to amend and supplement this denial,"Meier said in the Friday letter, based on the results of an ongoing federal lawsuit abortion clinic EMW Women's Surgical Center filed in 2017 against several Kentucky officials over legislation that would require women to view an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has until Sept. 16 to file an appeal with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and request an evidentiary hearing.
With the cabinet's ruling, EMW Women's Surgical Center remains the only abortion clinic in Kentucky.
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