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Ky. governor’s stance stymies Planned Parenthood

FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP) — Planned Parenthood stopped performing abortions at a Louisville clinic after Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin objected to violations of state law.

The organization had begun offering abortions during the week of Jan. 18 but when that news was made public on Thursday, Jan. 28, Bevin reacted harshly.

“They are openly and knowingly operating an unlicensed abortion facility in clear violation of the law,” the governor said in a statement. “We will use the full force of the commonwealth to put a stop to this. There is no room in Kentucky for this kind of blatant disregard for proper legal procedure.”

Bevin cited a state law that prohibits abortion facilities from operating without first obtaining a license. That law allows penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation.

In a letter sent to Planned Parenthood later Thursday by Kentucky Acting Inspector General Stephanie Hold, the abortion provider was directed to “cease and desist” abortion services in the Louisville clinic due to deficiencies in the organization’s application.

Hold, in the directive to Planned Parenthood, said the clinic lacked adequate written agreements with an acute care hospital and an ambulance service. The agreements are required in order to care for any patient who has unforeseen complications during the procedure.

Suzannah Wilson Overholt, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said in a letter Friday that the organization would “refrain from performing any abortion procedures” until the clinic has been found in compliance with the law and is issued an appropriate license.

“As I hope our communications to your office reflect, we are committed to full compliance with all applicable licensing regulation,” Overholt said in the letter.