FRANKFORT, Ky. — A circuit court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the abortion giant Planned Parenthood filed by the governor of Kentucky over a location that was performing abortions without a license. Bevin, although identifying as pro-life, allows abortions as long as facilities are licensed according to state law.
As previously reported, Bevin announced the lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. (PPINK) in February, as his administration stated 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 accused 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 said that there is no such allowance in the law and that Mynear had no authority to suggest otherwise.
But weeks later, Planned Parenthood moved to have the lawsuit dismissed, calling the legal challenge a “jaw-dropping display of authoritarian hypocrisy.”
“We are saying that Planned Parenthood had a defacto license that was granted by the inspector general of the cabinet, not once, but twice did she approve the paperwork by Planned Parenthood and its application for a license,” Clay stated.
On Friday, Judge Mitch Perry dismissed the suit, opining that Planned Parenthood followed the directions of state officials.
“Based simply on a change in Cabinet personnel, it defies reason that an abortion facility which opened based on the approval of the (Office of Inspector General of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services) may be then said to have willfully violated the law by the same Cabinet,” he wrote.
Perry concluded that the state was unlikely to prevail in its challenge.
Betty Cockrum, the president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, told reporters that the organization was pleased with the ruling and is “very much looking forward to that day when we can offer full services to the Louisville community and the region.”
However, Bevin spokesperson Amanda Stamper told the Courier Journal that the state will appeal “and will continue making every effort to enforce the clear laws of Kentucky.”