FRANKFORT, Ky. — The newly-elected Republican governor of Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against the abortion giant Planned Parenthood for performing abortions at a new facility in Louisville without a license.
Gov. Matt Bevin announced the lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. (PPINK) on Thursday, as his administration states that the Louisville location performed 23 unlicensed abortions between December and January.
Planned Parenthood has admitted that the abortions were indeed performed unlicensed, but said that the previous governor’s administration, Democrat Steve Beshear, had told them that they needed to have an unannounced inspection before they could obtain the license. The organization said that they concluded that in order to be inspected, the business would have to be open and operational.
“I don’t know how the Bevin administration proposes to resolve this apparent inconsistency in the law that you have to have an unannounced inspection before you can have a license,” attorney Thomas Clay told local television station WDRB.
Bevin’s administration noted that Planned Parenthood did submit an application for a license in November, but also provided what it called “sham” hospital and ambulance transfer agreements. The transfer agreements are required in order to be licensed, in addition to obtaining an inspection.
This placed “patients at extreme risk to their health, safety, and lives had an emergency occurred,” Bevin’s office said.
The lawsuit also accuses Beshear’s Inspector General, Maryellen Mynear, of telling Planned Parenthood officials that it was permissible to operate without a license the day before she and the rest of the previous administration left office. Bevin says that there is no such allowance in the law and that Mynear had no authority to suggest otherwise.
Planned Parenthood could now be fined over $600,000 for violating the law if found responsible of wrongdoing in court.
Bevin said in his statement that he personally opposes abortion, but since the law allows it, he feels he has to abide by state law and permit facilities to be licensed regardless of his belief that abortion is murder.
“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,” he stated. “[M]y job is to ensure that they are followed regardless of my personal opinion.”
Bevin said that Planned Parenthood must also follow the law.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Planned Parenthood says that it plans to resubmit the required transfer agreements and is asking that the licensing process move forward.
“We ask that the executive branch continue the licensure process rather than continue to make politically motivated accusations,” PPINK remarked in a statement.
As previously reported, in its annual report released in late December, the national office of Planned Parenthood outlined that the organization performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
However, while the organization also claimed that it is “stronger than ever,” its figures showed that the number of women visiting Planned Parenthood is the lowest in almost a decade. The report totals its services provided as being 9,455,582, with business being down by nearly a million persons from the year before, when figures totaled 10,590,333.