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 from Dec. 3, 2015 through Jan. 28, 2016.
Planned Parenthood had received approval from the administration of former-Gov. Steve Beshear to perform the operations in the final days of his administration via email. Gov. Matt Bevin ordered the cabinet to halt that action when he took office in December and the cabinet’s lawsuit contends the abortions were illegal.
“Although I am an unapologetically prolife individual, I recognize and accept that there are some laws on the books that I do not necessarily agree with,” said Bevin. “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.”
Please click here for the pre-filed draft of the full complaint, which was filed Thursday in the Jefferson Circuit Court, Division 3, case number 16-CI-00802.
Kentucky’s laws regarding the operation of abortion facilities provide that such facilities must first obtain a license before performing abortions, and there is a significant fine for any abortion performed without a license. In order to protect the health and safety of women, Kentucky law prescribes strict requirements for licensure.
On Nov. 19, 2015, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., filed an application with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for a license to operate an abortion facility in Louisville.
Attached to Planned Parenthood’s license application were “transfer agreements,” which are essential prerequisites for a license. Transfer agreements are not only essential for obtaining a license, but they are also essential for ensuring the safety of patients, according to a statement from the governor’s office. Officials in the Bevin administration found problems in the submitted documents and ordered that permission to perform abortions be suspended.
According to a statement from the governor’s office, even though Planned Parenthood did not have a valid abortion facility license, and did not have transfer agreements in place, Planned Parenthood began performing abortions at its facility on Dec. 3, 2015.
According to the lawsuit, which represents just one view of the issue, on Dec. 7, 2015, one day before the Beshear Administration left office, the then head of the Cabinet’s Office of Inspector General, Maryellen Mynear, “ignored or overlooked these facts and retroactively confirmed to Planned Parenthood that it was a long standing OIG policy” that abortion clinics could begin operations without a license.
The suit contends that Mynear’s actions ignored clear statutory law and were without authority.
Between Dec. 3, 2015, and Jan. 28, 2016, when the Cabinet contended Planned Parenthood had been operating an unlicensed abortion facility without hospital and ambulance transfer agreements, 23 abortions were performed.
The lawsuit contends that Planned Parenthood should be required to pay fines in the maximum amount allowed by law, which could amount to about $700,000.
Planned Parenthood says it received proper permission to perform the procedures in December. A spokesperson for the facility said it followed “long-standing protocol and received the necessary authorization from the appropriate authority.”
Judi Morrison of Planned Parenthood said the Bevin administration was making “politically motivated accusations.”
Planned Parenthood’s original application is pending with the Health and Family Services Cabinet.
From Governor’s Office Communications