Gov. Matt Bevin
Gov. Matt Bevin

Following last month’s order from Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky to stop performing abortions at its Louisville clinic, the administration now has filed a lawsuit against PPINK, claiming the organization unlawfully performed 23 abortions in December and January.

“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 Governor Bevin in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “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.”

As first reported by Insider Louisville, PPINK announced in January that its Louisville clinic had begun performing abortions, which drew an immediate and strong rebuke from Bevin. The Office of Inspector General in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services sent a letter to PPINK ordering them to “cease and desist” with abortion services, saying their application for an abortion facility license filed with the cabinet last year was deficient and they had not yet received a license. PPINK responded by releasing their correspondence with the same department, in which the previous inspector general clearly gave the green light to begin performing abortions and stated they would only issue the license after the clinic passed an inspection within the following 30 days.

The lawsuit, filed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, claims that PPINK’s written agreements with an acute care hospital and a local ambulance service submitted in its application were “a complete sham,” and that the organization “knowingly and callously endangered the lives of its patients.” However, the lawsuit also admits that then-inspector general Maryellen Mynear did give the clinic clearance to begin performing abortions, but adds that Mynear’s actions “ignored clear statutory law and were without authority.” It goes on to state that PPINK knew what Mynear told them was allegedly false.

The lawsuit is seeking up to $570,000 in fines from PPINK “in order to punish it for its callous and knowing violations of law and to deter it and other from such violations in the future.”

In response to the lawsuit, PPINK released the following statement:

“PPINK followed longstanding protocol and received necessary authorization from the appropriate authority, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), to perform abortions at its facility while awaiting a site survey. All conditions for a survey to occur have been met. We ask that the executive branch continue the licensure process rather than continue to make politically motivated accusations.”

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Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]


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